Sunday, 31 July 2011


Join The Campaign To Defend Social Care In Bristol
The campaign against the cuts to social care in Bristol is developing rapidly. There is an increasing groundswell of opinion against the council's threats to provision of these services in the city. Cuts are being finalised to voluntary sector grants for services which provide a lifeline to many elderly and vulnerable people and their carers. These grants will be cut from November 1st. Many services provided by the council to the elderly in their homes are being privatised. 

In the next two months plans based on Councillor Jon Rogers' proposal to close and privatise council-run care homes and day centres will be published. At the same time the truth about the sub-standard services provided by private companies like Castlebeck is becoming known. Leading LibDem councillors say it is wrong to alarm people by making them aware of the council's plans. But if the alarm isn't raised now it will be too late - the council will  push their cuts through with little or no room for opposing views to be heard.

Local trades uions, Unite The Union, Unison & GMB are throwing their weight behind the campaign. They are sending letters to voluntary organisations and others across the city calling on them to join the campaign. This can be downloaded from here. If you are involved with any of the voluntary sector organisations threatened or know anyone who is please make sure they get to see this letter.

The full council meeting on Tuesday 6th September will be the focus of a major protest against these threatened cuts. Please make a note of the date in your diary now and tell all your friends, neighbours and work colleagues. Details are below

The BADACA meeting on Monday 1st August will hear reports from representatives of service users and workers at the threatened services on activities so far. It will be an opportunity to plan the next stage of the campaign to protect social care services in the city from the council's cuts. Details are below – please try to come along and pass the information on to anyone you know who is effected by these threatened cuts.
We would like to hear from users of these services and their families so we can involve them in our campaign. If anyone has contact with any of them please get in touch at

If you want more information about anything below email
More information on BADACA and events can be found at our website and via the link to Facebook from there
If you have events you would like included in a future bulletin please email details to . Our aim is to send out a bulletin every Friday. The deadline for inclusion of events is 5pm on Thursday.

BADACA Open Meeting - Monday 1st August

: 7.30pm
Venue: Friends Meeting House, Champion Square (River Street), Bristol BS2 9DB. A map can be found here.

A flyer for the meeting can be downloaded from here.

The venue is on the left of the new part of Bond Street as you travel towards Temple Meads, opposite Cabot Circus, behind the Future Inn. The street used to be called River Street (perhaps part of it still is). It is a very central venue, with level access and parking available on the forecourt outside or in the Cabot Circus car park. Plenty of buses stop nearby. If you want more advice on getting there please email
Hear from workers and service users directly effected by the council's planned cuts. Discuss how to build the campaign against them. All welcome.

For further information email


Tuesday 2nd August

BADACA Social Care, Claimants & Welfare Group, 7.30pm, Bristol County Sports Club, Colston St, BS1 5AE. Map:

Lobby Of Bristol City Council - Tuesday September 6th

Meet at the Council House from 5pm. There will be plenty more publicity for this important event out early in August but put this date in your diary now.

For further information email

Norway: Right-wing terrorist kills 76 at youth camp

How should the labour movement respond?
Per-Åke Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden)

Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik's horrific massacre at the camping island of Utøya outside on Friday is unique in its cruelty, with 76 dead and many wounded, and several more still missing.

A further seven were killed in Breivik's car bomb attack in the capital Oslo. Today, shock and grief dominate, while many questions need answers.

What is behind the right-wing terrorism? How should the labour movement and socialists respond?

For nearly ten years, the terrorist Anders Behring Breivik planned his deed, combining methods from two of his right-wing predecessors, the Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh and those who carried out the school massacre in Columbine.

Like McVeigh, he built a huge bomb. As the school shooters did, he pursued his victims in cold blood.

The terrorist attack in Oslo was designed to get maximum attention. The bomb turned the streets and neighbourhoods around the government buildings at Youngstorget to ruins.

There is talk now that the prime minister's skyscraper might be demolished. Seven people were killed, but police are still searching if there are additional victims.

All Norway's police resources were called to the centre of Oslo, while the terrorist went to his primary objective, the social-democratic youth (AUF) camp on the small island of Utøya.

He pretended to be a heavily armed policeman, tasked with protecting the island from attack. On arrival, he ran cold-blooded executions for one and a half hours, shouting 'you should all die', interspersed with cheers.

While Breivik drove to the camp in a half an hour, it took the police an hour and a half to arrive. Once they were out on the island the terrorist immediately surrendered.

A few hours before the attack, Anders Behring Breivik emailed a 1,500 pages-long right-wing manifesto to selected recipients, and posted a film on youtube.

The manifesto also contains a diary that began back in 2002. The manifesto's two main headings indicate his targets: "1. The Rise of Cultural Marxism"; "2. Islamic colonization".

Breivik hated Marxism, internationalism and Islam, and confessed immediately, although he did not admit that his deeds were criminal. On the internet he described himself as conservative, rather than a Nazi or neo-liberal.

He is a practicing Christian, was a Freemason and, in the years 1999-2006, was active in the racist Progress Party, the country's second-largest party until recently.

He has announced his admiration for the Dutch Islamophobe Geert Wilders and tried to start a Norwegian branch of the notorious English Defence League.

He was also active on the Swedish Nazi website nordisk. The social-democratic Labour Party in government and the AUF, which for Breivik represented the labour movement, were the targets of his terrorist attack.

Therefore, there is all the more reason for the trade unions, socialists and left-wing organisations to discuss and take initiatives. Conservative politicians and commentators do not know what to say, limiting themselves to empty phrases about democracy and defending Norway.

They wanted everyone to look in another direction. InSweden, both the racist Sweden Democrats' press secretary and the front page of the Dagbladet newspaper, as well as political commentator Henrik Brors in Dagens Nyheter, quickly 'identified' Islamists as responsible for the attacks.

Now the establishment media and politicians only talk about extremism in general, avoiding a discussion on Breivik's right-wing agenda. Dagens Nyheter's editorial page (Sunday, July 24) downgraded the Oslo attack by equating it with the imagined threat from left-wing extremism.
Socialists oppose terrorism

In fact, both Breivik and Al-Qaeda are right-wingers; against the labour movement, socialists, democratic rights and women's rights. Socialists, however, are opposed to terrorism from both these groups, as well as the state terror carried out by US imperialism and its allies, including Sweden and Norway.

The terrorist attacks last Friday are just as shocking for Norway as September 11 in the United States and the murder of Olof Palme was in Sweden. In Norway, solidarity with the victims was expressed immediately when boat owners, risking their own lives, saved those who were swimming from Utøya.

Mountains of flowers have been placed outside the social-democratic premises and churches. There is the potential for a growing number of workers and youth who will want to get actively involved.

Terrorism is essentially a product of society. The former, stable, welfare-based societies in Norway and Sweden have been eroded with widening gaps and new injustices.

Without the option of fighting workers' organisations there is room for racists and right-wing extremists to single out scapegoats. Racists, Nazis, and Christian fundamentalists blame the workers, socialists and immigrants.

