Against the terrorists, fight to rebuild hope

Submitted by AWL on 23 May, 2017 - 5:25 Author: Colin Foster

Only a rebirth of social hope can cut the roots of the vindictiveness-obsessed, death-obsessed political-Islamist movements.

The bombing at the Manchester Arena, which as we go to press has killed 22 and injured 59, has been claimed by Daesh as its own. Experts say that may be inaccurate and macabre boasting; but almost certainly the killer was an Islamist clerical-fascist of some sort.

We join many others in extending our solidarity to the families and friends of those killed and injured.

The SNP and the Tory #rapeclause

Submitted by cathy n on 23 May, 2017 - 1:11 Author: Dale Street

#Rapeclause was one of the four most popular Twitter hashtags used by SNP MPs and MSPs in the run-up to the Scottish council elections held earlier this month.

SNP MSP Humza Yousaf tweeted about “Tory born-again Brexiters and rape-clause advocates.” Fellow SNP MSP James Dornan explained: “If you’d rather vote for the Tories than SNP, you’re a right-wing Rape Clause supporting enabler.”

Solidarity across borders: May Day in Jerusalem

Submitted by AWL on 17 May, 2017 - 8:41 Author: Janet Burstall

“Music without borders mingled with an encounter of solidarity among humans” in a special May Day celebration, with Palestinian garage and carpentry workers, art teachers, musicians, agricultural workers and cleaners, Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians.

Labour manifesto: clawing back from the rich AWL Wed, 05/17/2017 - 10:16

The output (value-added) of the UK economy these days is around £1900 billion a year. Of that, about £360 billion is goods and services bought by central and local government, about £320 billion is capital investment, and about £1,130 billion is stuff bought by households. The sub-totals do not add up to the overall total because of other categories, and the figures are rough, based on the last available official figures, for 2014.

How you can support the Picturehouse workers

Submitted by cathy n on 27 October, 2016 - 2:24
Hackney picturehouse strike

Here you can find a printable 1) collection sheet; 2) a letter to union branches from BECTU reps to organise donations from your trade union or Labour Party branch; and 3) model motions for trade unions, Labour Party branches and student unions. Scroll down for text of model motions. Also various useful links to more information.

Rallying to stop Macron-monarchy

Submitted by martin on 16 May, 2017 - 2:42 Author: Arguments pour la lutte sociale

The French socialist newsletter Arguments pour la lutte sociale reports on preparations for the June legislative election.

So this Sunday, while the workers of Souterraine barricade their factory with the active support of the whole population, the Elysee is seeing the monarchical ritual of the “transfer of power” from Mr Hollande to Mr Macron.

Security guards at University of London strike for security and wage rise

Submitted by AWL on 16 May, 2017 - 2:11 Author: Sacha Ismail

Security guards at the central University of London site in Bloomsbury took a third day of strike action against the university and contractor Cordant on 16 May, following two last month. They want an end to disguised use of zero-hours contracts, itemised pay slips and a pay rise they were promised six years ago when UoL’s outsourced workers first won the Living Wage.

Scotland: local elections, national issues

Submitted by cathy n on 13 May, 2017 - 11:19 Author: Dale Street

In the Scottish council elections, the Tories did well, Labour did badly, and although the SNP won more seats than other parties, it failed to maintain the electoral momentum unleashed by the 2014 referendum.

The boundary reorganisation carried out after the 2012 council elections makes it difficult to compare the number of seats won in 2012 with seats won in 2017.

After 7 May: French left prepares for battle against Macron

Submitted by martin on 8 May, 2017 - 4:47 Author: ALPS/ NPA/ LO

43% of those who voted for Macron in the second round of the French presidential election on 7 May 2017 said they did so only, or mainly, to stop Marine Le Pen of the Front National. Only 16% of his voters said they backed him because of his program.

The newsletter Arguments pour la Lutte Sociale headlined, on 5 May: "Beat Le Pen Sunday [7 May], beat Macron in June [legislative elections, 11th and 18th, impose unity of action and democratic debate".

The Front National and fascism

Submitted by Matthew on 3 May, 2017 - 9:00 Author: Martin Thomas

France’s Front National, which now has a real though outside chance of gaining the country’s powerful presidency, is not a fascist movement comparable to the Nazis or Mussolini’s Fascist Party when they were on the eve of power in the 1920s and 30s. Neither, however, is it a conventional hard-right party like UKIP or Germany’s AfD. The makeover the FN has given itself since 2011 is a makeover.

Union newsletter wins prize

Submitted by martin on 29 April, 2017 - 10:21 Author: Martin Thomas

Not many union branch newsletters typically carry articles studded with 22 reference footnotes, citing Karl Marx, Ellen Meiksins Wood, Terry Eagleton, and others, like the latest issue from the Queensland branch of the Maritime Union of Australia, which organises dockworkers and seafarers.

Articles like that one, on Work and Technology by Jeff Rickertt, are not unusual in the Queensland MUA Branch News, where they appear alongside a range of shorter articles about events, disputes, negotiations.

