Solidarity 485, 7 November 2018

Brazil after the election of Bolsonaro

Published on: Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:54

Kelly Rogers

The left and the labour movement, feminists and LGBTQ people, are on the defensive after the election of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro as president on 28 October 2018. Bolsonaro takes office on 1 January, but already the right wing are energised.

Street parties were held all over the country on the night of his election. Many places saw military vehicles parade through the streets. Thousands of people poured out to show their support. More than 20 universities have been subjected to invasions by military police and the confiscation of teaching materials relating to anti-fascist history

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:30

Clara Bennett, Ruth Cashman and Ollie Moore

Security staff at the University of Leicester are currently in dispute with management, who wish to cut their working week to 35 from 37 hours, with the loss of two hours’ pay. Effectively this works out to be about £800 per year. A large sum for relatively low paid workers but a tiny sum for the university, especially when the team they are targeting is very small.

A consultative ballot was held last week where 100% turnout achieved 100% in favour of industrial action. This, from the 100% unionised team, should send a very clear message to the bosses that a cut in wages will not be

Women say: “Not OK Google”

Published on: Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:25

Kelly Rogers

On Thursday 1 November, thousands of Google workers staged an international walk-out to protest against the company’s handling of sexual harassment. Thousand of workers from cities as far apart as New York, London, Berlin, Zurich, Singapore, Tokyo and more, took part. Many of them took to the streets, or gathered in squares and parks holding placards with slogans like “O.K. Google, really?”.

The action followed revelations that Google had paid millions of dollars in exit packages to male executives found to have committed sexual harassment and had covered up the incidents. Most notably

Fake news inside the left

Published on: Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:02

Cathy Nugent

On 26 October, the Red London Facebook page, purportedly a site run by Corbyn-supporting socialists, posted a meme indicating that the Clarion magazine and one of its editors, Sacha Ismail, support child abuse. Sacha is a member of Workers’ Liberty, and the parent of a young child.

The claim is ludicrous, reckless, and malicious. It is not the first time that Red London have smeared members of Workers’ Liberty. Who are Red London? What are their politics? What other attacks have they made on us and other socialists?

Red London’s administrators have always been anonymous, but it is clear that

Revolution in Germany, 1918

Published on: Wed, 07/11/2018 - 10:57

Paul Hampton

In November 1918, German workers overthrew the imperial government and ended the First World War. What began as a sailors’ revolt within weeks saw workers’ councils take charge of various German cities. A social democratic government took power amidst a situation of dual power. The revolution, however, would be defeated, or at least limited to the replacement of the old monarchist government by a parliamentary democracy, and a parliamentary democracy so flawed that it would within 15 years fall to the Nazis.

At the end of October 1918, the German admirals decided on a last-gasp operation,

Demand every Labour MP votes against Brexit

Published on: Wed, 07/11/2018 - 10:49


The May government and its Brexit process are bracing themselves to take the coming weeks at a run, trying to hurtle us all over a rickety bridge. Yet it looks like they could be saved by some Labour MPs voting for the Tories’ Brexit formula.

Constituency Labour Parties and trade unions should insist that all Labour MPs vote against the Tories’ deal. There is a real chance of bringing down the Tory government. No-one who will vote to save the Tory government deserves to be a Labour MP.

According to a recent leak, the government plans to get a deal at an EU summit on 17-18 November. Then,

Arron Banks, the EU, and the Morning Star

Published on: Wed, 07/11/2018 - 10:19

Jim Denham

Arron Banks is a millionaire who quite frequently threatens legal action against those who cross him, so I’ll be careful what I write here. What can be stated as a matter of straight fact is that his highly complex business and financial arrangements were of sufficient concern to the Electoral Commission that they have now passed their investigation into the £8 million he gave to Leave.EU, and other pro-Brexit groups, over to the National Crime Agency. Oh, and it’s probably safe to quote what the Guardian’s Matthew d’Ancona has already written about him: “Banks is the John Gotti of populist

“We are losing Jews from the Labour Party”

Published on: Wed, 07/11/2018 - 09:30

Adrian Cohen spoke to a local Workers’ Liberty supporter.

S: Our CLP [Constituency Labour Party], Hornsey and Wood Green, with one of the largest memberships in the country, voted at its October meeting to affiliate to Jewish Voice for Labour [JVL: a group concerned to reject complaints about antisemitism in the Labour Party as spurious]. Now we have a letter from people in the local Jewish community to the CLP calling for the affiliation to be stopped. Adrian, you are the chair of the London Jewish Forum and a Jewish Labour Movement delegate to the CLP, and a signatory to the letter in your

To fix climate change, we need accountable democracy

Published on: Wed, 07/11/2018 - 09:20

Mike Zubrowski

Over 1,000 protesters blocked roads around Parliament on 31 October calling for urgent action on climate change. The action saw 15 protesters arrested and was the launch of an “escalating campaign of civil disobedience”. This came the day after a major report warning that population sizes of most forms of animal wildlife have decreased by 60% globally since 1970. And two days after the Tory chancellor unveiled a budget which did not mention climate change, nor move towards tackling it.

Almost all of £30 billion invested in transport has been in roads, rather than public transport. There is a

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