Establishment politicians pave the way by harsh treatment of refugees and the undermining of solidarity with the attacks on the sick, the unemployed and so on.

To take away the breeding ground for terrorist attacks requires an active, campaigning labour movement internationally. It is necessary to combat terrorism, war, capitalist globalisation and racism.

This must start now, with the mobilisation of workers and young people in mass protest and action against terrorism, and offering a socialist alternative.

Youth Fight for Jobs: Jarrow marchers call for one combined demonstration on 5th November

Youth Fight for Jobs are recreating the Jarrow March on the 75th anniversary, and are bringing together students, unemployed workers, trade union members and activists in a demonstration on Saturday 5 November, assembling at Embankment at 11am.

The campaign was confused by yesterdays call by the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) to organise a separate demonstration on 9 November.

Leeds University Against the Cuts (LUAC) press spokesperson Ian Pattison said "I am confused as to why this call has been made. The march on 5 November has been publicly announced for 5 months and has received coverage in the Guardian and Independent.

"I announced this at the NUS conference and proposed that all student anti-cuts groups work together to build a united resistance to all the cuts, and campaign for a future for all young people, against the governments brutal measures.

"The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts backed this march at its recent conference.
"I am confused as to why yesterdays announcement to split the resistance was made without any consultation with student anti-cuts activists such as myself."

Ben Robinson, Chair of Youth Fight for Jobs, said "The recreation of the Jarrow march has the backing of six national trade unions, Unite, PCS, RMT, Bectu, TSSA, FBU and UCU.

"It also has the support of many student anti-cuts groups and individuals up and down the country who are marching, offering us accommodation, helping to organise the protest and so forth. Many of our members played leading roles in the student anti-fees protests. We hope that the NCAFC and EAN do not try to divide the resistance. We hope that we can get together and discuss with representatives from those groups so that we have one demonstration on 5 November that all activists can build for at the start of the new term."

Renationalise Bombadier to save jobs! Massive rally in Derby

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Get rid of Cameron, Murdoch and all they represent

Editorial of the SocialistFrom The Socialist newspaper, 20 July 2011

When long-rotten fruit finally falls, all manner of grossness oozes from it and all varieties of parasites can come crawling out. And so it is with the all-embracing bushfire of the News International (NI) crisis.

In two weeks a paper, the News of the World (NoW), has closed, unfortunately with hundreds of job losses. Senior Met policeofficers have resigned and the extent of entanglement between Rupert Murdoch's empire and the police is being exposed. John Stephenson, who resigned as Met chief, told the House of Commons that ten of the Met's 45 press officers previously worked for NI.

No doubt many who have protested against climate change, against student fees and on other issues, will want their questions about police 'hacking' or infiltration of their organisations answered.

Murdoch, his cronies and Cameron should tell us whether they have ever penetrated or conducted underground work in organisations such as the Socialist Party or its predecessor Militant.

Rebekah Brooks, NI chief executive, friend to at least the last three prime ministers and Murdoch's golden girl, has not only resigned her position but been arrested. She has, alongside Rupert Murdoch and his son James, faced the parliamentary select committee. There, Murdoch senior used his son, as singer George Michael tweeted, "as a human shield".

Andy Coulson, formerly Cameron's pal and Downing Street director of communications, has also been arrested. His other previous incarnations include a stint as News of the World (NoW) editor and witness in the case against wrongfully imprisoned Scottish socialist Tommy Sheridan.

There has also been the death, as yet unexplained, of one of the first whistleblowers, Sean Hoare.

What now for Tory prime minister David Cameron? How can he pretend that he wasn't influenced by Murdoch's empire? He conducted 26 meetings with NI executives in 15 months plus apparently a number of 'undocumented' exchanges and, as Murdoch senior indicated, 'backdoor' visitors to Downing Street. How many times did he meet victims or working classopponents of his government's cuts?

Opposition leader Ed Miliband recognised that the exposure of the hacking of the phone of murdered school student Milly Dowler changed things. In his 19 July speech, he correctly linked all the "powerful people who answered to nobody", out-of-control bankers, tax-avoiding corporations, dishonest MPs who had indulged in a "culture of entitlement" and News International "which thought it was beyond responsibility".

Miliband pointed out that while "Sir Paul Stephenson [Met Commissioner] has taken responsibility and resigned over the employment of Mr Coulson's deputy... the Prime Minister hasn't even apologised for hiring Mr Coulson." Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman insisted that they wanted to ask Cameron questions. However, Miliband should demand Cameron's resignation, and that of his government as well.

All those who have been victims of Cameron's cuts - ie every one of us who works in or uses public services -every one who is not as rich as the millionaire Cabinet- will want Cameron and Co sent packing.

Cameron, having absented himself to fly around Africa with a load of bankers, is returning for one extra day of parliament before the summer recess. However, one day is insufficient. Cameron must not be 'saved by the bell'. Any opposition worth the name would call for a vote of 'no confidence' and push Cameron out. This government's downfall would strike a huge political blow against the ruling class and their cuts programme.

But Ed Miliband himself has also been quaffing from the crystal cup at Murdoch's recent summer party. New Labour in government never took the opportunity to clip Murdoch's wings. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown failed spectacularly to reverse Thatcher's anti-trade union laws or to undo vast Tory privatisations. In fact they added to those policies. Likewise there was no attempt to undo the moves towards monopoly control and political influence enjoyed by Murdoch and his ilk.

Miliband denounced the strikes against attacks on public sector pensions on 30 June, the most important day of struggle in recent working class history. Nonetheless Miliband could be brought to power, not through his own actions but through the unwinding of the crisis. From this coalition's inception, the Socialist has warned it would be torn asunder.

But an attack on Murdoch will not be enough to win an election. A Guardian/ICM poll found that while Miliband's personal approval had risen three points to 31%, Labour had dropped three points to 36%, 1% behind the Tories.

For working class and middle class people a change to Miliband's Labour would offer no solution. The trade union leaders should act. Clearly the establishment is bankrupt. Many MPs are now falling over themselves to celebrate the 'principle of free press' - but where were they until now?

The solicitor for one hacking victim told the BBC's Panorama programme that MPs hadn't stopped the scandal - but merely reacted to a scandal that had finally caught up with them.

On 30 June members of the ATL teaching union were on strike for the first time. General secretary Mary Bousted was given a standing ovation at the strike rally. She said: "I am glad that the ATL is not affiliated to any political party; Ed Miliband is a disgrace." She asked: "What has he and his shadow cabinet, which is laughingly called an opposition ever done? Sisters, and brothers, we're doing it for ourselves."

This latest crisis underlines the need for a workers' party more than ever. Steps must be urgently taken to build a party, based on a socialist programme, that cannot be bought, that doesn't seek the approval of anti-working class billionaires; but instead seeks to provide a vehicle to fight to defend all our rights, jobs and public services.

The Murdoch affair must not be allowed to fade over the summer break. Arising from this crisis, as well as questions about who we can trust to run the country, are questions about who should own and make decisions about the press.

