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Year 2010 No. 38, July 28, 2010 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

Campaign Under Way to Oppose London South Bank University Cuts

Workers' Daily Internet Edition: Article Index :

Campaign Under Way to Oppose London South Bank University Cuts

Democratic People's Republic of Korea:
Oppose US Provocations against the Korean People!
Countering US-south Korean War Exercises
Pyongyang Meeting Marks 57th Anniversary of Victory in War

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Campaign Under Way to Oppose London South Bank University Cuts

Staff and students at London South Bank University (LSBU) are leading protests against plans to close a specialist adult education unit at the university.

The vice-chancellor at the university, Martin Earwicker, has announced over a hundred redundancies, which includes the closure of the London Language and Literacy Unit (LLU+). The rationale given is that it is no longer part of their “core business” as set out in their “corporate plan”. In addition to the announced redundancies, the university is planning to get rid of over 100 staff with fixed-term contracts due to end before 31 December subject to review, bringing the dismissals to around 220 or about 10% of the current workforce. This, it argues, is to protect the university from facing financial difficulties in two years’ time. However, at the moment the finance department reports that the university's finances are sound and that compulsory redundancies are unnecessary.

LLU+ employs 41 people and offers courses for teachers of literacy, numeracy, English for speakers of other languages and those working with people with dyslexia. It has advised government departments and it runs family learning programmes. One project, financed by the Big Lottery Fund, helps parents who are in prison maintain links with their families by encouraging them to take part in educational activities with their children during prison visits.

In June, LSBU issued a document titled “Proposal for Change” that says that LLU+ is struggling to meet financial targets, with a net loss of £98,000 in 2008-09. It adds that much work "could be seen as falling outside the core business of the university". It proposes "a phased closure" of LLU+ and redundancy or redeployment for staff. But LLU+ claims that it appeared to make a loss in 2008-09 only when the amount it was charged by the university for its facilities was increased by 56 per cent. "Advance warning would have costed this increase into our tenders for work," it says in a response. "The majority of LLU+ income is derived from projects and consultancy contracts and ... this year our forecast income ... is £1.34 million."

Mike Wilkinson, LSBU pro vice-chancellor, said the university was undertaking a "comprehensive evaluation of all its business activities".

The LLU+ was established in 1975 as the London Language and Literacy Unit. Director of LLU+, Noyona Chanda, said: “LLU+ is unique and offers the chance to teach to people from all walks of life that have just discovered their passion for education. Our students include qualified teachers, people looking for a new career in teaching, teaching assistants, mental health care assistants, prisoners and unemployed people from some of the poorest parts of the country.” David Kaye, a teacher trainer at the unit, said: “We have a unique training unit: it's one way in which people who have missed out on education have a chance to re-engage with it."

The closure of the LLU+ was announced on June 18, and on June 21 a planning meeting was held to organise resistance and to fight to keep the unit open and retain the jobs. The UCU (University and College Union) also organised an impromptu rally and march outside the main university building as part of the day of action to save education.

The announcement has been timed so as to attempt to fast track the process to get rid of people before the new academic year. In so doing, the university is clearly breaching the legal requirements in handling the redundancy process, for example, having people re-apply for their post within the 90 days’ consultation period the purpose of which is to come up with ways of mitigating the need for redundancies.

Last year, teaching staff at Tower Hamlets FE College won a victory in their strike struggle against compulsory redundancies, as well as saving over 300 Esol (English for speakers of other languages) places and stopped cuts to other educational programmes. This shows that it can be done, while the consciousness is that the struggle to defend education against the anti-social offensive, especially in the present conditions of escalating attacks on social programmes, is a campaign which must be built with the perspective that the whole direction the ruling elite is taking education must be halted and changed. This reactionary direction, which the Con-Dem Coalition has taken over from New Labour, is one dictated by the requirements of big business and enforced against the people’s will.

The spirit at the LSBU is that the staff and students are determined to fight. A campaign has been started up, which has contacted many people who have written to the university to oppose the savage cuts. A lobby of the board of governors took place on July 15, and the union is preparing to ballot for industrial action. Over 1,000 people have signed a petition against the planned closure (sign the online petition to support LLU+ at:
www.gopetition.com/online/37305.html).

Article Index



Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Oppose US Provocations against the Korean People!

The US is hell bent on creating pretexts to perpetuate instability and instigate war in Asia. Instead of sorting out the crisis it created with the fabrication of the lie that the DPRK sank the Cheonan, the US is creating an ever greater crisis by holding massive joint military exercises with south Korea in an attempt to isolate the DPRK. Furthermore, these war preparations are on China's doorstep and also involve Japan. The principled stand of the DPRK in defence of its sovereignty and independence and its determination to continue defending the dignity and honour of the Korean nation and China's protests against the US provocation have forced the US to back peddle somewhat while continuing its provocative path.

The US must be forced to sign a permanent peace treaty with the DPRK, remove all its troops and nuclear and other weapons from the Korean peninsula and surrounding seas, and accept the verdict of history that it will not win. Instead, the US is going the opposite way and pushing adventurism to more dangerous and alarming heights. All justice and peace-loving people must resolutely condemn this latest provocation against the DPRK, demand the lifting of all sanctions against the DPRK, demand that the US immediately sign a peace treaty proposed by the DPRK and immediately cease all US-south Korean military exercises on Korean territory.


Countering US-south Korean War Exercises

The US imperialists and the south Korean puppet forces finally went into reckless actions against the DPRK after having frantically pushed ahead with the moves to stifle the DPRK under the pretext of the Cheonan case.

