International

The arguments for drug de-criminalisation

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THE LEGALISATION OF CANNABIS is now being debated openly by sections of the European ruling class. In localised areas like Amsterdam they have been conducting a 20 year experiment into the effects of legalisation. In Switzerland they are experimenting with the de-criminalisation of small quantities of heroin. According to the British Guardian one well-known brewery, Carlsberg-Tetley, has been investigating the hash cafes of Amsterdam with a view to running similar establishments in Britain. In Italy a referendum in March of 1993 ended the obligatory penal sentence for cannabis possession and in Germany earlier this year the Supreme Court suggested personal possession of drugs should not be prosecuted.

Evolution or Revolution?

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THE IDEA OF evolution has always been important to socialists. Except for a handful of utopians most have thought of socialism in terms of human progress and improvment. This idea was given a scientific basis in the nineteenth century by socialists who saw society as evolving through stages towards socialism (not that it would stop here socialism would just be the end of pre-history real history could then begin.) Most socialists believed that the struggle towards socialism was a striving of people to develop and move forward.

Review of The Poll Tax Rebellion by Danny Burns.

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IN THE LAST issue of Workers Solidarity we discussed the proposed introduction of service charges in Dublin. We pointed out how they were a grossly unfair form of double taxation on ordinary PAYE workers. How can they be resisted? A refusal to pay campaign in Waterford, Dublin and Limerick beat the water rates in the 1980s we believe a don't pay, don't collect campaign can do so again. Conor Mc Loughlin examines a new book on how the Poll Tax was beaten in the UK.

The Poll Tax Rebellion by Danny Burns.
AK Press.
£4.95 (available from WSM Book Service)

Bosnia, Rwanda and UN intervention

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The WSM has always said socialists should not support any intervention by the UN anywhere. What is currently happening in Bosnia and Rwanda demonstrates the reasons why we should not call on the UN to intervene.

In Europe most people have favoured intervention from an early period in ex-Yugoslavia. Initially this would have been in the support of Croatia, now it would be for Bosnia. Yet despite the popular acclaim such intervention would receive (in its early days), it has not happened. Why? Because our rulers have decided it is not in their interests to do so.

Edouard Balladur retreats in face of mass protests in France

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PRIME MINISTER Edouard Balladur and his government have been in retreat over the last six months as the people of France take to the streets to demonstrate their anger at new policies. The government has backed down on Air France (see last issue of WS), on extra funds for church schools and with the fishermen. The turn of the students of France came when the government proposed to cut the miniumm wage by 20% for people under 26.

Thats' Capitalism from WS42

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In spite of the Employment Equality Act and the Anti- Discrimination (Pay) Act many employers still get away with treating women workers worse than male employees. More than fifteen years after the introduction of equal pay laws in the 26 counties, women workers earn only 62% of men's average earnings. On an hourly basis they are paid, on average, #2 less.

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60% of the tax relief in the 26 counties on mortgage interest and VHI premiums goes to the top 20% of earners. Only 5% goes to the bottom half.

Thats Capitalism from WS42

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In 1977 part-time women workers in Britain earned 83% of the full-time hourly rate for women. By 1992 they earned only 73% of the hourly rate.

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In the Indonesian archipelago only 7% of land has a clear owner. Most is communally owned and administered by villages and families. That's no good for capitalism says the World Bank. they are working with the Indonesian Government to change things by compiling a register of land owners. In the next 25 years they hope to register 54 million parcels of land.

Parents, Poverty & Family values in 1994 Year of the Family

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1994 HAS BEEN declared the UN Year of the Family. The Irish Committee for the International Year includes state bodies like the Combat Poverty Agency & the Council for the Status of Women and the Catholic ones like the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Family Solidarity were also members but walked out in protest at token places being given to two groups working with single parents. This committee has received £400,000 from Leinster House.

Account of January 1994 General strike in Spain

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SPAIN WAS closed down by a general strike in January. Very little mention of it appeared in the Irish media. An Irish worker in Barcelona, and activist in the anarchist National Confederation of Labour (CNT-AIT) union, sent us this report.

Censor censored - MacKinnon law stops friend's Andrea Dworkin book

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A CENSORSHIP LAW praised by feminists has been used to ban books by a leading anti-porn feminist. In February of 1992 the Supreme Court of Canada accepted the legal definition of pornography popularised by the US law professor and feminist anti-porn theorist Catherine MacKinnon. This outlaws material deemed degrading to women.

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