Archive for December, 2008

Israel and Gaza: The international trade union response

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

[This article also appears on the Z-Word Blog.]
Maybe because it’s Christmas week, or maybe because the issues are complicated, but there has been a distinctly muted trade union response to the fighting in Gaza.
The International Trade Union Confederation, representing 168 million workers in 311 national affiliates, takes an even-handed approach in its statement, calling for a cease-fire – but blaming Hamas for triggering the current wave of violence and reiterating its support for a two-state solution.

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The Left, Israel and the “Holocaust” in Gaza

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

[This article also appears on Harry’s Place.]
Israel’s offensive against Hamas in Gaza has triggered the expected response on the international Left. In a 1,500 strong protest yesterday at the Israeli embassy in London, protestors carried signs referring to the “Holocaust” in Gaza. Emails racing around the net talk of “genocide”. The mainstream media speak of an Israeli “blitz”. Some editorial writer somewhere has surely already used the expression “final solution” to describe what Israel is trying to do.

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Alternatives to Facebook

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Unions are increasingly turning to tools like Facebook. But there is also a growing awareness of the problems with such social networks. Groups and causes one sets up on Facebook do not belong to you. Facebook can, and does, close them down at will. Some union organisers, like Canada’s Derek Blackadder, have found that being too energetic in building one’s own personal network can get you thrown off Facebook as well.
Still, the idea of a social networking website where one can link up with friends and build groups with little effort is appealing. That’s why finding alternatives to Facebook is so important.

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