On Guard - 28/04/17: Strike Special #3 OnGuard Fri, 04/28/2017 - 16:51

On Guard is a regular socialist bulletin for Northern rail workers, published by Workers' Liberty.
Download and read it here

Fight for a Labour victory!

Submitted by AWL on 18 April, 2017 - 3:56

Left-wing activists, and those who are not yet activists, should throw themselves into campaigning for a Labour victory in the 8 June General Election.

Workers’ Liberty members, including those expelled from Labour by the party bureaucracy, will be out campaigning. If you’d like to work with us on that, get in touch. Whether or not you’re a Labour Party member, you should get active campaigning; if you haven’t joined, now is the time to do it.

Build strike committees! Spread the action! OnGuard Sun, 04/09/2017 - 10:30

On Guard welcomes the news that ASLEF members on Southern have once again voted to reject a sell-out deal recommended by their leadership. Although the margin was narrower, it is worth noting that this is mainly due to higher turnout and that the number of 'No' votes only diminished by 2. Members at Southern appear to be resolute and not prepared to give in to their leaders' strategy of doing the employer's dirty work for them by demoralising and browbeating their own members into accepting a bad deal.

On Guard - 8/04/2017: Strike Special #2 OnGuard Fri, 04/07/2017 - 11:04

On Guard is a regular socialist bulletin for Northern rail workers, published by Workers' Liberty.
Download and read it here

Fight Brexit all the way Matthew Wed, 03/29/2017 - 11:40

On 29 March, Theresa May will trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, starting the clock on the UK leaving the EU. Unless the UK and all the EU states agree to a special extension on negotiations, the UK will quit the EU in or before March 2019.

Workers' Liberty summer camp (West Yorkshire, 17-20 August 2017)

Submitted by AWL on 7 July, 2011 - 2:40

Come and join our now-legendary annual socialist summer getaway in beautiful Height Gate farm, above Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. This is the sixth year we've run the camp; it's always great fun.

This will be a long weekend of music, campfires, food, drink, socialist discussions, workshops, tree climbing, and arsing about in the great outdoors - organised by the socialist group Workers' Liberty, but open to all!

Marxism and autism Matthew Wed, 03/29/2017 - 12:13

Can Marxism can help us to understand autistic experience in modern capitalism? How might Marxism inform our struggles for equality and liberation?

There are different approaches to understanding autism. Perhaps the dominant approach is a medical one: seeing autism as a disease or tragedy, and autistic people as being broken and needing fixing. Over recent years, a more progressive approach has developed. It stresses acceptance of autistic people rather than simply “awareness”, and demands rights, equality and support rather than abusive “treatments”.

On Guard - 27/03/2017: Merseyrail Drivers Show the Way! OnGuard Mon, 03/27/2017 - 20:10

On Guard is a socialist bulletin for Northern rail workers, published by Workers' Liberty.
Download and read it here

Picturehouse strikes spread to six cinemas

Submitted by Gemma_S on 24 March, 2017 - 12:14 Author: A Picturehouse worker

On Saturday 18 March, workers at five Picturehouse cinemas struck in their ongoing dispute for the Living Wage and union recognition. It was the first strike by workers at the Duke of York cinema in Brighton. The strike was successful.

The Duke of York strike marks the first time our campaign has reached out of London. In addition to about 50 workers coming down from London to demonstrate outside of Duke of York’s, we were joined by lots of supporters from Brighton. The Duke′s workers came away feeling quite positive about it.

Derby Council climbdown leaves problems

Submitted by martin on 21 March, 2017 - 2:19 Author: By Ralph Peters

On 15 to 17 March there was a dramatic reversal of the bullying and confrontational attitude that Derby’s Labour Council had until then shown to Unison in the 10 month long dispute with school support staff.

The sudden change followed several weeks in which increasing solidarity had been shown towards the school support staff. Local support for them in the community of Derby had always been strong and personal support of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell had been known for a long time. But in the local Labour Party there had been none.

How the ruling class sees the anti-DOO strikes: let's prove them wrong! Off The Rails Mon, 03/20/2017 - 13:25

This blog is intended as a contribution to discussion. Let us know what you think: Off The Rails will publish replies we receive.

By a rail worker

The Financial Times is, or aspires to be, one of the more serious newspapers of the boss class. Reading it can normally give you a reasonable sense of what at least a section of "the establishment" is thinking about a given issue. And a recent article on the strikes against Driver Only Operation makes for rather grim reading for our side.

Second Scottish Referendum: why Corbyn was wrong

Submitted by cathy n on 13 March, 2017 - 10:10 Author: Dale Street

Only a fortnight ago Kezia Dugdale summed up Scottish Labour’s opposition to a second referendum on Scottish independence:

“[At this weekend’s Scottish Labour annual conference] I set out Scottish Labour’s opposition to another independence referendum. Scotland is divided enough already, without yet another attempt to separate our country from the rest of the UK.

Organising against Trump

Submitted by AWL on 14 March, 2017 - 1:10 Author: Jason Schulman

Jason Schulman is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, co-editor of New Politics, and author of Neoliberal Labour Governments and the Union Response (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

He spoke to Workers’ Liberty about the challenges facing the left in America under Donald Trump's presidency.