The Socialist calls for the nationalisation of the press and all media facilities under democratic working class control and management. This has to be linked to a programme to abolish the roots of this crisis, the profit-motivated capitalist system and to fight for a socialist alternative.

Kazakhstan: Socialist Party MEP visits oil strikers


Socialist Party MEP, Paul Murphy, visited Kazakhstan over the last week to discuss with trade unionists and opposition activists. He travelled to the west of the country to meet with striking oil workers. Below is an article regarding Paul’s visit and the oil strike, published in the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) electronic newsletter. SIPTU is the largest union in Ireland, with over 200,000 workers from many sectors of the Irish economy. We also publish below a model letter of protest that readers can send to the Kazakhstan authorities concerning the oil workers’ strike.
Workers faced with jail and brutal repression - Solidarity urgently needed! Reprint of article from SIPTU union newsletter.

Major strike movement in west Kazakhstan - Workers faced with jailings, intimidation and brutal repression
A major strike is raging in the Mangistau oblast in the west of Kazakhstan, where at its height; up to 16,000 workers in the oil industry have been on strike. This strike started at the end of May and has now been ongoing for over two months. These are workers for the national oil company, KazMunaiGas, the national oil giant which is closely linked to the government and President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. The strike also involves workers from subsidiary companies and contractors for KazMunaiGas.

The workers face desert conditions where in the summer, temperatures can rise to 50° degrees C and in the winter drop to -40° C. Workers reported the serious neglect of health and safety standards and they claim that a number of workers have unnecessarily died in the last years as a result of industrial accidents and illnesses brought on by the working conditions. A wage agreement was signed two years ago between the company and the union, which the strikers claim has not been fully implemented by the company.

In going on strike, the workers have faced massive state repression. Two trade union lawyers, Natalia Sokolova and Akshimat Aminov, have been jailed. Ms. Sokolova has been charged with “stirring up social conflict” and could face years in jail. She has now been in jail for over two months and her husband has not once been allowed to visit her. In reaction to this repression, 300 strikers and members of their family engaged in a hunger strike. Riot police have been used to disperse the protests and in a sign of the desperation, a number of the hunger strikers poured petrol over themselves, threatening to set themselves on fire. Many workers have received very serious anonymous threats, threatening the lives of their families and to burn their homes.

The company has sent official letters to many strikers stating that if they continue their strike, they will be fired. Hundreds of workers have already been fired, simply for exercising what should be their right to strike. In effect, a lockout is being imposed by the company. Those who have returned to work have had to sign a statement declaring that the strike is illegal and committing not to engage in such action again.

The strike has been ruled illegal by the courts on the basis of the Kazakh Labour Code. It is known that the Labour Code is particularly restrictive in relation to the right to strike for wokers in the extraction sector . This situation has been criticised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Socialist Party MEP for Dublin, Paul Murphy, recently visited to support the striking workers. When he met with senior management of the company, they made it clear that they are not willing to negotiate with the representatives of the strikers until the strikers return to work and that those who have been fired would not be allowed to return to their jobs. This is obviously unacceptable to the strikers.

The strikers key demands are: 1. The release of Natalia Sokolova and Akshmiat Aminov, the trade union lawyers. 2. A commitment from the company that all strikers, including those who have been fired, can return to work without victimisation. 3. The right of the workers to determine their trade union leadership and to form independent trade unions 4. Negotiations between the company and the representatives of the strikers to discuss the implementation of the wage agreement that was signed two years ago.

A campaign of disinformation has been waged by the company and the government internationally – claiming that the strike is not very significant and that the workers’ demands are unjustified. However, the information blockade is being broken. Last week, Sting cancelled a planned concert in Kazakhstan declaring that he would not cross a “virtual picket line”. This solidarity has raised the confidence of the strikers.

International solidarity from the trade union movement will increase the confidence of the strikers and increase pressure on the company to agree to negotiate. Letters of protest can be sent to (KazMunaiGas - the company), (the local government) , (the state’s sovereign wealth fund that holds a majority of shares in KMG) and (Karazhanbasmunai – one of the subsidiary companies). A model letter of protest can be found on They should be copied to,, and Letters of solidarity can be sent to, and

The workers are not receiving any funds while on strike and it is having a devastating impact on their lives and the lives of their families. A solidarity fund will shortly be set up by the workers to help to provide necessary food and other aid to the strikers and their families. Contact Paul Murphy MEP’s office to receive details of this – 01 6795030.

Model Letter

To whom it may concern:

The ongoing strike of thousands of oil workers in the Mangistau oblast in the west of Kazakhstan has been brought to my attention by Paul Murphy MEP who recently visited the region. I also understand that the musician Sting cancelled a concert in the capital city Astana planned for the beginning of July saying that he would not cross the “virtual picket line” of the oil workers.

These are workers for the national oil company, KazMunaiGas, the national oil giant which is closely linked to the government and President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. The strike also involves workers from subsidiary companies and contractors for KazMunaiGas.

I am aware that two lawyers representing these workers have been jailed, namely, Natalia Sokolova and Akshimat Aminov. Ms. Sokolova has been charged with “stirring up social conflict” and could face up to ten years in jail. She has now been in jail for over two months and her husband has not once been allowed to visit her.

The police force has used violence against protesters on a number of occasions, including on 8 July when the riot police were used to disperse the protesters from Zhanaozen Square. Many workers have received very serious anonymous threats, threatening the lives of their families and to burn their homes.

I also understand that KazMunaiGas has sent official letters on headed paper to many strikers stating that if they do not return to work, they will be fired. Hundreds of workers have already been fired, simply for exercising what should be their right to strike. In effect, a lockout is being imposed by the company. Those who have returned to work have had to sign a statement declaring that the strike is illegal and committing not to engage in such action again.

I know that you consider this strike to be illegal on the basis of the Kazakh Labour Code. However, I consider the right to strike as a basic right for all workers and that the right to form independent trade unions should be respected according to ILO conventions.

I understand that senior management of the company has made it clear that they are not willing to negotiate with the representatives of the strikers until the strikers return to work and that those who have been fired would not be allowed to return to their jobs. This is obviously unacceptable to the strikers. I call on you to immediately engage in serious negotiations with representatives of the strikers.

I support the key demands of the strikers, which are as follows: 1. The release of Natalia Sokolova and Akshmiat Aminov, the trade union lawyers. 2. A commitment from the company that all strikers, including those who have been fired, can return to work without victimisation. 3. The right of the workers to determine their trade union leadership and to form independent trade unions. 4. Negotiations between the company and the representatives of the strikers to discuss the implementation of the wage agreement that was signed two years ago.

Yours faithfully,

Name/ Organisation/ representing xxx workers

BADACA: Campaign Against Social Care Cuts

The Campaign Aganist Cuts To Social Care In Bristol Has Got Off To A Flying Start

Last Monday's BADACA meeting and the two lobbies of the City Council have laid the foundations for a concerted campaign against the council's threats to close homes and day care facilities for the elderly and vulnerable while at the same time threatening funding to voluntary organisations which provide vital services to these people and their families.

