News

Jon Lansman on Labour's antisemitism "tragedy"

Submitted by martin on 6 March, 2019 - 12:39 Author: Jon Lansman
Zionists control Wall Street

Jon Lansman talked to Solidarity.

You've said that the concern about antisemitism in the Labour Party is based on realities, not something contrived or invented. Why do you say that?

Because I've seen loads and loads of cases at the National Executive, and I know them to be real. I also know that those cases are very rarely to do with Israel-Palestine.

On the streets 23 March!

Submitted by AWL on 8 March, 2019 - 9:26 Author: Editorial
bollox to brexit

Get a copy of our new pamphlet, Remain and Rebel here.

Goldman Sachs is reported to be calculating on the basis of a 90% probability of Brexit being delayed or not happening at all. As we go to press on Thursday 7 March, the Tory-supporting Daily Telegraph says that Cabinet ministers now expect another defeat on 12 March.

Invite of Chinese "Communist" Official is an insult to Chinese workers and to Marx

Submitted by SJW on 13 March, 2019 - 5:24 Author: Justine Kennedy
Protest

The Marx Memorial Library’s annual oration at the grave of Karl Marx will be given, bizarrely, by Minister Ma Hui a senior official from the Chinese Embassy in the UK. The Chinese government is by no stretch of the imagination Marxist or socialist.

The German Revolution: Selected Writings of Rosa Luxemburg

Submitted by martin on 5 March, 2019 - 12:21 Author: Rosa Luxemburg, Paul Vernadsky
Rosa Luxemburg

A new pamphlet from Workers' Liberty, "The German Revolution: Selected Writings of Rosa Luxemburg", has Rosa Luxemburg's major articles from 1918-19.

Listen to the pamphlet - go to our online audio Rosa Luxemburg collection here.

56 pages A4. Cover price £5. With postage - non-UK £7, UK £6. Cheap rates for bulk orders: four for £18, ten for £40, twenty for £70.

Buy online with the PayPal button below.

The GMB and the “Zionist plot” story

Submitted by martin on 11 March, 2019 - 9:23 Author: Dale Street
Gregson

Above: Gregson with Rabbi Aharon Cohen of Neturei Karta, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group which is vehemently anti-Israel and argues that Jews "deserved" the Holocaust

Shop steward Peter Gregson’s appeal against expulsion from the GMB trade union was rejected last Wednesday (6 March).

Last year a GMB disciplinary hearing had concluded that Gregson had:

• Written and promoted antisemitic materials which were racist in nature, including claims that Israel “exaggerated” the Holocaust.

After 15 March: how to stop climate disaster

Submitted by AWL on 7 March, 2019 - 8:54 Author: Mike Zubrowski
system change

Alan Simpson, environmental adviser to John McDonnell, wrote rightly in Solidarity 497 about the hope we can draw from the international school climate walkouts, the next one of which is on 15 March. He rightly criticised almost all politicians, and most of the left, for failing to respond seriously to the climate emergency. However, I think the solutions he sketches also fall far short of what is needed.

Deliveroo link-up

Submitted by AWL on 8 March, 2019 - 9:12 Author: Zack, Bristol courier and treasurer of IWGB¬affiliated Bristol Couriers’ Network
deliveroo strike

On Tuesday 26 February, Deliveroo couriers in Manchester struck from 11 a.m. onwards, demanding better pay and other demands.

They have the same core demands as in many places across the country — £5 per delivery, paid waiting time at £10/hour, £1 per extra mile travelled – plus some extra demands. They have been supported by Manchester IWW. This was the second strike in a fortnight, following the Valentine’s day strike which was part of a nationally co¬ordinated strike, in turn inspired by a series of strikes in Bristol which had started to spread elsewhere.

As we were saying: “Anti-Zionism”

Submitted by Matthew on 15 February, 2012 - 12:37
Zionists control Wall Street

AWL member Daniel Lemberger Cooper’s victory in the recent [2012] elections at the University of London Union (2-9 February) was won in the teeth of a large campaign, orchestrated by the SWP, branding Cooper a “racist” on the grounds that he is “a Zionist”, i.e. he defends Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself, while also supporting the right of the Palestinians to an independent state of their own alongside Israel.

Our debate with Jeremy Corbyn on Nicaragua, 1983

Submitted by martin on 4 March, 2019 - 6:13 Author: Jeremy Corbyn, Sean Matgamna
September 1983 conference

Our criticism of Jeremy Corbyn's politics is not of yesterday. From 1978, and through the early 1980s, Jeremy Corbyn wrote frequently for Socialist Organiser, a forerunner of Solidarity. The picture above shows him on the platform (to the right) at a conference organised by Socialist Organiser in September 1983, the same month as the political exchange of opinions reprinted below.

