Anti-Racism

Fight and a "bit of banter"

Published on: Wed, 19/02/2020 - 09:24
Author

Emma Rickman

In a previous entry I wrote about K, an industrial cleaner who was poisoned by ingesting lime. In the meantime a senior operator retired, leaving space for an assistant to step up, and a vacancy on the assistant’s team. K interviewed for the assistant’s job and (finally) got it. This left room for A, a new recruit, on the cleaning team.

A is loud, cheerful, hard-working, and has autism and ADHD. He takes to hoovering the plant and doing sandwich runs energetically. The problem, as well as the sighs and the stupid comments from some, is that his Dad works in the control room. This is a source

Being “minimally civil”

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 10:32
Author

Cathy Nugent

Keith Kahn-Harris, in his book Strange Hate: Antisemitism, racism and the limits of diversity, argues that selective anti-racism and selective racism have become dominant modes.

Certain minorities, and certain sub-sections of minorities, are approved when they express a political or social orientation that is a close fit to another group. In other words, there is a process of political selecting out going on.

For Kahn-Harris, Jews have precipitated the development of selective anti-racism, and in his book how Jewish people are treated forms a “case study”. Unfortunately he does not make any

250 million strike in India

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 11:41
Author

Matt Cooper

The Hindu-chauvinist BJP Indian government is meeting serious resistance.

Trade unions have been taking action. The Modi government was forced to back off a series of economic reforms including privatisation and attacks on workers’ rights after strikes in 2015, 2016 and 2019. Those issues have not gone away. Ten India trade union federations called a one-day general strike on 8 January against the government’s economic policies (the eleventh federation is affiliated with the Hindu chauvinist movement and did not strike).

The workers were joined by farmers in their action. It brought out

Other motions not passed - AWL conference 2019

Published on: Tue, 21/01/2020 - 14:28
Author

Angela Driver, David Pendletone, Simon Nelson, Luke Hardy

Motions on left antisemitism, the Hijab in schools, and social security and Labour's policy, were all submitted to AWL conference 2019. The conference decided that the first of these motions - on left antisemitism - should not be voted on, after a debate; the second, on the Hijab in schools, fell; the third - on social security - were not voted on, as decided before any debate.

Oppose Modi's anti-Muslim drive!

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 12:42
Author

Matt Cooper

Since winning power India in 2014, Nahendra Modi and the BJP have pursued a Hindu-chauvinist agenda.

On 12 December the Modi regime passed its Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), building on the National Register of Citizenship (NRC) in attempting to remove the rights of many Muslim Indians.

Since the CAA passed last month there have been protests across India, not only from Muslims but also from the left and other defenders of India’s secular constitution. Following a ban on all protests in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh (ruled by the BJP but with a 40% Muslim minority), continued

When the Morning Star justified racism

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 12:44
Author

Sean Matgamna

Picture: Georges Marchais, former General Secretary of the Communist Party of France

On 15 January, 1981, the Morning Star, the daily paper of the Communist Party of Great Britain, once called the Daily Worker, had a fine front page article denouncing a proposed Tory anti-immigration law.

Straight to target: the “Nationality Bill”, it told its readers, is a racist Bill. That is why immigrant groups are vigorously opposing it, and why the broad labour movement must fight it too.

But now turn to page 2 of the same issue of the Star. There, you will find a report on the policy of the French

The racism in “gang” panics

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 11:22
Author

Ellie Clarke

I want to start with a bit of a disclaimer. I first became deeply interested in the topic of crime and policing in response to a wave of gang violence that was plaguing the area of North West London I call home.

I say this to illustrate that there are instances where gangs are the culprit. It isn’t my intention to delegitimise or trivialise those situations. However, in the words of an unnamed senior Met officer talking to Amnesty International: “Gangs are, for the most part, a complete red herring… fixation with the term is unhelpful at every level.”

That hasn’t stopped all major police

Against the school hijab ban demand

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 16:58
Author

Ben Tausz

See here for wider debate in Solidarity on the ban of the hijab in schools.

In his most recent letter defending his demand for a hijab ban in schools, David Pendletone says “I … do not think that you need to have a solution [of how a ban might be enforced] to support a ban of the hijab for children in primary schools”.

This is absurd and deeply irresponsible, given the counter-productive and dangerous consequences of many (I would argue all) possible scenarios of enforcement. What it reflects is that this demand seems founded more on an insistence that ‘something must be done’, more than on

Trump blocked putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 note. This is why

Published on: Tue, 03/12/2019 - 15:36
Author

Sacha Ismail

I’m struck by how many (left-wing, engaged) people I know haven’t heard of 19th century slave turned anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman. Hopefully Harriet, the new film about a crucial decade of Tubman’s life, will help right that. She was one of the most remarkable of many remarkable figures in a world-altering social and political upheaval, the civil war and revolution that destroyed slavery in the US. Though not a socialist, she is firmly in our broad tradition.

Despite the dark subject matter of slavery, the makers have told Tubman’s story as a pretty easy to watch action-adventure film.

Labour dumps Kashmir policy

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 19:33
Author

Sacha Ismail

Labour chair Ian Lavery has written a letter to Indian-background voters in the UK saying that “Labour is opposed to external interference in the political affairs of any other country”.

Lavery does nod towards the right of the Kashmiri people “to have a say in their own future”, but insists that “Kashmir is a bilateral matter for India and Pakistan to resolve together”. “Labour will not take a pro-Indian or pro-Pakistan stance on Kashmir”.

Lavery’s statement is a mass of evasions — denouncing “external interference” in such a way as to rule out international solidarity, and dismissing the

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