Workers at the council-run services turned out to tell councillors what they thought of these plans. So did workers and representatives of threatened voluntary sector organisations and users of the services. Leading LibDem councillors were uncomfortable facing criticism of their plans. They will need to get used to it because there's plenty more to come.

At the BADACA meeting on Monday 1st August representatives of service users and workers will report on activities so far. It will be an opportunity to plan the next stage of the campaign to protect social care services in the city from the council's threatened cuts. Details are below – please try to come along and pass the information on to anyone you know who is effected by these threatened cuts.

The care homes under threat include Bowmead, Brentry, Broomhill, Hayleigh, Maesknoll and St Peter's, plus Coombe, Rockwell, Wellhay and Greville. Also under threat are day-care services including Lanercost, Lawrence Link, St George, Shire Link, Dover Court, North Bristol Drop In, South Bristol Drop In and New Horizons, as well as other day care services for people with dementia. And of course all the voluntary sector organisations whose funding is threatened – see our website for the full list here.

We would like to hear from users of these services and their families so we can involve them in our campaign. If anyone has contact with any of them please get in touch at

Today's Evening Post carried this article about the closure of day centres.

If you want more information about anything below email
More information on BADACA and events can be found at our website and via the link to Facebook from there

Friday, 15 July 2011

BADACA Open Meeting to Launch Campaign Against Social Care Cuts & Privatisation

Monday 18th July, 7:30pm at Broadmead Baptist Church
The main purpose of this meeting is to begin a city-wide campaign against the cuts in social care – both council provided services and the voluntary sector. We will be inviting users and workers of these services and other interested parties to join us. Please try to come along. If you know anyone effected by these cuts please pass on the information to them and encourage them to come along as well.

Free the Malaysian Socialist 6

Socialist Party MEP: Why I Joined Freedom Flotilla II

Paul Murphy MEP calls for an end to EU complicity in oppression of Palestinians.

Strike against job cuts at the BBC

Journalists at the BBC are to strike on Friday 15 July over compulsory redundancies.
The NUJ has called for urgent talks with the corporation to resolve the threat of compulsory redundancies for the small number of outstanding cases and for the reinstatement of a member dismissed in the BBC World Service.
Industrial action will go ahead if the BBC fail to address these issues.
NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "We know that there are hundreds of people who want to leave the BBC and who have been denied that chance.
"Yet at the same time people are now being targeted and forced out of the door ...
"This unprecedented attack and threat to the livelihoods of NUJ members now and in the immediate future is a direct result of the licence fee deal done behind closed doors by the BBC Executive in 2010.
"We believe that the BBC's resources should be spent on protecting core journalism and programming for audiences. This means prioritising its staff...
"It is not right that people are being forced into compulsory redundancy in the BBC World Service in the UK when an extra £2.2 million has been granted by the Foreign Office for the next three years to mitigate the cuts.
"Whilst journalists are bearing the impact of these cuts, the BBC is not acting to properly tackle the major problem of excessive executive pay - salaries at the top of the BBC are a staggering 21.5 times the median salary and 47 times the lowest salary".


Saturday, 9 July 2011

FISHPONDS AGAINST THE CUTS - Public Meeting Wednesday 13th July

FISHPONDS AGAINST THE CUTS What next after the Pensions Strike?  

Wednesday 13th July - 7.30pm
The Vassall Centre,  Gill Avenue,  Fishponds,  BS16 2QQ 
Public sector unions went on strike on June 30th to defend their pensions, including many teachers, lecturers and civil servants from the Fishponds area. But living standards are in grave danger for everyone and more action is needed if we are going to stop the cuts. Bristol City Council intends to cut £41 Million from its budget and will not protect jobs and front-line services with cuts of this scale. £290K will be cut from the library budget, Community Support Officers are being cut, and other cuts will affect housing, schools...even pest control! All political parties on the Council agree with cuts. Fishponds Against The Cuts believes that local people should defend their jobs and services themselves. This meeting will plan action for our campaign, with speakers from local unions, including Andy Pryor, NUT. Contact Matt Gordon for more info: or 07936712962

British youth protest needs the spirit of los indignados

YFJ national organiser Paul Callanan in the Guardians Comment is Free –

In the past few weeks, Europe has been rocked by youth rebellion. In Spain, young people have taken to the squares and plazas in a movement against sky-high levels of unemployment. In Greece, a huge movement of young people supported by the trade unions has taken to the streets over the government’s brutal austerity agenda. And now if young people are to have anything like a decent future in Britain, we need to do the same here.

At the moment there are nearly 1 million young people unemployed. We have also seen the right to an education snatched away from working- and middle-class students and turned into a privilege for the wealthiest few in society. Public sector cuts will also impact young people disproportionately as millions more are sent to the dole queue, while those services that support unemployed peopleare slashed to the bone. And this government of Bullingdon Boys wants to heap more misery upon us.

In spite of Cameron’s crocodile tears, the government clearly sees the situation as an opportunity to be seized for rich mates rather than the scourge that it is. Under its work programme, the unemployed will be turned into an army of slave labour working for meagre benefits.

It is fitting that this all coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Jarrow Crusade. Because, if the present economic crisis and attacks on young and working people show anything, it is that capitalism has not been able to solve the question of unemployment and poor living standards in the decades since the march. Yes, we may live much better now but we face 75 years of gains, like the NHS, the welfare state and the right to an education, being blotted out of existence. This government wants to wind back the clock to the 1930s. That is why we are bringing the spirit of “los indignados” to Britain and marching again.

Young people, unemployed people, trade union activists and students from the struggle last year will march from town to town, starting on 1 October and arriving in London on 5 November, myself among them. We will be organising protests, demonstrations and meetings to bring together all these groups. We’re demanding job creation not destruction from the government. We’re demanding a wage you can live on for all, including apprentices and interns. We’re demanding a halt to the brutal attacks on benefits, already lower for young people. To beat this government and to win a decent future, young people need to be part of a broad anti-cuts movement. That’s why the solidarity shown on 30 June was so important. We want the march to help build a mass movement.

The student movement at the end of last year already gave a glimpse of what was possible when young people moved. Not only did that movement break the silence on the Con-Dem cuts, shattering the idea that the cuts were necessary and inevitable, but it also won important concessions showing that mass movement can still win victories.

And events this year have shown that mass movements can change the world. The revolutionary wave that has swept across the Middle East was started by young people in Tunisia and Egypt. In Spain young people are marching from the north coast to Madrid. And just like young people have already done from Cairo to Madrid, we need to stand up and say that we won’t be a lost generation.