The Satanic Verses thirty years on

Submitted by AWL on 2 March, 2019 - 8:56 Author: Matthew Thompson
Rushdie

It is thirty years since the publication of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses, partly based on the life of the founder of Islam, Muhammad, sparked protests across the Muslim world, with riots in India and Pakistan in which dozens of Rushdie's fellow Muslims were shot dead, book burnings on the streets of Britain, and ultimately an Iranian death sentence which sent its author into hiding under armed police guard.

Mock-workerism and the Scottish Labour Party

Submitted by martin on 3 March, 2019 - 11:07 Author: Ann Field
Fracking

GMB Scottish Regional Secretary Gary Smith was accorded front page coverage in the 3 March 2019 “Herald on Sunday”.

Billed as an “Exclusive”, the article in fact consisted of some extracts from an interview with Smith conducted by one of the pro-independence paper’s resident right-wing journalists, Paul Hutcheon.

Hutcheon is still remembered for his notorious witch-hunting ‘articles’ about the Falkirk Labour selection contest and Grangemouth Ineos dispute of 2013 (although he has written no shortage of articles in a similar vein since then).

Scottish Labour and the Glasgow council issue

Submitted by martin on 3 March, 2019 - 12:45 Author: Dale Street
Glasgow equal pay dispute

The long-running campaign for equal pay for Glasgow City Council women workers, finally settled in February 2019, is on the agenda of the Scottish Labour Party annual conference, taking place in Dundee on 9-10 March 2019.

A motion submitted by the Scottish Labour Women’s Conference – tabled at that conference by the GMB, which represented many of the low-paid women – notes the resistance to equal pay for local authority women workers, “including during years of Labour power”.

"Labour for a Socialist Europe": the 9 March conference and after

Submitted by martin on 5 March, 2019 - 10:14
L4SE placards

The crisis of parliamentary politics over Brexit is one of the biggest such crises ever.

There is ferment in the electorate at large and especially in the Labour Party on the issue. The outcome remains very open. At least some delay of Brexit beyond 29 March is likely.

Those facts set the frame for what the 9 March conference of "Labour for a Socialist Europe" can hope to achieve.

Bolshevism, the civil war, and after

Submitted by AWL on 27 February, 2019 - 11:18 Author: Barry Finger
Lenin

Review of In Defence of Bolshevism, £12 including UK postage. Purchase here.

Mass socialist parties, trade unions, workers councils and organs of struggle are places for debate, discussion, deliberation and opposition, where, ideally, everything is openly evaluated. Their functionality requires constituencies free to transmit their will to the administrators of power, not only within these organisations themselves but also to the broader institutions and arenas in which they participate.

Netanyahu woos far right

Submitted by AWL on 27 February, 2019 - 12:46 Author: Willie Sneyd
netanyahu

Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu has persuaded two far-right racist parties to merge in return for offering them government posts if he wins the Israeli general election due on 4 April.

One of the two parties is Jewish Power, a scarcely-concealed continuation of the Kahane movement which has been banned in Israel since 1988 as terrorist and racist. It advocates expelling Palestinians and Israeli Arabs who refuse to swear “loyalty”, and an expanded Jewish state taking in the whole West Bank.

Hatton’s no glory days

Submitted by AWL on 27 February, 2019 - 12:41 Author: Gerry Bates
Hatton

Derek Hatton used to be famous. In the mid-1980s he was the chief figure in Liverpool’s Labour council, embattled against the Tories. Formally deputy leader of the council, he was able to be the main public figure because he was promoted by the Militant group (forerunner of the Socialist Party), which then had decisive influence in the Liverpool labour movement.

Student left will meet 2-3 March

Submitted by martin on 27 February, 2019 - 12:01 Author: Maisie Sanders
students workers

The Student Left Network’s first national conference will take place on 2-3 March at Sheffield Hallam University.

Left wing students from campuses across the country are getting together to decide how we can link up and spread our campaigns, where we should take the student movement next, share experiences and skills and debate political ideas.

Workshops will include

• how to organise student-worker solidarity campaigns, led by University of the Arts London Justice for Workers’ campaign

Audio versions of our weekly paper now available!

