Anti-Fascism

RMT activists oppose Lewis expulsion decision

Author

Daniel Randall

The conference on 23-27 June of the rail union RMT passed, by a majority of two votes with six abstentions, a motion expelling left Labour MP Clive Lewis from the RMT’s Parliamentary Group.

The conference decided that Lewis should be expelled unless he retracts and apologises for the criticisms he made of comments by RMT member Eddie Dempsey from the platform of a “Full Brexit” rally.

RMT activists who oppose the decision are circulating a statement of protest, already signed by numerous AGM delegates as well dozens of other union activists.

After Christchurch, organise against far right

Author

Riki Lane

Friday 15 March was a day of contrast in both Australia and New Zealand – exuberance and militant action by students striking for climate action in both Australia; followed immediately by immense sadness, horror and anger at the mass murder by a fascist at a mosque in Christchurch.

Far right in Leeds

Author

Luke Hardy

The far right organised a “Yellow Vest” pro-Brexit demo in Leeds on 19 January.

Since it was also a RMT strike day on Northern Trains, a special effort was made by the Leeds labour movement to turn out for the city centre picket.

In Manchester recently, fascists on a “yellow vest” demo abused and threatened a picket line.

About 100 turned out to back the RMT: Labour people, various flavours of socialists, Momentum, Young Labour, and Leeds Anti Fascist Network.

A couple of fascists turned up to jeer and film, but the main yellow vest group stayed clear.

Leeds socialists attacked

Author

Luke Hardy

On Monday 7 January, a group calling itself “Justice for Women and Girls”, led by Lee Scheres (aka Lee Baylan), who runs the “Antifa Public Watch” Facebook site, invaded a Leeds Socialist Party closed meeting.

A drunken and wired Lee Scheres and his pals tried to disrupt the meeting, intimidating people, filming them, squaring up to them, seizing papers off them etc. Leeds Socialist Party report: “Bar staff assisted to escort them out of the venue. No one was hurt during the incident.

Industrial news in brief

Author

Ollie Moore

Drivers in Darlington, Durham, Redcar, Stockton and Whitby working for Arriva have started a week long strike over pay.

Rail workers’ picket line attacked by far right

Submitted by Off The Rails on Sun, 06/01/2019 - 17:04

On 5 January an RMT picket line of striking Northern guards in Manchester was attacked by far-right thugs connected to the Democratic Football Lads Alliance and the rump English Defence League. It seems the attack may have been an opportunistic action by far-right activists mobilised for a demo of their own taking place in Manchester on the same day.

An Asian striker was specifically targeted, and was called a “nonce”, “child groomer”, and “paedophile”.

The attack shows that the DFLA and similar organisations are not merely groupings of working-class football fans concerned about “extremism” or the problem of child grooming, but are far-right political forces who are violently hostile to the labour movement.

Fortunately the attack was only verbal, with no physical assaults or injuries.

This event, like the attack on RMT activists after an anti-fascist demo in London in the summer, reminds us of the urgent need for the labour movement to take anti-fascist organising seriously. It’s not good enough to “outsource” anti-fascism to external campaigns, our unions need to mobilise members under their own banners to confront the far right.

We also need a political alternative to the far right: working-class socialists policies on issues such as jobs and housing, where social despair creates conditions in which the far right grows, combined with an unapologetic internationalism and defence of migrants’ rights to tackle the nationalism of the far right head on.

Trade Unions
Issues and Campaigns

Best for Business?

Author

Gerry Bates

In the closing speech at the Another Europe Is Possible conference on 8 December, Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle recommended Best for Britain as the group with which AEIP should combine to form a joint campaign in a new public vote on Brexit. Because the speech was right at the end of the conference, no one had a chance to point out that an amendment passed earlier in the day, moved by Ben Towse and insisting that AEIP must above all voice an independent left-wing line, contradicted this proposal. But it did.

Brexit and fighting the far right

Stopping Brexit isn’t anti-fascism

Callum Cant takes issue over the 9 December counter¬demo

The Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) are obsessed with trade unions. When their march was blocked in October, their leadership couldn’t stop themselves from fantasising about beating up organised workers. For many of their supporters, the organisation’s high point was when a DFLA group launched a serious physical attack on RMT members in a pub in Whitehall. The essence of their politics is a hatred of the organised working class.

Labour Against Racism and Fascism launched

Author

Ruth Cashman, personal capacity

On Monday 15 October I attended a meeting on behalf of my union branch, Lambeth Unison, to discuss the setting up a local Labour Against Racism and Fascism network.

The meeting was attended by Secretaries and BAME Forum members from 14 South London local Labour Parties, as well as union reps.

The meeting was initiated by activists in Dulwich and West Norwood CLP who had been alarmed by the rise of new far-right street movements in the UK, led by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA), and coalescing around the #FreeTommy movement.

Far right on rise in Sweden

Author

Will Sefton

The success of far-right populists across Europe continued in Sweden with a surge in support for the Sweden Democrats who took in 17.6 percent of the vote, coming third against the left and right blocs.

Both blocs have refused to form a coalition with them but with a motion of confidence due for Swedish Prime Minister and Swedish Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven, Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Akesson believes Löfven will have to negotiate with him.

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