For more about the Jarrow March 2011:

Solidarity Scotland statement on NOTW

Statement Regarding Developments With The NOTW -

Solidarity, Scotland’s Socialist Movement adds our voice to those of Aamer Anwar and Tom Watson MP calling for an investigation into evidence given by officials from News International during the Tommy Sheridan perjury trial. The Solidarity Co-Convenor was jailed for 3 years after a trial and police investigation that cost millions of pounds of public money and tens of thousands of hours of police time. The jury in the perjury case reached its decision by the narrowest of margins after hearing evidence from staff at News of the World claiming that there was no culture of phone hacking at the paper and no payments were made to police officers. The evidence passed to Strathclyde Police today suggests that at least some of those News International witnesses now have significant and difficult questions to answer. The police now have a duty to inform those in Scotland whose phones may have been hacked at the earliest opportunity. The Scottish Parliament also needs to discuss the behaviour of News International as a matter of urgency.

Tommy Sheridan was a target for News International due to the outstanding role he played in the socialist movement in Scotland including helping to defeat Thatcher’s hated Poll Tax and his bill in the Scottish Parliament to abolish warrant sales. During his trial, the former editor of the News of the World and then head of communications at Downing Street, Andy Coulson denied that there had been a culture of phone hacking at the News of the World. He denied any knowledge of payments made to police officers and described Tommy’s assertion that he was the victim of hacking as “true only in “the parallel universe that exists only in your mind.” Yet recent emails have emerged showing that Mr Coulson may be given another opportunity to return to the High Court in Glasgow. Presumably he will not be winking from the witness box as he tries to explain his comments that hacking and other surveillance operations were not pervasive at the paper under his watch.

Recent revelations in regards to the News of the World and the parent company News International make clear that this invidious organisation will stop at nothing to secure what they consider to be a “story”, stooping to unprecedented levels of depravity including allegedly hacking the phones of murdered children, their parents and victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London.

In what we consider a cynical and cost cutting move, the Murdoch family have today announced that the News of the World will cease trading following their publication this Sunday. We shed no tears at the demise of the right wing, reactionary, misogynist anti-trade union rag. However, it is typical of the culture of News International that ordinary workers and journalists, the vast majority of whom will have had nothing to do with the sordid, illegal practices recently exposed, will lose their jobs in a bid to preserve the reputations of the owners and senior executives. Whilst the name might disappear from newsstands, you can be sure that Murdoch will ensure that a new title will emerge to carry on where the odious News of the World left off.

Solidarity congratulates the MP for West Bromwich East, Tom Watson for his courageous and determined campaign to expose the News of the World and hold it to account. Whilst the majority of the political class at Westminster and Holyrood have cowered before the might of News International, Watson has dared to raise his head above the parapet and challenge Rupert Murdoch and his empire. With the decision to be made on the future of BSkyB it is vital that more elected representatives acquire the backbone required to ensure that News Internationals tentacles are not allowed to extend further into control of this country’s media. It is also vital that a full and open public enquiry is held into the actions of senior police officers who have disgracefully been in possession of the facts showing the extent of the hacking scandal for over five years. The relationship between News International and senior police officers in Scotland and England, as well as with the judiciary, politicians and governments in both countries need to be subject to the closest public scrutiny.

Solidarity, Scotland’s Socialist Movement stands shoulder to shoulder with our Co-Convenor Tommy Sheridan, his family and supporters in his battles still to come against News International. We will also continue to promote the politics of socialism, justice and equality that are so abhorrent to the owners and senior executives of Murdoch’s loathsome media empire. Finally, we call on all socialists in Scotland to join us, and the vast majority of working class people in unequivocally condemning News International and its despicable behaviour.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Put Murdoch and News International on trial

For a democratic workers' and public inquiry into the role of News International, the police and their links with the political establishment
By Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland -

Rupert Murdoch (see picture above) has been forced to call time on the 168-year old News of the World (NoW). The venal phone-hacking scandal had turned the NoW into a completely toxic rag in the eyes of millions and was threatening to undermine Murdoch’s hopes of securing 100% control of his coveted BSkyB.

The revelations that Milly Dowler – the 13 year old murdered in 2002 – had her voicemail hacked by the private detective Glenn Mulcaire, who was working for the News of the World, caused mass outrage. A boycott the News of the World campaign was gaining huge support.

Multi-national companies including Ford, Proctor and Gamble, Mitsubishi, Lloyds and Halifax pulled their advertising. This was in response to reports that some of those who lost family members in the 7/7 bombings in 2005 have also been targeted for hacking by the NoW. As have families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The police have told the parents of the two girls, Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells, also murdered in 2002 in Soham, that they’re phones were, in all likelihood, hacked. All child killings are now to be looked at by the current police phone-hacking investigation to see whether their families were also victims of the NoW’s gutter methods.

Establishment cover-up

These new and shocking revelations come from documents seized from Glenn Mulcaire in 2006, but are only now coming to light. This follows political and public pressure for a new inquiry following what was widely seen as a cover-up by the Metropolitan Police during first “investigation” in 2006. Then the police claimed that Mulcaire targeted only a very small number of people. News International assured that “only one rouge reporter” was involved in illegal phone-hacking. The then editor of the NoW, Andy Coulson resigned after Mulcaire and the paper’s “Royal Correspondent”, Clive Goodman, were jailed. Coulson went on to be appointed as David Cameron’s chief media adviser but resigned late last year.

However, Sean Hoare, a former reporter who worked for Coulson at The Sun and The News of the World, told The New York Times that he had played tape recordings of hacked messages for Coulson and that his former boss “actively encouraged me” to break into the voice-mail accounts of public figures. Hoare told the BBC Coulson was “well aware that the practice exists. To deny it is a lie, is simply a lie.”

Unbelievably, even as late as December 2010 Scotland Yard claimed not to have found any new evidence of criminal activity. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was "no admissible evidence" to support the claims that public figures' phones were hacked. It was only when actress Sienna Miller civil case was breaking that their was a change of mind. It was only in January 2011 that the Met Police issued a statement saying they were to launch a fresh investigation into hacking after receiving "significant new information" This significant new information had been in their hands since 2006.

The Guardian newspaper in 2009 claimed thousands of people had been hacked by Mulcaire who was on the NoW payroll. Then the New York Times in 2010 exposed the fact that the Metropolitan Police had actually seized 4,332 names, 2,987 mobile phone numbers and 91 PIN codes (needed for accessing voicemail messages) from Glenn Mulgaire when he was arrested in 2006. This alone would clearly indicate that phone hacking and other activities were indeed being practiced on an “industrial scale.” Mulcaire’s documents run to 11,000 pages and contained the mobile numbers and other personal information of thousands of targets. All the revelations about Milly Dowler, the 7/7 families and the parents of other murdered children were in the hands of the police in 2006.

The extent of police collusion to cover-up the NoW activities is breathtaking. Andy Hayman, who led the 2006 inquiry for the Met, now writes for the Times and other Murdoch papers. As Labour MP Paul Farrelly, a member of the select committee who looked into the phone hacking scandal commented, "Had Mr Hayman been in charge of the Watergate inquiry, President Nixon would have safely served a full term.” We were very critical of the evasiveness displayed by Mr Yates (Hayman’s replacement) in the police evidence to us."