A spokesman for the DPRK National Defence Commission issued a statement on July 24 clarifying the principled stand of the army and people of the DPRK in this regard.

It said: The US imperialists and the south Korean puppet forces are planning to stage joint naval exercises in the East Sea of Korea from July 25 to 28, the "Ulji Freedom Guardian" joint exercises and joint anti-submarine exercises in the West Sea of Korea from August 16 to 26 and different ceaseless joint naval exercises from late in August to early in September and other drills. All these war manoeuvres are nothing but outright provocations aimed to stifle the DPRK by force of arms to all intents and purposes.

If the publication of the results of investigation into the Cheonan case which was faked up by the US imperialists at instigation of their puppet forces was the first reckless military provocation to the DPRK, the joint naval manoeuvres they are to stage even with nuclear strike means involved under the pretext of the above-said case amount to an unpardonable second military provocation to the DPRK, the statement noted, and continued:

The chief architect of the warship case seems to send a "message as deterrence" to somebody while staging offensive exercises under the pretext of the forged case after falsifying its truth. This is as reckless an act as waking up a sleeping tiger.

The DPRK National Defence Commission re-clarifies the following principled stand as regards this abnormal situation where the US and the south Korean puppet forces are threatening this land with a nuclear war under the pretext of the Cheonan case:

The army and people of the DPRK will legitimately counter with their powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises to be staged by the US and the south Korean puppet forces.

The more desperately the US imperialists brandish their nukes and the more zealously their lackeys follow them, the more rapidly the DPRK's nuclear deterrence will be bolstered up along the orbit of self-defence and the more remote the prospect for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula will be become.

The army and people of the DPRK will start a retaliatory sacred war of their own style based on nuclear deterrent any time necessary in order to counter the US imperialists and the south Korean puppet forces deliberately pushing the situation to the brink of a war.

Now that the US imperialists are persisting in their direct military provocations in gross violation of the spirit of the September 19 joint statement in which they promised not to attack or invade the DPRK with either nuclear or conventional weapons, it is a natural option of the army and people of the DPRK to take corresponding all-out retaliatory measures.

The army and people of the DPRK will take all steps to the last to thoroughly probe the truth behind the case under the situation where the US imperialists and the south Korean puppet forces persistently and deliberately link the DPRK with the Cheonan case.

It is a legitimate and sovereign right to protect the honour and dignity of the DPRK for them to probe the truth about the despicable "fabrication" and "charade".

The US imperialists and the south Korean puppet forces will keenly realise what high price they will have to pay for their reckless military provocation rendering the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the worst phase under the pretext of the Cheonan case.

(Korean Central News Agency)


Pyongyang Meeting Marks 57th Anniversary of Victory in War

A national meeting was held at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium July 26 to mark the 57th anniversary of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's victory in the Korean War, also known as the great Fatherland Liberation War.

In attendance at the meeting were senior officials of the Workers' Party of Korea, state officials, representatives of public institutions, war veterans and other distinguished service people of the Korean People's Army (KPA), officials from the fields of culture, education, arts, public health and media, the chief of the Pyongyang mission of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front, and many others.

During the hard fought three-year war, the Korean people and their army defended the country and its sovereignty from the US-led imperialist forces who had instigated the war under the cover of the UN. The Korean people shattered the myth of "mightiness" of the US imperialists, who still today boast of being the "strongest" in the world, and handed them their first defeat of the modern era.

KPA Vice Marshal Kim Yong Chun, vice-chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission and minister of the People's Armed Forces, delivered a report at the meeting which pointed out that this was an outstanding victory in the history of modern war. The success was attributed to the military ideas and strategy based on the Juche idea (self-reliance), the audacity and outstanding leadership of President Kim Il Sung.

This victory defended the DPRK and the gains of the revolution, frustrating the moves of the US imperialists for a new world war and protecting the security and peace of mankind, the report noted.

The report also pointed out how the legendary feats of President Kim Il Sung and his victorious tradition and outlook have been steadfastly carried forward to imbue generation after generation under the outstanding revolutionary leadership of Kim Jong Il.

The report noted now Kim Jong Il made a scientific analysis of the international environment and the rapidly changing situation of the Korean revolution at a time when a dire situation was facing the DPRK and the Korean nation. On this basis, he enforced Songun politics in all fields on a new higher level, which calls for giving priority to military affairs and regarding revolutionary armed forces as main forces in the socialist nation-building project, thereby providing a firm political and military guarantee for final victory in the confrontation with the US. The report expressed utmost confidence in the leadership of the DPRK, saying that the unity of the people and their leadership make them invincible.

The US should realise that its war of aggression like the Korean War it started on June 25, 1950, is bound to end in the victory of Songun Korea just as it ended in the victory of the Korean people on July 27, 1953, said the report.

The DPRK will further bolster its nuclear deterrence in a new advanced manner to cope with the increasing nuclear threat of the US. This is a legitimate sovereign right of the DPRK and a mode of merciless counteraction of its revolutionary armed forces as they have always emerged victorious in the fight against the enemies, the report stated.

Should the US imperialists and the Lee Myung Bak group of traitors finally ignite a new war of aggression in Korea despite the repeated warnings of the DPRK, it will mobilise the tremendous military potential including its nuclear deterrence for self-defence and thus wipe out the aggressors and their strongholds, the report said. By doing so it will clearly show what a real war will look like and completely eradicate the root cause of war, the report affirmed.

(Korean Central News Agency)

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