Submitted by cathy n on 28 February, 2019 - 12:11
hear all about it

As an experiment we will be recording our weekly newspaper and making available for listening. This will be available on this website and on our SoundCloud account. (soundcloud.com/workers-liberty)

The audio version of Solidarity 497 can be found here.

And the audio version of Solidarity 496 can be found here.

Clear migration spies out of workplaces

Submitted by AWL on 20 February, 2019 - 1:16
no migration spies

The Observer newspaper on 17 February reported that the Government is “attempting to embed immigration officers at a rate of almost £60 an hour as part of an ‘enhanced checking service’ being offered to public services, understood to include NHS trusts and local authorities, as well as private firms.”

Stop the Immigration Bill Day of action 1 March

Submitted by AWL on 27 February, 2019 - 8:40
stand with migrant workers

The Tories’ Brexit Immigration Bill is set to exclude workers from the EU unless they have a job in advance at over £30,000, or come for a specific job only for twelve months.

In the second case, workers will be banned from reapplying until another year has passed. In other words, obstacles will be built to those migrant workers settling, integrating, and organising in the labour movement.

Macron, Salvini, and the left

Submitted by AWL on 27 February, 2019 - 12:09 Author: Joan Trevor
macron-salvini

On 7 February, France recalled its ambassador from Italy, the first time this had happened since Italy’s fascist leader Benito Mussolini declared war in 1940. The recall was the latest act in a growing row between French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s coalition government, formed of the populist Five Star Movement and the far-right National League.

The Yellow Vests: potentials and dangers

Submitted by AWL on 20 February, 2019 - 11:38 Author: Michael Elms
yellow vests

The Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) movement, now fourteen weeks old, drew thousands of protestors onto the streets of France on 16 February. Although the latest demonstrations fell short of the estimated 50,000 who came out the week before, the movement shows little sign of stopping.

The kids are coming (don't say you weren't warned)

Submitted by martin on 21 February, 2019 - 3:36 Author: Alan Simpson
school strike

Occasionally, just occasionally, there are weeks full of silver linings. The one that saw Britain's first nationwide schools climate strikes was definitely one of them.

When Greta Thunberg began her lone climate protest outside the Swedish Parliament last August she was not to know that, within 6 months there would be 70,000 pupils a week, across 270 towns and cities worldwide, who would be joining her. Their message was simple: "Wake up! There's a climate emergency."

If you had followed the week's debates in Britain's Parliament you wouldn't have guessed.

Neurodivergent Labour launched

Submitted by AWL on 20 February, 2019 - 10:30 Author: Fraser Andrews
logo

On 9 February, over fifty activists from across the country attended the official launch of Neurodivergent Labour at a meeting in London. The term “neurodivergent” refers to the condition of being cognitively atypical, e.g. autistic, dyslexic, dyspraxic, or Tourette’s.

Gang of Seven, Brexit and antisemitism

Submitted by AWL on 19 February, 2019 - 6:16 Author: Ralph Peters and Tom Harrison
gang of seven

Seven right-wing Labour MPs quit on Monday 18 February. They did not join another party or form a new one. They did not call on their rank-and-file supporters within Labour to quit.

Two Tory MPs sceptical about Brexit, Nick Boles and Sarah Wollaston, face deselection by their local Tory parties in coming weeks, and a Government minister has openly said that the hard-right Tory MPs “are not Conservatives” and should join the new “Brexit party” being launched by former Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

Shamima Begum should be allowed to return to the UK

Submitted by martin on 20 February, 2019 - 11:31 Author: Martin Thomas
Syrian refugee camp

Shamima Begum, the British-born 19-year old who went to Syria to join Daesh at the age of 15, should be allowed to return to the UK.

Her support for the sectarian clerical-fascist Daesh is to be condemned. But to deprive anyone of legal rights, as to imprison them, should be done only after charge and fair trial, not by decree of a government minister anxious to placate an electorate in a nationalist mood.

She is a British citizen, and so is her baby son. Even people convicted of horrible crimes after due process do not have their citizenship withdrawn.

Schools climate strike: build now for 15 March!

Submitted by AWL on 20 February, 2019 - 1:14 Author: Maisie Sanders
climate strike

Tens of thousands of young people joined the Youth Strike for Climate school walkouts on Friday 18 February in town centres and outside schools across the UK. It was organised as part of the Fridays for Future school walkouts started by Swedish school student Greta Thurnberg, which have now gone global.