News International are desperately trying to erect a cordon sanitaire around their chief executive, Rebecca Brooks. Brooks was the editor of the NoW from 2000-2003 and claims to know nothing of any phone-hacking. Significantly, News International exec’s have passed to the police inquiry details of payments to police officers signed off by Andy Coulson, for “information”. It seems likely that they are preparing to offer up Coulson as a sacrifice to protect Brooks.

payments to police

The widespread use of payments to police officers is another reason why the Met police indulged in a blatant cover up. It exposes the embedded links between the Murdoch press and sections of the state machine including the British government. Both Murdoch and Brooks regularly met with Tony Blair and now David Cameron to push for their right-wing political agenda to be implemented. Just a few weeks ago senior Labour figures including Ed Balls attended a party thrown by Rupert Murdoch at which were invited Britain's political elite. In particular Murdoch has been lobbying Cameron and the Con-Dem coalition to allow News Corporation to own BSkyB outright, which would give then an unassailable position as the UK’s most powerful broadcaster.

Alongside this, News International executives, particularly Murdoch junior, have launched a broadside against the BBC and its “monopoly”, calling for an end to licence fee payments going to the corporation. Their aim is to establish a totally dominant position for not just their titles, but also the political ideology they promote – free market capitalism and a virulent hostility to the interests of the working class.

News International’s four UK papers; The Sun, The Times, Sunday Times and the News of the World, hold a 37% share of all newspaper circulation. Sky TV is already the biggest broadcaster in terms of revenue - £5.9 billion last year alone with profits just under £1 billion. This puts Sky ahead of the BBC and ITN in terms of financial resources. Murdoch is desperate to win 100% control of BSkyB (he currently holds 40%), so he can access the full cash-cow that is Sky TV. This cannot be allowed to proceed and the Con-Dem government is under huge pressure to suspend the proposed takeover.

Full democratic public inquiry needed

Demands for a full and open public inquiry are growing into the phone-hacking scandal and the collusion of the police and many politicians. Even Cameron and now Milliband have belatedly come out in favour of an inquiry or even two inquiries. But we cannot allow such an inquiry to be the same tame pro-establishment farce as the Chilcott farce into the Iraq war.

The Socialist Party demands a full and transparent public investigation by a democratic and accountable committee that would involve elected workers representatives, including those of the print trade unions who Murdoch tried to destroy during the Wapping dispute. Full access to all the documents seized from Mulcaire and other information must be handed over by the police to an independent inquiry.

Under capitalism, our media is neither fair nor impartial - but ultimately is there to defend the prevailing capitalist system and the abuse of power and control by a rich and powerful elite. Especially today, in the wake of a huge economic crisis for capitalism the media will aim to peddle the lie that working class people should pay for a crisis they did not create.

At the same time the Murdoch press are silent about the rich bankers and top bosses whose bonuses are back to pre-crash levels. This is in stark contrast to the millions who are facing unemployment and savage cuts in public services.

That’s why we campaign for the democratic public ownership of the major media corporations as the only way to break their abuse of power and ensure a democratic media. It would then be possible to ensure democratic access to the press based on an allocation to different ideas, including socialist views, dependent on their levels of public support.

Tommy Sheridan case

The avalanche of evidence about the scale of the News of the World's illegal activities including phone-hacking and bribing of police officers has led the Scottish Crown to ask Strathclyde Police to investigate the possibility that senior NoW staff lied during the Tommy Sheridan perjury trial.

Former NoW editor Andy Coulson claimed in court that he knew nothing about the phone-hacking at the NoW. Even though Tommy’s details were found in Mulcaire’s seized documents. He also denied ever paying bribes to police officers. Furthermore, Bob Bird, the Scottish editor of the NoW also said he knew nothing about the hacking of Tommy Sheridan's phone or any other surveillance methods used by the NoW. He also claimed he could not find email correspondance between the NoW and Glenn Mulcaire about the investigation that the paper did into Tommy Sheridan. Bird said they had been “shipped off to Mumbai”. Tom Watson the Labour MP who has been to the forefront of the campaign to get to the truth about the phone-hacking scandal has been told that the email correspondence is in fact in a warehouse in London. He described Sheridan's conviction as "unsound" in the House of Commons.

Tommy Sheridan's solicitor, Aamer Anwar and Tom Watson have handed to the police a dossier including the names of dozens of people in Scotland who were hacked by the NoW private investigators.

The reality is that the jury at the perjury trial were denied a full picture of the illegal lengths, including the money paid, that the NoW went to undermine Tommy Sheridan. If they had been given all the facts then it is likely the jury would have arrived at a different verdict. In addition had these revelations about the NoW hacking of Milly Dowler and others, including Tommy Sheridan, been made available before Tommy Sheridan’s perjury trial, rather than covered up by the police, there would have been no possibility of a conviction. As it was the jury only found him guilty by eight to six and this conviction, in the light of what has happened in the last few days, must now be overturned.

Bristol-wide Day of Action on NHS - 10am onwards


On 9th July BADACA is planning to have a Bristol-wide day of action on the NHS. We will be having stalls at local shopping areas across the city. This will be both to highlight the ongoing ConDem plans to break-up & privatise the NHS and to help develop the anti-cuts groups in local areas.

In view of the enormity of the cuts to the NHS and the consequences for working people we cannot standby and witness what will be the dismantling of one of the main elements of the welfare state. The Tories especially have invested a lot in the rebranding of these proposals which have only been altered in minute aspects. We cannot afford to sit back therefore BADACA is holding an NHS Day of Action on 9 July where we will target as many estates and shopping centres across the city and talk to as many people as possible and try to involve them in our movement as we move into what promises to be a momentous autumn of battles against the CONDEM government.

Having made an initial request for volunteers at the BADACA Conference last weekend we have at least 40 volunteers and we hope to can build on this in the coming weeks so please come and join us on this day. Lift our profile; get more people involved; set up new groups and together let's drive the CONDEM proposals back.

The estates/Shopping centres where we propose to have stalls are:


If you can help at any of these locations or want to organise a stall where you live please call Roger on 07968 019174 or email admin@bristolanticutsallia​

Kazakhstan: Riot police attack striking oil workers

By CWI reporters, Moscow -

Earlier today, a wave of Kazakhstan "COBRA" riot police entered the town of Zhanaozen, west Kazakhstan, in an attempt to end a permanent demonstration and hunger strike by striking oil and gas workers and their families. The oil and gas workers are now in the second month of their strike.

A viscous attack by well-equipped and trained riot police left many people wounded. Over four bus loads of people were arrested taken away. Despite this, the police thugs did not achieve their goal of breaking up the hunger strike. The hunger strikers, as the police approached, doused themselves with petrol and threatened to light themselves, the police did not back off.

The latest information is that this attack has only angered the workers. Already many are gathering outside the City Administration Headquarters, some say there are already 5,000 people and the numbers are growing and they are preparing for an all-night protest. They are demanding the immediate release of their comrades.

