Solidarity 385, 20 November 2015

Students: get ready to strike!


Kelly Rogers

In early November, students from 110 college campuses across the United States rallied, protested and walked-out over rising student debt.

They demanded free education, debt cancellation, and a $15 per hour minimum wage for workers on their campuses. They pointed to Obama’s recent comments, that the $80 billion bill for the US prison system, would more than cover eliminating tuition fees and student debt for all public colleges and universities.

Campaign to stop expulsions of Corbyn supporters


Sacha Ismail

As we campaign against the expulsion of five Workers’ Liberty supporters from the Labour Party, we are coming into contact with other left-wingers expelled or barred from joining.

The specific “charges” against these comrades vary widely, but all the exclusions come down to politically motivated acts against left-wingers because they are left-wingers. They also have in common a lack of proper democratic procedure – or possibly even proper legal procedure. They are all carried out by the “Compliance Unit”, a shadowy body with no status in the Labour Party constitution.

Industrial news in brief


Gemma Short, Darren Bedford and Peggy Carter

Tim Roache has been elected General Secretary of the GMB, Britain’s third largest trade union. He succeeds Paul Kenny, who has stepped down after 10 years in the position, and who courted controversy recently by accepting a knighthood.

Vote Burgess for Unison General Secretary

John Burgess is standing for Unison General Secretary. He spoke to Solidarity about why.

I decided to run for Unison General Secretary for a mixture of reasons. Mainly due to the frustration and disappointment that after five years of austerity our union appears to have no strategy fight back.

It is clear that the Tories sense a weak trade union opposition and want to finish us off. I am not someone who stands at the back complaining, but adding nothing.

Workers stage unofficial walkout to save libraries

On Wednesday 18 November, ninety library workers across Lambeth in South London walked out of work to protest the Council’s refusal to listen to concerns over libraries closures, including controversial plans to turn three libraries into fee-charging gyms run by Greenwich Leisure Limited.

Germaine Greer, student politics and the left


Louise O’Shea

To a casual observer, it might seem incongruous that a campaign to prevent a prominent second wave feminist speaking on a university campus would be led by the women’s officer of the student union. But this is typical of the world we live in, and of student politics in the English-speaking world in particular.

The horror of ″the lump″


Hugh Edwards

On Saturday 14 November, more than 100 people squeezed into the Three Minute Theatre in Manchester for a very rare showing of “The Lump”.

Rights for disabled people


Jasmine Bryant

This document on disability and struggles by disabled people was prepared for discussion at Workers’ Liberty’s annual conference on 21-22 November.

The Tory-led governments since 2010 have launched a sustained and vicious assault on the living standards and rights of disabled people.

Some of the ground for this — for example, the introduction of Work Capability Assessments — was laid by the previous “New Labour” government, but the Tories have cranked it up to an unprecedented degree of cruelty.

False flag and “soft” conspiracy theories


Andrew Francis

In the aftermath of the devastation in Paris it took no time at all for new conspiracy theories to emerge.

The “false flag” theory is a popular one, and has been wheeled out increasingly in response to acts of terror since it first gained popularity within the 9/11 conspiracy movement. “False flag” refers to the idea that terrorist attacks are actually covertly orchestrated by the government or axis of power which claims to be the victim of them.

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