Civil liberties, justice, crime

Labour's martyrs: the story of Sacco and VanzettimartinTue, 15/03/2016 - 13:52

Workers' Liberty 3/53, published as a pull-out in Solidarity 397.

The story of the Sacco and Vanzetti case, told by James P Cannon and Max Shachtman, who were leading activists in the defence campaign.

Click to download as pdf

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Defend Nic Shall

Submitted by SJW on 14 June, 2018 - 9:22 Author: a Bristol student
Defend Nic shall

This Friday, 14 June, a trans student and pro-trans activist, Nic Shall, will face the University of Bristol’s disciplinary board for writing an open letter to the University calling for the cancellation of the “A Woman’s Place UK” (WPUK) event in Bristol.

WPUK are an organisation campaigning against proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA). These reforms would allow trans people to change the gender on their birth certificates by self-declaration without requiring a medical diagnosis through a long, intrusive, expensive and degrading procedure.


Submitted by Zac Muddle on Thu, 14/06/2018 - 23:54

The location has changed, its now 31 Great George street, not Senate House

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Expropriate the landowners!
Rough sleeper in Oxford
SJWTue, 22/05/2018 - 20:03

The number of people sleeping rough in the UK is at a record high, after a 73 per cent rise in numbers over the last three years.

According to the latest snapshot analysis by UK local councils, there were 4,751 people sleeping rough on a given night in the autumn of last year. That represents a 169% increase on 2010 figures. In the course of last year 8,108 slept rough in London, a 121% increase on 2010 figures.

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Protest Trump on 14 July

Submitted by SJW on 25 April, 2018 - 11:15 Author: Michael Elms

In January 2018, US President Donald Trump cancelled a planned trip to the UK.

His stated reason was that the famously unsuccessful realtor didn’t fancy the “off-location” US Embassy. But the real reason was almost certainly that Trump wanted to duck the huge wave of protest that anyone could see would meet any visit. The racist, authoritarian and climate-change-denying policies of the Trump administration stoked a storm of indignation and a series of huge rallies at the very suggestion of his visit.

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Guns, controls and the labour movement

Submitted by Matthew on 28 February, 2018 - 10:53 Author: Gerry Bates
Second amendment

The US constitution famously states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed”; historically, revolutionary democrats insisted on this right as a guarantee against arbitrary state power and the development of tyranny.


Submitted by peewee29 on Fri, 02/03/2018 - 12:11

The pro-gun lobby and right wing libertarians tend to ignore what the Second Amendment actually says (though I note the important words are underlined in the graphic at the top of this piece):

"A *well regulated Militia*, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" (my emphasis).

Interestingly, many of these people also quote George Orwell, writing about "that rifle on the wall" of a worker's house, being a guarantee of our liberty. I eventually tracked down where this quote actually comes from, and it's from something Orwell wrote in WW2 about the Home Guard ("Don't let Colonel Blimp run the Home Guard"), which again seems to emphasise the point about being part of a "well regulated militia."

Submitted by peewee29 on Fri, 02/03/2018 - 15:37

Further to my last comment:
Bernard Crick in his book “George Orwell A Life” has the following quote in Chapter 12 The Challenge and Frustration of war (1939-41).

“Even as it stands, the Home Guard could only exist in a country where men feel themselves free. The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do: they cannot give the factory-worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. THAT RIFLE HANGING ON THE WALL OF THE WORKING-CLASS FLAT OR LABOURER’S COTTAGE, IS THE SYMBOL OF DEMOCRACY. IT IS OUR JOB TO SEE THAT IT STAYS THERE.”

Crick correctly attributes the quote to an 8 January 1941 article Orwell wrote for Evening Standard. The article was titled “Don’t Let Colonel Blimp Ruin the Home Guard”

Submitted by peewee29 on Fri, 02/03/2018 - 15:38

Submitted by Jason Schulman on Fri, 02/03/2018 - 21:47

A smart contribution to the conversation.

(I can't figure out how to switch to plain text so that the link will actually work. Webmaster, please fix. Thank you.)

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Afrin: Erdogan cracks down on Turkish dissentMatthewWed, 07/02/2018 - 15:44

Eleven members of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA) were arrested on 30 January following the publication of a statement by the TMA condemning Turkey′s military action in Afrin, Syria. The statement called for an end to all hostilities and warned that war posed a threat to public health. The Turkish government, along with Syrian rebels, launched an assault on Kurdish-controlled Afrin in Syria on 21 January.

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Deeper questions behind the Worboys caseMatthewWed, 10/01/2018 - 11:25

The news that the so-called “black cab rapist” John Worboys is to be released after just under 10 years in jail has put the criminal justice system and the way it deals with rape cases under scrutiny.

Worboys was convicted of one count of rape, five of sexual assault, and 10 of drugging. However police believe as many as 100 women may have been assaulted by Worboys. 85 women contacted police after Worboys’ conviction but no further charges were brought against him.

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Unions must fight for robust rules

Submitted by Matthew on 8 November, 2017 - 9:31
Unions must fight for robust rules

Editorial from Solidarity 453

The public scandal which has erupted in the wake of reports of historical and current sexual assaults in Hollywood, and now the UK Parliament, has brought to light a day-to-day reality. The #metoo campaign was “successful” because it touched on a truth. Almost every woman has experienced some form of sexual assault or harassment.

The public conversation in wake of the reports and allegations is welcome and important.


Submitted by martin on Wed, 08/11/2017 - 18:39

We called for "robust codes of conduct, reporting policies, and sanctions" which "would also institutionalise due-process protections for those facing charges".

The need for that has been highlighted by the case of Carl Sergeant, a minister in the Welsh Labour government, who committed suicide on 7 November.

It seems clear now that Sergeant was sacked from his ministerial job without even being told in detail what the allegations against him were, let alone having the right to a fair hearing.

Presumably the Welsh Labour Party leadership panicked, and thought throwing Sergeant overboard to appear to be responsive more important than basic due process.

In any case, there must be due process. The cases of women (sometimes women bosses) using exaggerated or invented accusations of harassment against men are surely fewer than those of women being denied any road to redress after harassment by male bosses, but they exist.

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