Two months of revolt in Sudan

Submitted by AWL on 20 February, 2019 - 9:09 Author: Simon Nelson
Sudanese revolt

Mass protests in Sudan have been ongoing since December 2018. The rising cost of bread and fuel has sparked calls for “Just fall – that’s all” against President Omar al-Bashir and his ruling National Congress Party. Leaders of nine opposition parties have been arrested.

Alcohol is harmful. Dry January will not help

Submitted by AWL on 20 February, 2019 - 1:04 Author: Todd Hamer
alcohol bad

Alcohol [see Martin Thomas’s article in Solidarity 494, and Stephen Wood’s letter in 495] is the most harmful psychoactive substance we know in terms of overall mental and physical damage, addiction, crime and costs to the economy and communities.

Another win for rail workers

Submitted by Off The Rails on Mon, 18/02/2019 - 22:05
South Western Railway

Workers on South Western Railway (SWR) have struck another huge blow against Driver Only Operation, winning an agreement that a safety-critical guard will be retained on all SWR services.

Guards in the RMT had recently returned a resounding 84% majority in favour of further strikes, in a re-ballot forced on them by the restrictions of the anti-union laws. RMT had planned a strike for 22 February, but has now suspended this following SWR’s offer.

For Labour! Against Brexit!

Submitted by AWL on 13 February, 2019 - 11:41 Author: Editorial
Brexit means Brexit

Labour right-wingers have chosen this moment to help out the hard-pressed Tory government. They have turned up the volume on the murmured speculations about a right-wing split from Labour just as the Tory impasse worsens. Labour and trade union activists want unity to maximise the chances of using the Tories’ thrashing-round to oust them from office, to force an early general election, and to get a new public vote to stop Brexit.

Brexit's never-ending nonsense

Submitted by martin on 9 February, 2019 - 2:29 Author: Alan Simpson
No blindfold Brexit

Let's get the bad news out of the way first. Whatever happens, Brexit is going to dominate parliamentary politics for at least another year, maybe more. No matter how bored you are by it, no matter how tempted by the thought, "Oh, sod it, let's just jump and get it over with", the nightmare still has years to run.

Unions and the Inland Empire

Submitted by martin on 17 September, 2018 - 1:24 Author: Chris Reynolds
The Warehouse Workers' Resource Centre marches with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights on May Day 2018 in Southern California

Pic: The Warehouse Workers' Resource Centre marches with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights on May Day 2018 in Southern California

Review of "Choke Points: Logistics Workers Disrupting the Global Supply Chain", edited by Jake Alimahomed-Wilson and Immanuel Ness

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach employ about 14,000 dockworkers, with the number fairly static as throughput has risen. The whole logistics industry around those ports employs over 500,000, with the number increasing.

Irish nurses to ballot on offer

Submitted by AWL on 19 February, 2019 - 12:22 Author: By Micheál MacEoin
irish nurses

Action was suspended in the nurses’ strike in the Republic of Ireland on 11 February, after the Labour Board (the state’s industrial relations tribunal) intervened to recommend a settlement ahead of planned three-day strikes.

The three-day strike, which was due to begin on 12 February, was to be an escalation from a 24-hour strike on 30 January and two further 24-hour strikes on 5 and 7 February.

Union should fight to abolish GCSEs

Submitted by martin on 19 February, 2019 - 8:01 Author: Alan Gilbert
Exam hall

Kenneth Baker, the Tory minister who introduced GCSE exams, has called for their abolition.

"They have a profound impact on young people's mental health... exam stress is creating a 'troubled generation'...

"The focus on GCSE performance tables is creating such a pressure to drive up academic results that many schools are... being forced into rote learning to deliver..."

Baker spoke on 11 February, the same day that Robert Halfon, chair of Parliament's Education Select Committee, and a right-wing Tory, made the same call.

Deliveroo: next strikes 14 February?

Submitted by AWL on 6 February, 2019 - 12:31 Author: Zack, a Bristol Courier and treasurer of Bristol Couriers Network
deliveroo couriers

Strike action by Deliveroo couriers has spread across the country, with simultaneous strikes having been held in various locations over pay, on 1 February. These strikes were inspired by an energetic and visible strike that took place in Bristol on the 18 January, and precipitated by steadily decreasing pay.

Students: secret “White Paper” plots end to debate

Submitted by Matthew on 13 February, 2019 - 9:09 Author: Maisie Sanders
vote

The National Union of Students (NUS) has released a “White Paper” which outlines “reforms” to destroy its democratic structures. Unlike a government White Paper, which is public, these proposals are hidden from the vast majority of NUS members. They have been sent only to student union sabbatical officers and NUS full time officers for consultation.

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