Solidarity 432, 8 March 2017

Labour should back Derby teaching assistants


Ralph Peters

Derby Teaching Assistant strikers, Unison members, started another ten days on strike from 6 March in response to a recently imposed 25% pay cut. This will bring the number of days they have been on strike to over 70!

Industrial news in brief


Peggy Carter, Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

Monday 13 March will see the biggest and most widespread action yet in the fight to maintain the job of guard (conductor) in the UK rail industry. As well as another day of action on Southern Rail, the RMT union is calling its guard and driver members out on the Northern and Merseyrail franchises.

What’s happening on 11 March?


Simon Nelson and Keith Road

The Momentum Grassroots conference on Saturday 11 March (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Conway Hall, London, WC1R 4RL) presents an important opportunity to shape and coordinate the work of local groups after the 10 January coup in the organisation. We hope for a large turnout, with delegates representing groups from around the country.

Lukács legacy suppressed


John Cunningham

On 25 January, the Metropolitan Council of Budapest decided (by 19 votes to 3) to remove the statue of the Marxist philosopher Georg Lukács from the 13th District and replace it with a statue of King Stephen, the founder of the Hungarian nation. The proposal was put by a member of the neo-fascist Jobbik Party, Marcell Tokody.

A soundtrack for the movement against Trump


Bas Hardy

Found dead people in the forest Tallahatchie River and lakes
The whole wide world is wonderin’
What’s wrong with the United States

What’s wrong indeed! Lyrics from the Staples Singer’s Freedom Highway recorded twenty five years ago still resonate. It’s now the closing track on the second solo album of Rhiannon Giddens.

Real soldiers do feel sad


Carrie Evans

Last week saw the drop of Stormzy’s debut album Gang Signs and Prayer . Whilst the whole album is beautiful, brave and ambitious, it’s a bit of a grower and maybe not what most grime fans were expecting. It deals with themes of black identity, love and spirituality in a way mostly unheard in grime before.

The Jewish Question and universalism


Dale Street

Dale Street reviews Antisemitism and the Left: On the Return of the Jewish Question by Robert Fine and Philip Spencer.

Central to Antisemitism and the Left is the concept of universalism as “an equivocal principle” which “shows two faces to the world”. There is the “emancipatory face”, which looks to embrace all humankind in a shared civil, political and social inclusiveness. And there is the “repressive face”, which marks out and excludes “the other” who is deemed not to meet the criteria for membership of humanity.

What is the “social strike”?


Daniel Randall

Recent strikes by “gig economy” workers (e.g. Deliveroo) are profoundly significant. They explode the myth, peddled by some on both left and right, that so-called precarious workers can’t organise, and that the proliferation of those types of work is in the process of rendering labour organising historically redundant.

Defend EU migrants’ right to stay!



The House of Lords has voted by a large margin of 102 in favour of guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens in the UK after Brexit. With 358 in favour to 256 against, the Lords backed an amendment to the Article 50 bill, the bill giving the Prime Minister the power to trigger the Brexit process.

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