Saturday, June 30, 2018

Peace in Korea now!

by New Worker correspondent
outside the new American embassy in London

The new American embassy in Nine Elms is a giant glass cube with disguised fortifications in a quiet part of town. But last weekend NCP leader Andy Brooks and other comrades stood outside the moated compound to loudly call on Donald Trump to honour the pledges made in Singapore and work for peace and tranquillity on the Korean peninsula.
 The picket was called by the Korean Friendship Association (KFA) to mark the 68th anniversary of the Korean War that began when US imperialism and its south Korean lackeys attempted to invade Democratic Korea on 25th June 1950.
            Millions died in the war that ended with an armistice in 1953. But Korea remains partitioned with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) ringed by the nuclear arsenals of US imperialism and facing tens of thousands of American troops based in the south of the divided peninsula.
Every year the anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War is marked by the start of the month of solidarity with the Korean people. In Britain, and throughout the rest of the world, Korean solidarity campaigners meet to demand an end to the American occupation of south Korea and the peaceful reunification of the country that has been divided since the end of the Korean War.
This year the protesters focused on the recent summit between Chairman Kim Jong Un of the DPRK and US President Donald Trump and called on the American leader to honour his fine words in Singapore and continue along the road to peace in Korea.
KFA Chair Dermot Hudson took the mike to say that the Korean War was provoked by south Korea under the instigation of the Americans. Millions of people died in the war and the US used germ and chemical warfare as well as committing many massacres of innocent civilians.
Dermot said that despite the positive outcome of the DPRK-US summit, no permanent peace treaty has been concluded and US troops remain in south Korea. There is a need for US troops to be withdrawn from south Korea and a permanent peace treaty which would finally end the Korean War should be signed.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Khan calls for ban on petrol and diesel cars


 The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has joined city leaders from England and Wales to call on the government to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2030.
The cross-party leaders, representing around 20 million people from towns and cities in England and Wales, urged the government to bring forward current plans to phase out the vehicles from 2040 to 2030 to tackle the growing air quality health crisis.
Currently poor air quality is estimated to contribute to more than 40,000 premature deaths across the country each year, with emissions from cars and vans estimated to cost £6 billion annually to the NHS and society.
But research has shown that the phasing out of petrol and diesel vehicles would lead to a 30 per cent reduction in pollution in 2030, improving health, and potentially boosting the country’s economy by billions by making Britain a global leader in low-emission technology.
The call for action was discussed this week at a national air quality summit in the capital organised by the Mayor of London, the UK100 local government network and the Institute for Public Policy Research.
The city leaders pledged to working together to reduce emissions and tackle pollution for the good of the country. In addition to taking strong action in their own areas, this will include calling for the earlier phasing out of diesel and petrol vehicles, an enhanced Clean Air Fund from government and manufacturers that will support Clean Air Zones, a targeted national vehicle renewal scheme to replace older polluting vehicles, and a Clean Air Act that sets strict air quality limits.
 Sadiq Khan said: “Air pollution is not an isolated problem, it’s a national health crisis. Our country’s filthy air is shortening lives, damaging lungs, and severely impacting on the NHS. That’s why we’re bringing together city leaders from across England and Wales to put this at the top of the agenda. We have to take bold action, but while we’re all doing what we can, we need government support to do even more. Banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, providing support to deliver Clean Air Zones in cities and introducing a national vehicle renewal scheme will dramatically improve our air quality and our health. Michael Gove has made a good start as Environment Secretary but we need the government to match our ambition and help us urgently drive forward these improvements. We simply cannot afford to delay.”
The leaders – including Mayors and city leaders from Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Oxford, Sheffield, Southampton and the West Midlands –  say that they want to play their part in an ambitious national plan for clean air that prioritises action to reduce road transport emissions, provides new powers to tackle other sources of pollution and creates a framework to support partnerships between local, regional and national Government and its agencies, including Highways England and businesses.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Defending Palestinian rights in London!


By New Worker correspondent

Every year for the last 30 years people have marched on Al-Quds Day around the world in support of Palestine. And on Sunday London comrades joined thousands of other supporters of the Palestinian cause in a march in support of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian Arabs. They easily outnumbered the handful of Zionists and fascists who attempted to disrupt the march that began outside the Saudi Arabian embassy and then proceeded through central London marching toward No 10 Downing St, the office and home of the prime minister.

