WDIE Masthead

Year 2001 No. 132, July 30, 2001 ARCHIVE HOME SEARCH SUBSCRIBE

Demonstration at Italian Embassy against State Brutality in Genoa

Workers' Daily Internet Edition : Article Index :

Demonstration at Italian Embassy against State Brutality in Genoa

North East Regional Forum on the Mass Party Press Condemns State Violence and Terror

Tyneside Shipyard Closes: What is Alternative Vision for the Future of the River?

Strike by KLM Technicians

Anniversary of Victory in Korean War Marked in DPRK

Meeting of London Political Forum to Condemn State Violence and Terror

Daily On Line Newspaper of the
Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

170, Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2LA. Phone 020 7627 0599
Web Site: http://www.rcpbml.org.uk
e-mail: office@rcpbml.org.uk
Subscription Rates (Cheques made payable to Workers' Publication Centre):
Workers' Weekly Printed Edition:
70p per issue, £2.70 for 4 issues, £17 for 26 issues, £32 for 52 issues (including postage)

Workers' Daily Internet Edition sent by e-mail daily (Text e-mail):
1 issue free, 6 months £5, Yearly £10


Demonstration at Italian Embassy against State Brutality in Genoa

The demonstration, on Saturday afternoon, contained a diverse grouping of people from various activist groups and traditional "left" parties and concerned individuals, numbering around 250-300. Police had obviously been briefed to wear kid gloves and were observing "public policing". The demonstration had gathered support from an earlier demonstration against US President Bush and his rejection of the Kyoto treaty, his dreadful stance on climate change and the "Son of Star Wars" project. The protest was also given a massive boost from the samba players that had gathered.

The embassy, in London’s Grosvenor Square, was lined on the side by stadium fencing to block off direct entry to the building. The police stood in between these fences and the embassy to facilitate the traffic and to form a middle line of police barricade.

As temperatures reached the 30s the samba band and the protest march came around the corner from the American embassy and towards the Italian embassy. On the way there was some negotiation as to whether the police were planning to pen in the protest. The way that the march was directed led through fences on one side and a hedge fence on the other in which the police could have closed off into a natural pen and carried out a "section 60" search and harassment. After some assurance, for what that was worth, from the police that a section 60 would not happen, the march continued into the middle of the fencing and started to play energetically opposite to the embassy. As the tempo of the drumming increased so too did the cries of "assassini" "assassini". There was much chanting in the name of the dead martyr of the G8 Carlo Giuliani. Posters, placards and banners displayed slogans of "Murdered for wanting a better world", "Stop killing our children" and "Another world is possible". A graphic photo exhibition showed the horrific injuries and acts of police brutality suffered by the protesters in Genoa, displayed under a banner reading "Tell The Truth". All at the protest were of the same mind – "Shame on the Italian government"!

A wreath of flowers was placed at the door of the embassy and many demonstrating wore a black band around their arms in respect.

Speakers from the protests at Genoa, including people who had been assaulted and arrested and who had members of their delegation injured, spoke with anger at the attack, and with determination that those responsible must be held to account. They affirmed that the people's response must and will be to build the movement against globalisation bigger and stronger.

One delegate said what really struck her in Genoa was the number of local people, working people, who were there. Women waving knickers on the demonstration and from the windows because they had been instructed not to hang washing out during the summit as it was unsightly. People came to the protests from every field of life, from so many different organisations. We were not the outsiders, she said, Bush and Blair were.

Another speaker pointed out that the protest is outside the Italian Embassy, but there is another state, the British government, that is complicit in what happened. The British Consulate said that the Italian authorities would not allow them through, but within a very short time the Spanish Consulate was walking through the detained people looking for their nationals. By Monday every other detained European national (except the British) had had a consular visit. He said he also wanted to make it clear that of the 300,000 who marched on Saturday only about 30-40,000 were from abroad, the vast majority of people were Italian. Wherever these G8 leaders go there will be protests. He called on people to organise local meetings, and to make this the biggest and most effective movement the planet has ever seen.

There was an atmosphere of intensive discussion, following on in the pubs after, about people's experiences, the significance of these events, and how to build the movement.

Later in the afternoon after the police had started to remove the fences and many protesters had taken a short siesta in the park, the samba band took up drumming again. The band and protesters had gathered at the far side of the park to prepare to take a march of solidarity down the high street. About 70 policemen and a couple of those on horseback dashed to block the march and penned them in against the bushes with their bodies, like a human fence. There was a brief confrontation then those penned in filtered in to the park through a small entrance.

The samba band and about 50 protesters filtered down to Oxford Street drumming their way though excited crowds handing out over 2,000 leaflets about G8 brutality on the way. The march had a couple of run-ins with the police on the way and were shoved about but not injured. They played their way to the Gap flagship store and proceeded to drum and sing and protest outside. At this point the police came in much stronger and managed to disperse and fragment the band and the march. Passers by however still lent down to pick up leaflets reading the messages that resistance will not die.

Article Index



North East Regional Forum on the Mass Party Press Condemns State Violence and Terror

A recent meeting of the North East Regional Forum on the Mass Party Press passed the following resolution:

The meeting resolved to condemn the murder of Carlo Giuliani as well as all the fascist state violence and terror launched against those protesting against the neo-liberal globalisation agenda of the G8 leaders in Genoa. We condemn Tony Blair and the British government for its aggressive political and military participation in the neo-liberal globalisation agenda. We fully support the actions of the people both in opposing the criminalisation of political protest in Britain and other countries and are fully in support of the movement of the people against imperialist globalisation which represents the greatest threat yet to democracy, to human society and the national and social rights of the peoples.

Article Index



Tyneside Shipyard Closes: What is Alternative Vision for the Future of the River?

