Solidarity 079, 1 September 2005

The assassination of Leon Trotsky

Sixty five years ago, on 20 August 1940 Leon Trotsky was struck with a fatal blow from an ice-pick by an agent sent by the CPU, Stalin’s secret police in the USSR. Here, Trotsky’s partner for four decades Natalia Sedov Trotsky tells the story of Trotsky’s death. The article was first published in the Fourth International in May 1947.

Writing on the Wall

Political-Christianists, against the teapot religion, Daily conspiracy, BBC bais, Transco in the dock


It’s not just political Islam that produces fascist terrorism. In case anyone should forget this, Pat Robertson, the well-known veteran of the US loony right, has helpfully reminded us by calling for the assassination of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. “Political-Christianists” have already firebombed abortion clinics and murdered workers in the US — now it seems they’re growing in ambition.

Against the teapot religion

Workers of the world round-up

News from working-class struggles around the world...


The importance of the August holiday tradition in Italy can be seen in the fact that — during the break — the trade unions and management have a “summer truce” and class struggle comes to a halt for several weeks.

Except that this year, the transport union SULT called a strike of Alitalia cabin crew during the holidays. The strike’s over the derecognition of SULT after the union refused to discuss a restructuring plan put forward by Alitalia.

The forgotten massacre of the Vietnamese Trotskyists

On demonstrations in the 1960s, it was common to hear marchers chanting “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, we will fight and we will win”, in honour of the Vietnamese Stalinist who led the fight against US occupation. The best sections of the left replied with their own rhyme — Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh — how many Trots did you do in?” They were referring to the mass murder of the Vietnamese Trotskyists by Stalinist forces in 1945. Sixty years on, the massacre has largely been forgotten.

Trotsky's legacy


Max Shachtman

It was in the fight against the Moscow Trials that so many many American radical intellectuals learned to understand the modern communist state and movement. Most of them became friendly to the Trotskyists; a few even joined their ranks. But even though none of them remained Trotskyists for long, they took this insight with them for the rest of their lives. So did others during this stormy period. Still others gained this insight during the Hitler-Stalin pact. And still others were to require it only after the sanguinary suppression of the Hungarian Revolution, years later.

What is Leninism?


Leon Trotsky

This excerpt from Leon Trotsky’s “New Course”, written in December 1923, delineates the fundamental characteristics of the Bolshevism which Trotsky advocated and defended against the encroachment of Stalinism.

Leninism cannot be conceived of without theoretical breadth, without a critical analysis of the material bases of the political process. The weapon of Marxian investigation must be constantly sharpened and applied. It is precisely in this that tradition consists, and not in the substitution of a formal reference or of an accidental quotation.

Inside the student movement

News and views from inside the student movement...

A tale of two meetings

A lot of people don’t like meetings. That includes a lot of people on the left, who seem to think that having a meeting is somehow counter-posed to “action” or “doing things.”

"Solidarity strikes must be made legal"

“Solidarity strikes must be made legal,” wrote Tony Woodley in the Guardian on 15 August. His comment came after workers at British Airways had staged a walkout in support of Gate Gourmet catering workers, summarily sacked by bosses who wanted to replace them with cheaper more flexible workers. Woodley was absolutely right.

The solidarity action of BA workers called for courage and sacrifice. The walkouts were doubly illegal: they were not the subject of a ballot and they were “secondary”.

Understanding political Islam

Cathy Nugent reviews Panorama, BBC1, 28 August

John Ware’s investigation into the leadership of Britain’s Muslim communities, focussing on the role of the Muslim Council of Britain,
has been variously condemned as a “witch-hunt” and a “stitch up”.

Protests came from the MCB itself and other Muslim organisations but also the Guardian journalist Madeline Bunting. As far as I could see there was little that was factually incorrect in the programme; the protestations were more to do with defending certain streams of political Islam (which the programme looked at).

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