Solidarity 054, 24 June 2004

The importance of local elections

By Garth Frankland, Alliance for Green Socialism

Over 100 socialists stood in the local elections under different left political banners. In the main they consisted of people who had subscribed in different ways to the early days of the Socialist Alliance. The numbers standing were not very different from that organisation at its height.

The biggest concentrations were on Merseyside with 51 candidates, Coventry with 14, Leeds with 14 (12 Alliance for Green Socialism and 2 Socialist Party) and Walsall with 10. There were other candidates across the country. Respect stood very few local candidates.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Ireland's Racist Shame.

By John O'Mahony

Four fifths of those who voted in a referendum in the south of Ireland, held on the same day as the Euro-election, voted to deprive some babies born in Ireland - those of recent immigrants - of automatic Irish citizenship. The Fianna Fail government promoted the "no to citizenship" cause, which, "on the ground", was argued as grim and undisguised racism - "you don't want blacks here, do you?" The left and Sinn Fein campaigned against the government, but were defeated by the chauvinist groundswell.

The Fianna Fail government promoted the line, "you don't want blacks here, do you?"

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After the elections - Anti-European left must learn from far right success.

The advances made by the right, both the BNP and the UK Independence Party, in the European elections should send alarm bells ringing on the serious left. Not least because these advances demonstrate once more the inadequacy of the left.

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The “IS tradition” and the birth of Respect - An open letter to an SWP leader

In the terminology of the Marxist movement, unprincipled cliques or groups have been characterised as political bandits. A classic example of such a group is the group known as “Lovestoneites”. This group, which took its name from the characterless adventurer who has been its leader, poisoned and corrupted the American Communist movement for many years by its unprincipled and unscrupulous factional struggles. The Lovestoneites were able and talented people, but they had no definite principles. They were wild-eyed radicals and ultraleftists when Zinoviev was at the head of the Comintern. With the downfall of Zinoviev and the violent right swing of the Comintern under Bukharin, they became ardent Bukharinites as quickly and calmly as one changes his shirt. Their politics was always determined for them by external pressure? The Lovestoneites never had any independent program of their own. They were never able to develop one.

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Protest vote in Sheffield

Following the SWP's wrecking of the Socialist Alliance, a number of comrades stood as 'Democratic Socialist Alliance' candidates in the 10 June local government elections. One of the most successful of these campaigns was run by AWL member Alison Brown, whose campaigned in the Burngreave ward of Sheffield.

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Workers of the world Round up

By Pablo Velasco

Inside:

  • Strike wave in South Korea
  • Soldiers terrorise workers Haitian workers
  • Victory for Colombian banana workers' strike
  • General strike in Nigeria stops petrol price rises

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Ban the Brands campaign

"We don't want your sweatshop goods"

Jotters sponsored by Pepsi, Coke machines stocking exclusively Coca Cola, Adidas-sponsored 'training days'. These are just some of the branded products that are finding their way into our schools in order to bombard school students with advertising from multinationals. But these companies, who are often involved in sweatshop labour and human rights abuses, are hardly 'role models' for young people.

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The people who cleaned up after the TUC

By Jean Lane

It felt just like old times. Marching through the streets of London with contingent after contingent of union branches with their banners, whistles and music, chanting working class demands...

"The workers united…" sang the megaphones.
"T&G Fighting Back" declared the posters.
"Universal Benefits are a Universal Right"
"Retirement With Dignity For All"

Bringing up the rear of the demonstration, looking for all the world like another delegation, in matching blue sweatshirts and caps, were about twenty workers with plastic bags and litter pickers, cleaning up. They were casual non-union labour. They were earning £5 an hour. No pension, sick pay, holiday pay.

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Nike's Olympics start badly

Nike's multi-million dollar Olympics advertising campaign is in jeopardy.

Marion Jones, the record-breaking American athlete accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs, is in danger of being barred from the competition. She is under scrutiny by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

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