The Tyneside Shipyard Cammell Laird at Hebburn, the last shipyard south of the Tyne, is to be closed and mothballed on Tuesday throwing the remaining 150 workers onto the dole.

The shipyard, which employed 800 workers three months ago, has been in receivership since the collapse of Cammell Laird whose headquarters was on Merseyside.

Over the last three months, and especially during the election, the hope of the workers has been kept up by the receivers and by government statements that a new buyer would be found and the workers jobs saved.

During the election Dave Milliband, an advisor to the government, who was subsequently elected the South Shields MP, answered the question of the electors as to what type of buy out the government should accept, the question being made under the illusion that some type of buy out of the yard was almost certain. The question was which of the choices and whether it should be a management buy-out, a take-over by a rival ship-builder or venture capitalists to take control of the yard. He replied that he wanted to see a "thriving working river" and he said, "Cammell Laird and its employees have shown that they can win orders and deliver high quality work, so whoever takes over needs to be committed to the shipbuilding and shiprepair industry." He concluded by saying that locally "we need to support the new owners as part of a vision for the future of the river".

However, it seems that this "vision for the future of the river" of a Labour government does not include keeping such vital shipbuilding industries such as Cammell Laird open. More importantly, it does not provide any alternative vision to the consequences that maximum capitalist profit is the motive force for production and the government's acceptance that it has no responsibility to ensure a livelihood for every member of society.

The alternative vision for the future was put forward in South Shields during the General election by Roger Nettleship, the independent health worker candidate. In answering the same question he said that the choices given raise the question as to why such a vital industry as ship repair and ship building is being auctioned off in this way. So, he asked, what choices do these workers have and will they be able to choose? "The issue for the shipyard workers is that the big parties give no consideration to the consequences of such vital industries running into difficulties. The government of the day may express its concern, make a phone call, but the devastation continues and it underlines that these parties do not represent the interests of society or of the workers who remain marginalised. For our movement, the workers movement, the most important question is ending this marginalisation and taking up politics on our own account. Let the shipyard workers choose to guarantee a secure future for such a vital industry."

Therefore, the alternative vision for the future of the river is to fight, discuss, organise, and make preparations within the perspective of opening the path to escaping the crisis, to setting a different agenda for society. Just over the last two decades heroic battles have been going on against the decimation of the steel, shipyards, the mining and car industries just to name four examples. Inward investment, which was hailed as the saviour of the north east and the country's economy has been shown in the previous take over at British Shipbuilders to be accompanied by workers surrendering their rights whilst on the other hand tens of thousands of jobs have gone and job security for those left has become even more precarious. The new electronic and high tech industries that have also come from such inward investment and have been hailed as saviours have shown that they can never form the basis of a stable economy. They have caused the same loss of rights and show that these globalised companies have no interests in the national economy and are about making the maximum capitalist profits in the global market and will shift in an instant to where this can be achieved regardless of the human cost and misery they cause.

All this underlines the necessity for workers to explore the alternative vision for the future, to reject the logic of the status quo, and to build the workers’ opposition based on this alternative.

Article Index



Strike by KLM Technicians

A strike by up to 200 technicians has disrupted KLM Royal Dutch Airlines' (KLM.AS) flight schedule at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on Saturday, July 28, the airline said.

The strike has delayed all intercontinental wide-bodied flights on the busiest weekend of the year for the airport, stranding 4,500 passengers, KLM said, and 13 flights have so far been affected. "The vessels are not allowed to depart until the technicians sign off on the safety documents," said KLM spokesman Bart Koster.

The workers, who belong to an unofficial association of aircraft technicians called NVLT, have demanded more than a 40 percent increase in salaries.

All seven official unions representing KLM employees have made statements condemning the action saying that this weekend was not the right time for the protest and alleging that the demands of the NVTL were outrageous.

"They may have some legitimate concern about their salaries...but they should not be doing this this weekend," said Wouter de Jong, spokesman for CNV union, which represents many of the groundworkers at the airport. "We expect passengers to take out their anger on our members," Wouter de Jong added.

"They will not be pleased," said one official of the unions who are meeting with the management. "They just want a lot of money and we are not going to give it to them. There are 14,000 employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement and they are only 200," she added.

Article Index



Anniversary of Victory in Korean War Marked in DPRK

Functions were held in Pyongyang to mark the 48th anniversary of signing of the armistice agreement, which the Korean people proudly claim as their victory in the great fatherland liberation war. A performance Song of Eternal Victory was given at the Central Workers' Hall with war veterans and honoured disabled soldiers participating in it. The songs performed reflected the Korean people's revolutionary spirit and unshakeable will to build a powerful nation under the leadership of Kim Jong Il.

Meanwhile, youth and students held a concert July 27, Day of Victory at the Central Youth Hall.

Rodong Sinmun, newspaper of the Workers’ Party of Korea, carried an editorial entitled "Let Us Glorify the History of the Great Victory in the War Forever" on July 27, the occasion of the 48th anniversary of the victory in the war.

Article Index



Meeting of London Political Forum to Condemn State Violence and Terror

A special meeting of the London Political Forum is to be held on Wednesday, August 1, at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London, beginning at 7.30 pm.

The special meeting of the London Political Forum is being convened by London Region RCPB(ML) to condemn the state violence and terror against the protesters against imperialist globalisation, in Genoa, in Britain and world-wide. The LPF will invite all those concerned to end this violence, stop the criminalisation of political protest and discuss the way forward for the movement against imperialist globalisation to come to the meeting and give their views.

All comers are welcome to attend and contribute to the discussion.

Article Index



RCPB(ML) Home Page

Workers' Daily Internet Edition Index Page