It is reported that the riot police attack was planned following the arrival in the city of a leading government representative. It is clear the authorities are worried by the progress made in spreading information about the dispute. The decision by the rock musician Sting to boycott a concert in Kazakhstan in support of the strikers and the planned visit by a delegation from the European Left group of MEPs, led by Paul Murphy, has undoubtedly made the authorities very nervous.

Please send urgent protests to:,,, and messages of solidarity to with copies to and

Labour Party- condemned for condemning strike

"The Labour Party died on Thursday." This was how one letter to the Guardian on 1 July, the day after the biggest strike action in decades, summed up the feelings of millions about Labour leader Ed Miliband's condemnation of the strikes.
To add insult to injury Miliband, having condemned thestrike, was then photographed in parliament laughing over a cup of tea with Cameron and Clegg, while the pickets stood outside.
In reality, the Labour Party, as a vehicle for the interests of the working class, died long ago. Under Blair the party was transformed from a capitalist workers' party - with a capitalist leadership but a working class base that could influence the party via its democratic structures - into a capitalist party.
However, Miliband's statement has brought the pro-capitalist reality of New Labour home to millions. Another letter to the Guardian on 1 July drew the conclusion that many others will also be pondering: "Surely it is time for a new party to represent workers and hold true to the values many of us thought Labour was supposed to represent."
The death of political parties is being widely predicted by capitalist commentators. The real reason for their shrinking membership, however, was mentioned as an aside by Anthony King in the Financial Times (2 July): "differences among the main parties have narrowed, sometimes to vanishing point. Few socialist parties exist any longer, and only the tiniest fringe parties talk the language of political struggle."
King went on to say that the continued decline of party memberships is inevitable. In the past, he states, politics was a matter of "warfare... between classes, nations, races and religious denominations" but in Europe today, he says, this is no longer true.

Class war

It is true that the differences between the establishment political parties has narrowed to vanishing point, but the gap between them and the views of the majority of the population has never been wider.
If King was to ask any public sector worker in Britain, or benefit claimant, or library user, or student if political "warfare" was a thing of the past they would be able to tell him about the vicious class war being conducted by this government against them.
King concludes: "Who in 2011 would dream of christening... a party 'the Labour Party'? The very idea is anachronistic". Given the recent history of the Labour Party in cutting and privatising services and opposing strikes it is very unlikely anyone would give a new workers' party that name, but a mass party that stood for the majority - for the working class, the poor, the young - would, far from being "anachronistic", be enormously popular.
The Socialist Party participates in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC an electoral alliance involving leading militant trade unionists from the RMT, PCS and NUT.
TUSC plays an important role, enabling trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists to stand candidates against the pro-austerity consensus of the capitalist parties.
For the Socialist Party TUSC is also part of a campaign, which we have waged for well over a decade, for the trade unions to stop funding Labour and to begin to build a new party that stands in the interests of working class people. Both the objective need and potential for such a party has never been greater than it is today.
At the 30 June London strike rally Mary Bousted, the general secretary of the ATL, the most 'moderate' union to take part in the strike, attacked the Labour leadership which is "laughingly called an opposition". She called on trade unionists to 'do it for themselves' (see pages 8 and 9), receiving the biggest cheer of the whole rally.
If any platform speaker had argued for trade unionists to do it for themselves - by striking but also by standing in elections on a clear anti-cuts programme, it would have had a huge response.

Break the Link

None of the unions that went on strike on 30 June are affiliated to the Labour Party. This year's PCS conference agreed that, within the next twelve months, a full membership ballot would be held "to decide whether the union could stand or support candidates in national elections".
If that ballot is passed it will be a major step forward for the trade union movement and would open the possibility of a trade union based electoral alternative on a wider scale.
It is true that the leaders of some of the Labour-affiliated trade unions, particularly Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, have argued for a major campaign to reclaim the Labour Party, rather than founding a new party.
Mistakenly there were hopes that Ed Miliband's leadership would represent a step in this direction. On the contrary, as we warned, Miliband's leadership is a continuation of New Labour.
For the trade unions to reclaim Labour would require a mass influx of trade unionists into the party. We don't think that this can be achieved: the main response of trade unionists to Miliband's condemnation of the strike is not to join the Labour Party to change it but to turn away from the Labour Party in disgust. We argue for Unite to stop funding New Labour and to begin to build a new party.

Serious campaign

Nonetheless, a serious campaign to reclaim New Labour by affiliated trade unions would be a huge step forward on the current policy of the majority of the union leaders of clinging to the coat-tails of the Labour leadership.
Such a campaign would have to demand that Labour adopts a socialist programme. Key demands would include the repeal of all the anti-trade union laws and opposition to all cuts in public services, not just in words but in action.
It would be necessary to demand that Labour councils stop wielding the axe and instead 'take the Liverpool road', that is to follow the example of Liverpool City Council in the 1980s; refusing to implement cuts and mobilising the workforce and population in a mass campaign in their support.
It would also be necessary to demand that the pro-capitalist leaders be expelled from the party. Linked to this would be the rebuilding of democracy within the Labour Party, which is currently non-existent at national level.
The trade unions, the main funders of New Labour, no longer even have the right to move motions at the toothless annual conference. Yet Miliband is threatening to get rid of even the few tiny remnants of workers' democracy that still exist, including the election of the shadow cabinet.
We do not think that a campaign to reclaim New Labour could succeed. However, we are not inflexible; were it to be effective we would turn towards such a development.
Equally, if we are proved correct, the affiliated trade unions would need to draw the conclusion that New Labour could not be reclaimed and join with those workers who are fighting for the formation of a new party.
Such a party, in contrast to the shrinking membership of all the capitalist parties, would grow rapidly.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Malaysia: Free the PSM Prisoners!

Malaysia opposition activists detained and brutally treated, six re-arrested:
Government steps up attacks on democratic and human rights to maintain grip on power

By CWI supporters, Malaysia -
PSM English website -

The BN (National Front) government, dominated by UMNO (United Malay National Organisation), is going all out, including by using repression and intimidation, to strengthen its position in the next general election expected soon - either this year or early next year. It was alarmed by the unprecedented victories in the 2008 general election of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Coalition) which denied them their two-thirds majority after almost four decades in power. In that election, the Pakatan Rakyat capitalised on the momentum created by the rallies organised by BERSIH (Coalition for Fair and Clean Elections), which demanded clean and fair elections, and by HINDRAF (Hindu Rights Action Force) which demanded rights for the Indian minority in November 2007, to weaken BN support. Now, to suppress similar attempts, BN is going all out to stop a repeat of the same process, in order to continuously sustain its more than 50 years in power since independence from British rule in 1957.

BERSIH, which is comprised of NGOs and ’civil society’ groups, is supported by opposition parties. Two weeks ago, with the new tag ’BERSIH 2.0’, it launched the ‘Walk for Democracy’ which is planned to take place on 9th July in Kuala Lumpur. They argued that they took this decision after the failure of the Malaysian Election Commission to reform the electoral process which all this time has been favorable to the ruling parties. It was also in protest against the rampant ’money politics’ and irregularities used by the ruling parties in the Sarawak State Election this April and in the by-elections in other places since the last general election. Therefore, BERSIH put forward the following demands: automatic voter registration; reforms to postal voting; use of indelible ink; access to the mainstream media for opposition parties; a minimum campaign period of 21 days; independence of institutions such as the Election Commission, Police etc; and an end to electoral graft (’money politics’).
Why and how the crackdown?

