Solidarity 341, 25 October 2014

Backlash against Hong Kong democracy protests


Charlotte Zalens

Talks between protestors and the government in Hong Kong reopened on Thursday 16 October.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying will not be attending as protesters have refused to talk to him!

On Tuesday 21 Leung said that while Beijing would not back down on vetting candidates (for 2017 elections for the Chief Executive), the selection committee could become more democratic. This has been described by the government as an “olive branch”. It is a long way from the core demands of the protesters for full democracy.

Trade unionism should not be a crime


Gemma Short

Shahrokh Zamani and Reza Shahabi are just two of many who are in Iranian jails, locked up by the government for organising independent trade unions and workers’ organisations.

Whilst trade unions are not technically illegal under Iranian law, state sponsored unions are used to quash independent unions. Activists like Shahrokh and Reza are charged with offences such as “propaganda against the state” and “acting against national security by establishing or membership of groups opposed to the system.”

Don't believe what you read in the Mail


Harry Davies

Over the last fortnight the national press has picked up a story about a violent incident at Hinde House School in Sheffield.

To take the version initially printed by the Sheffield Star and then picked up by the Mail... three Roma Slovak pupils attacked another boy following an argument “about a football”. The victim was “punched to the ground” and left with a broken nose. The school has now, the reports continue, been presented with a 1,600 name petition demanding that, in the words of one parent “something be done”.

Ukrainian left: growing but from a small base

Marko Bojcun from the Ukraine Solidarity Campaign attended the conference “War in Ukraine and the Politics of the Left” in Kiev in September. He spoke to Solidarity.

The conference brought together people from European countries including Russia, Sweden, Moldova, Czechoslovakia, Germany and Britain. It reviewed the situation in Ukraine, particularly the war and discussed the response of the international and Ukrainian left.

The public face of the activist


Martin Thomas

A review of La Lutte Des Signes: 40 Ans d’Autocollants Politiques, by Zvonimir Novak

Zvonimir Novak argues that in France, progressively over the last 40 years, the autocollant has become the “means of expression of those who do not have access to the mainstream media”.

Not just in France, but (he says) in Calcutta, in Dakar, worldwide.

I don’t know why the autocollant is still rare in Britain. Solidarity and Workers’ Liberty are now pioneering this field, producing a first range of autocollants.

Ready to stand up for reforms


Janet Burstall

Gough Whitlam has died. He led Australia’s reforming Labor government of 1972-5, which was sacked by the Governor-General (as representative of the Queen) following a budget crisis.

I feel frustration at the lack of Labor leaders who are forthright in speaking and acting for broad ranging equality and reform as Gough Whitlam did.

Labor after Gough chose Hawke and Keating as leaders. They proved, with tripartism, that the Australian Labor Party (ALP) had rejected Gough’s failures as seen by the ruling class.

Arm the people to defeat Daesh!

Muayad Ahmed is the secretary of the central committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iraq. He is currently in Britain after spending time recently in Sulaimaniya (in Iraqi Kurdistan) and in Baghdad. He spoke to Martin Thomas about conditions in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan.

MA: People’s daily life has changed dramatically. People are worried, always expecting the worst — carnage, slaughter by Daesh [the “Islamic State” movement or ISIS], and so on.

Help the Kurds defeat ISIS



Fighting has continued across Syria and Iraq between ISIS (“Islamic State”) forces and Kurdish militia and Iraqi military. Airstrikes around the town Kobane (in Syria near the Turkish border) of by the US-led military coalition have intensified, and the march of ISIS has been slowed.

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