Sylvia Pankhurst: Red Suffragette and Scourge of the Empire AWL Mon, 03/13/2017 - 13:16
On Guard - 13/03/2017: Make The Unions Fight! (Strike Special) AWL Mon, 03/13/2017 - 10:42

A special edition of the bulletin On Guard, produced by workers at Northern, for the strikes on Northern, Southern, and MerseyRail against "Driver Only Operation".

Click here to download the PDF.

Grim picture in French elections

Submitted by Matthew on 8 March, 2017 - 8:37 Author: Martin Thomas

On the website of the French daily Le Monde, Matthieu Goar writes: “If the MPs [of the main right-wing party, LR, The Republicans], Sarkozy [right-wing president 2007-2012], Juppé [prime minister 1995-7, and candidate to be LR nominee for president] and the others give the impression that they are ‘killing off’ Fillon by replacing him, the risk of some of Fillon’s voters going off to the National Front is not negligible.

Southern drivers reject sell-out: back to the picket lines!

Submitted by Off The Rails on Thu, 02/16/2017 - 16:50

The votes are in, and Aslef drivers on Southern have delivered a resounding "no thanks" to their leaders' sell-out deal, blowing the dispute against Driver Only Operation wide open again.

The scores on the doors were 54.1% against the deal and 45.9% for it, on a high turnout of 72.7%.

Russian Parliament sanctions domestic violence

Submitted by cathy n on 11 February, 2017 - 10:15 Author: Ann Field

10,000 women in Russia die of domestic violence every year. 40% of all serious violent crime in Russia and over 25% of murders take place in the home. Around 36,000 women are victims of domestic violence every day, and so too are 26,000 children.

These are the official statistics. The real statistics will be far higher. Many women do not report incidents of domestic violence, either for fear of repercussions from their husband or partner, or because complaints are often ignored by the police.

Why we say “open borders”

Submitted by Matthew on 8 February, 2017 - 12:36 Author: Editorial

Those of us who took to the streets to protest against Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban”, a racist restriction on the freedom of movement of people from seven majority-Muslim countries, were protesting against immigration controls.

Not all of us necessarily saw what we were doing in those terms. Many of us were mobilised by something more visceral and instinctive: a raw opposition to the obvious prejudice and injustice implied by the ban, and by many other of Trump’s policies. That reflexive opposition to injustice is the beginning of much political wisdom, in this and other cases.

Tories claim dictatorial powers over Brexit

Submitted by Gemma_S on 7 February, 2017 - 7:00 Author: Editorial

On Wednesday 8 February, just after Solidarity has gone to press, Parliament will vote on the third reading of the Tories’ Brexit bill.

On 7 February the Tories said that, yes, Parliament can vote on whatever deal they come up — but only between that and what no MP will support, quitting the EU without a deal, i.e. having no closer arrangement with Europe than with Afghanistan or Zimbabwe.

Citing the 23 June referendum as their authority, the Tories now claim the right to shape Brexit their way, above and outside all democratic control.

Southern drivers: reject this sell-out!

Submitted by Off The Rails on Tue, 02/07/2017 - 12:26

This is the text of a special bulletin produced by supporters of Off The Rails, a platform for rank-and-file rail workers, urging ASLEF drivers on Southern to vote to reject the deal aimed at settling the dispute over "Driver Only Operation" (DOO).

To download a PDF copy of the bulletin for distribution, click here.

The settlement that has come out of the talks between ASLEF and Southern at the TUC represents possibly the worst sell out of workers in recent memory.

Trump: threat to abortion rights worldwide Matthew Wed, 02/01/2017 - 11:10

One of Trump’s first executive orders after being installed as President was to reintroduce the Mexico City Policy, or “Global Gag Rule”: a technicality in the funding of overseas aid, which was introduced by Reagan, revoked by Clinton, re-introduced by Bush and revoked again by Obama.

Stop Trump: On the streets against the “Muslim ban” Matthew Wed, 02/01/2017 - 11:39

Organise, on the streets and in the labour movement! Argue for socialist, democratic, internationalist ideas which offer a real answer both to Trump’s rancid, right-wing, regression, and to the discredited status quo. That is how we can block Trump.

On Guard - 17/01/2017: Solid united strikes lead to talks OnGuard Wed, 02/01/2017 - 13:33

The first issue of a socialist bulletin for Northern workers in Sheffield, published by Workers' Liberty.

Read online here.

Union branch motions defending free movement

Submitted by AWL on 29 January, 2017 - 10:11 Author: AWL Tube workers

Two RMT branches, Bakerloo Line and Finsbury Park, have recently passed this motion in defence of free movement, and calling for solidarity with refugees and migrants.

The motion also calls for RMT-backed MPs to vote against any Brexit deal that restricts immigration and attacks workers' rights.

The issue is contentious within the union, which was the most prominent labour-movement voice calling for a "leave" vote in the EU referendum.

The motion is slated for debate at the union's AGM in June.