Solidarity 119, 11 October 2007

An open letter to Chris Harman of the SWP


Sean Matgamna

To download text as pdf, click on the "attachments" below. Second attachment is an updated version, 02/11/07..

Dear comrade Harman,
I know you of old and hope, or would like to believe, that you still hold to the basic socialist ideas which you and I shared in the past.

Student bureaucrats move to smash democracy


Sofie Buckland

When the National Union of Students commissioned its “no holds barred” governance review after annual conference 2007, the left was criticized for pre-emptively declaring it an attack on democracy. The findings of the review was discussed at a national committee meeting on 9 October, and guess what? It’s a massive attack on democracy.

The main points are:

Breaking with Islamism


Charlie Salmon

Review of The Islamist, by Ed Husain

“The Islamist does not flatter the people, is not courteous to the authorities or care for other people’s customs and traditions, and does not give any attention to whether people will accept him or not. Rather, he must adhere to the ideology alone.” Taqiuddin al-Nabhani,founder of Hizb ut-Tahrir

“Islam is a revolutionary doctrine and system that overthrows governments. It seeks to overturn the whole universal social order.” Abdul Ala Mawdudi, founder of Jamat-e-Islami

French Workers Strike Back — 18 October


Ed Maltby

French rail, gas, and electricity workers are striking on 18 October over pensions, privatisation and their right to strike. The new right-wing French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has bitten off more than he can chew.

So desperate is Sarkozy to prove himself to right-wing voters and his party, the UMP, he plans to destroy as quickly as possible all of the gains won by French workers since the war; gains which the French working class has been able at least partially to defend throughout the 1980s and 90s, while other European workers were suffering a series of defeats.

For the Palestinians, not political Islam.


Sacha Ismail

About three hundred people marched through central London on Sunday 7 October as part of the “Al Quds Day” march organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission.

The shameful face of Al Quds day


Peter Tatchell

ON the Al Quds march, I held two placards. One with a Palestinian flag and “Free Palestine”, and the other with a photograph of a 16-year-old girl, Atefeh Rajabi Sahaaleh, who was executed in 2004 by the Iranian regime for “crimes against chastity”, having been sexually abused since childhood.

Oppose boycott legal ruling


Cath Fletcher

The debate within UCU, the University and College Union, on whether to launch a boycott of Israeli academia has been called off after lawyers consulted by the leadership declared a boycott “illegal”. After a unanimous vote by the Strategy and Finance Committee, including members of UCU Left, union branches have been told they cannot vote on a boycott, and a planned speaker tour of Israeli and Palestinian academics has been called off, at least for this term.

Pakistan: more arrests

Repression of opposition groups, including the socialist Labour Party, Pakistan continues. At the end of September ten members, including General Secretary Farooq Tariq, were arrested, at a protest against General Pervez Musharraf filing nomination papers for a second presidential term. They have been charged under Pakistan’s anti-terrorist laws!

Musharraf has been relected as Pakistan’s President after winning all but five of the votes cast in a joint Parliamentary and Provincial Assembly election. He would have won even if opposition groups had not boycotted the election.

US Auto Workers strike, but concede

Last month, for the first time in 37 years the US United Auto Workers (UAW) union launched a two-day nationwide strike against General Motors. The strike involved 73,000 production workers. It was over a two-tier wage structure, plant closures, outsourcing, forced 10-hour work days, and various classification and work rule changes.

The strike brought GM production to a halt. According the the US rank and file union magazine Labor Notes there was confusion over the union’s strategy for the strike.

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