The government crackdown started when the PSM (Socialist Party of Malaysia) launched its campaign last weekend called ‘Enough BN, Retire Now!’. The police arrested around 30 supporters of PSM with the charge that they are reviving the ‘communism’ of the Malaysian Communist Party (MCP). They confiscated t-shirts carrying the pictures and names of MCP leaders. This is merely a desperate and brutal attempt of the government to victimise the PSM, accusing the detainees of ’waging war against the King’ and trying to discourage people from joining the BERSIH rally. The PSM has also reported that, ‘During visits to the detainees they reported that they were being harassed and mentally tortured. Currently the detainees are being questioned intensively by officers from the Police Headquarters in KL. They are also denied theirs rights by putting them in solitary confinement; denying legal representatives; denying medication; use of inhumane, demoralising and foul language; and denying sufficient drinking water”. Now news has come of six leading members of the PSM who were due to be released today have been re-arrested and detained again under the Emergency Ordinance by which they can be detained for 60 days without trial.

The CWI is strongly opposed to all the attacks on human and democratic rights being unashamedly and inhumanly carried out by the Malaysian government. As socialists, we see the attacks on ’communism’ as an attempt to undermine the ideas of genuine socialism which many are looking to as the alternative to the anarchy of global capitalism that has been continuously undermining the needs and rights of the working class, of youth and others oppressed by the system. We support the public ownership, democratic workers’ control and management of society by the working class, youth and others oppressed in society to meet their fundamental rights and needs.

While we do not support one-party dictatorships and the undemocratic nature of Stalinist or Maoist countries, past and present, (including Cuba, North Korea etc.) with their distorted idea of ‘communism’ or socialism, we defend the progressive planned economy as in Cuba that benefits the ordinary people. We also have a critical approach towards the ideas,

strategies, tactics and the programme of the MCP. (Read the analysis on the MCP:

At the same time as condemning the PSM’s support for communists, hypocritically, the Malaysian government has strong links with the undemocratic, one-party ‘communist’ regime in China, which holds its working class, youth and poor in subjection, simply because Malaysian capitalism is benefiting.

The government is organising the arrest of PSM supporters, linking it to ‘communism’ and the MCP. Trumpeting it in the mainstream press and media controlled by them is fear tactics to merely threaten and discredit the BERSIH rally. The police, under the instruction of the government, has also detained, threatened and intimidated opposition supporters or whoever tries to promote the BERSIH rally. The government has also threatened to use the draconian ISA (Internal Security Act) or Emergency Ordinance, under which the police can detain anybody as well as threaten to mobilise military force to counter the rally. It does not even rule out the use of a court order to close off the planned area of the rally.

Although the Malaysian government has signed up to the United Nations Commission for Human Rights (UNCHR), the current attacks on human rights, including on freedom of association, freedom of expression/speech and freedom to peaceful protest/demonstration shows the inconsistent and hypocrital position of the government of Malaysia. They are willing to use any means to be in power.

The government is indirectly using PERKASA, the far right group which has been propagating the hegemony of Malays and attacking the rights of non-Malays and also a section of the UMNO youth to stage a counter rally to disrupt and undermine the BERSIH rally on 9th July.
Fight policies geared to profit

The Malaysia government has been demonstrating these inhumane and undemocratic characteristics to merely act as a buffer for the capitalist system to maximise the profit of multinational and national capitalists by scape-goating the fundamental rights and needs of the working class and youth in this country. The devastation and inconsistency in global capitalism and its economy, has affected the export dependent economy of Malaysia. The next period will see the government taking more measures in the name of cutting public spending and reducing the economic deficit to further burden the working class and youth socially and economically if the economic uncertainties are prolonged. Although the struggle for democratic gains is essential but it should be linked to the struggle for basic social and economic gains for genuine change in the life of the ordinary people. This cannot be achieved under the pro-capitalist policies that prioritise saving the profits of a few capitalists by any means popssible. The alternative must be public ownership of the main sectors of the economy and the involvement of the working class and young people in the democratic planning of the economy and society - democratic socialism.
We ask all those who can to send protests like the ones carried below, and to support us in our fight for:

1) The immediate release of all the detained PSM and BERSIH supporters and the dropping of all charges against them. Stop all the harassment, arrest and intimidation being used as a method to scare and demobilise the opposition.

2) The just and democratic demands of BERSIH for fair and clean elections to be fulfilled and the peaceful demonstrations planned on 9th July to be allowed to go ahead.

3) The working class and youth of Malaysia to build the necessary unity to oppose the capitalist nature of Malaysia and fight for democratic socialism - for genuine democracy and the fundamental social, economic and political gains as a major step towards building a socialist society in Malaysia as well as internationally.

Model protest letter


Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak,

Prime Minister of Malaysia,


Inspector-General of Police

Tan Sri Ismail Omar,

Fax: +603 2272 5613

Tan Sri Hasmy Agam,

Chair Malaysian Human Rights Commission,

Fax: ++603 2612 5620

....July 2011

Dear Sirs,

We have learned of the disgraceful treatment of 30 activists of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) detained during a peaceful protests in Penang. We see that six have been released and re-arrested under under the Emergency Ordinance. We have seen intimidation against BERSIH supporters as ell.

This we believe is part of the government crackdown on BERSIH supporters and organisers to stop the ‘WALK FOR DEMOCRACY’ rally planned for 9th July. BERSIH (which means CLEAN) was launched to demand reform in the electoral process that is at present favourable to ruling governments. BERSIH, which is comprised of NGOs and other groups, and is supported by oppositions parties, has put forward the following demands:- automatic voter registration; reforms to postal voting; use of indelible ink; access to the mainstream media for opposition parties; a minimum election campaign period of 21 days; independence of institutions such as Election Commission, police etc. and an end to electoral graft (money politics).

We strongly condemn your government for using harassment, arrest and intimidation as a method to try and silence opposition to anti-democratic, anti-poor and anti-working class policies of your government.

We demand:-

1)All the PSM supporters as well as the BERSIH supporters are immediately released and all charges against them dropped.

2)The just and democratic demands of BERSIH should be granted.

3)Allow the peaceful demonstrations planned on 9th July

4)Stopped all the harassment, arrest and intimidation as a method to threaten and intimidate political opposition

Please keep us informed of the situation with regard to these demands and the situation with the detainees. If they are not released forthwith, we will take the matter further and publicise it internationally.


Copies to Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Geneva

Mr. Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on promotion and protection of right to freedom of opinion and expression


Ms. Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights defenders


Christine Chung, Human Rights Officer, OHCHR Asia Pacific Section, Asia Pacific and Middle East Branch,


Parti Sosialis Malaysia