Racist Rage in Whitehall

by New Worker correspondent

 Police arrested five fascists in central London on Saturday after violence broke out during a protest against the jailing of former  English Defence League (EDL ) leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon who calls himself 'Tommy Robinson’ in public. Robinson was jailed last month after he used social media to broadcast details of a trial that was subject to blanket reporting restrictions. Reporting restrictions are imposed on all court proceedings in Britain and are intended to avoid media reports that could influence the jury.
Thousands of racists and neo-nazis turned up for the rally and march that soon turned to violence when Chelsea and Millwall football gangs tried to attack Stand Up To Racism and Unite Against Fascism supporters mobilised to counter the fascist demonstration. They charged at officers in Whitehall before staging running battles with the police.
Bottles, sticks and cones were hurled at police officers and vehicles were attacked. At one point the police were outnumbered and forced to flee the scene in a hail of flying projectiles, pursued by the racist mob. Another bunch of fascists tried to force their way into Downing Street but were held at bay by the police.
At least two journalists were attacked by Robinson supporters. One was viciously kicked to the ground by a group of fascists. Police made a number of arrests including one person for possession of an offensive weapon and two for assault on a police officer.  The Metropolitan Police are now looking at CCTV footage of the Robinson demo.
One of those who spoke at the demonstration calling for the release of ‘Robinson’ was Dutch far-right leader, the Islamophobic Geert Wilders. Another was Filip Dewinter, a leading member of the Vlaams Belang party in Belgium. He is seen by many as an apologist for Belgium’s nazi collaborators during the Second World War.
Dewinter screamed “we are all Tommy Robinson” and claimed that the former EDL leader’s arrest was an attack on “everyone who is fighting mass immigration and Islamisation”. He claimed that the elite in Europe is already “submitting to Islam and imposing sharia law”.
They were joined by a number of notable far-right activists including the Holocaust denier Nicholas Kollerstrom and Luke Nash-Jones from Make Britain Great Again. 
The fascist degenerates blocked off a major road near Trafalgar Square in central London, chanting "Free Tommy Robinson" and hurling smoke bombs at police. They also for a time manage to hijack an open-topped tourist sight-seeing bus, holding up Union Jacks and placards
"During the protest there were scenes of violence which saw bottles, metal barriers and other objects thrown at officers," police said. "Five officers have reported injuries, which are not serious."
Two arrests were for assaulting a police officer, one for possessing an offensive weapon, one for possession of a flare and the other for criminal damage to a bus.
Robinson was already subject to a suspended sentence for a contempt charge related to a separate case when he was arrested last month, and had been warned by a judge he would face prison if he committed further offences.
Appearing in court under his real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, he pleaded guilty and was given 10 months in jail for contempt of court, and another three months for breaching his previous sentence.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Unions march for higher wage


 TENS OF thousands of trade union activists, peace and social justice campaigners marched through London last Saturday from the Embankment to a massive rally in Hyde Park to demand better pay and conditions for workers throughout the country in what has been described as the biggest London march for many years. It was organised by the TUC.
The workers were demanding a minimum wage rise to £10 an hour, a ban on zero-hours contracts and higher funding for the NHS, education and other public services.
Workers involved in current disputes including those at restaurant chains TGI Fridays and McDonald’s joined the march, along with railway workers striking to keep guards on trains, nurses, ambulance crews, postmen, teachers, civil servants and cleaners.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said before the march started that workers have had enough of low pay, poor quality jobs and constant cuts to public services.
She added: “There is a new mood in the country. People have been very patient but they are now demanding a new deal.”
Just before the march, the TUC published a new report it had commissioned that showed that workers are suffering the longest squeeze on wages in modern history.
It found workers were suffering the biggest relative real wage loss since the Napoleonic Wars. Even after the Great Depression and the Second World War, real wages recovered more quickly – in 10 years and seven years respectively.
A decade on from the financial crisis, real wages are worth £24 a week less than in 2008 and are not forecast to return to pre-crash levels until 2025, said the union organisation.
The TUC said the current stretch of wage stagnation was the worst for 200 years. By 2025 the average worker will have lost out by around £18,500 in real earnings, it was estimated.
Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, said it was the most important demonstration for 50 years. He said: “This is the start of a serious challenge for a new deal for all workers.
“The world of work has become a pressurised environment, based on a flexible labour market and bogus self-employment.”
Marchers arrived in Hyde Park just as it started to rain but that dampened no spirits. They gave a rapturous welcome to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who addressed the growing crowd.
He pledged that a Labour government will give workers “more power” to fight for higher pay. “Our whole movement exists to challenge the powerful and stand up for the powerless,” he said.
“We want to see workers across whole sectors, not just individual employers, get to bargain together to get the best deal for the workforce in their industry.
“Why should bar staff and waiters not be able to organise and support each other like London bus drivers can? It's time for a fundamental shift in power in our country – from the few to the many.”
Corbyn won huge applause from the crowds when he pledged the next Labour government would launch a ministry to guarantee workers' rights.
He promised to "take rail mail and water back into public ownership" and warned tax dodgers that a "Labour government is coming after you. We will tax properly".
He added: "This demonstration today is about workers’ rights, it is about collective endeavour but above all, it's a declaration that we're around to campaign as long as it takes, to bring about that social justice and that decency in society."