8th February 2016
All out to build Stand up to Racism protests: London, Glasgow Cardiff - 19 March
On Saturday comrades were involved in mobilising against Pegida in Birmingham, engaged in key debates at the Unite Against Fascism and marched in solidarity with the Junior Doctors on their national demonstration – see below for more details about their strike this week.
Around 200 Pegida supporters gathered in the rain on the outskirts of Birmingham. There were met by two different counter protests on the day totalling over 250 people.
Meanwhile the UAF conference was oversubscribed and had to turn people away. All the sessions were packed out and combined an angry and militant discussion about challenging racism and fascism with a careful analysis of the situation. Comrades from Keerfa in Greece discussed how they had to both take on Golden Dawn as well as deal with thousands of refugees arriving each day. The conference discussed the inter-relationship between anti refugee racism, state racism and how the far right and the Nazis try and take advantage of the situation. It reflected the often complex situation we face at present in anti-racist and anti-fascist work.
Speakers made the point that while we still have to take on the small groups of Nazis that seek to mobilise and challenge Prevent, that all roads lead to the March 19th demonstrations against racism.
There is now less than six weeks until these demos in London, Glasgow and Cardiff. The demonstrations have now had official backing from the CWU, PCS, NUT, Unison, Unite and the TUC. New flyers are out showing these details. Contact Zak at SUTR to order more.
Details of the demos are:
London: Assemble 12 noon, Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA (Oxford Circus tube). March followed by rally in Trafalgar Square. For details go to Glasgow: Assemble 12 noon George Square. For details go to
Cardiff: Assemble 11.30am Clare Gardens, Cardiff, CF11 March at 12noon to City Hall for rally. For details go to
• Transport: Is this booked from your area to the 19th March demonstration? If not book it this week. Attached is a template flyer to use to advertise local coaches.
• SUTR rally. Every area needs to set up a SUTR rally at the end of February/start of March with the title: “Refugees welcome here: No to racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism” Aim for the biggest speakers possible. We can supply artwork for your rally. Please contact us at the National Office for this.
• SUTR organising meeting. The building for the rally and the demo should involve the widest possible forces from the start. Make sure you have an organising meeting asap.
• Materials. If you did not get the SUTR flyers for the demo last week or need more please contact the National Office.
• Plus SUTR have produced a red wristband saying Refugees Welcome. Price £1 or £2 solidarity. Bulk buy 15 for £10.00. These can be ordered by calling Aiden in the National Office and making a card payment.
Shut down Yarls Wood Detention Centre
The Movement for Justice has called a demonstration at Yarls Wood Detention Centre on Sat 12 March. For details go to Check if there is transport going from your local area and make sure comrades are booked on.
TUC week of action, junior doctors strike and anti racism
Building at work this week: TUC week action – junior doctors – anti racism
A leaked letter between government ministers, revealed by Socialist Worker, shows that the Tories face considerable pressures over their Trade Union Bill (the article can be read here). The TUC week of action is this week. Send any reports and pictures from lunchtime meetings on Tuesday or lunchtime rallies etc on Thursday to firstname.lastname@example.org. Download artwork for the Unite the Resistance ‘Defend Unions – Kill the Bill’ selfie poster here A UtR bulletin for the TUC week of action – Junior doctors strike is out later today.
• On Thursday evening (11 Feb) , a major rally has been organised in London by the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom to oppose the Trade Union Bill: 6.30pm at NUT hq, Hamilton House, Mabeldon Place, WC1 (Euston station). Link to the leaflet here
•Around 2,000 junior doctors protested in London last Saturday and 500 in Bristol on Sunday following the breakdown in talks and the resumption of strike action. Junior doctors are on strike for 24 hours from 8am this Wednesday (10 Feb). The mood among many junior doctors is increasingly angry towards Jeremy Hunt for the lies his keep spreading about the dispute. The last strike saw significant solidarity on the picket line by trade unionists – this needs to be repeated on Wed.
• A delegation of trade unionists is heading to Calais together with Stand Up to Racism from this Friday (12 Feb) until Sun 21 Feb. A collection sheet is available here and donations for the trip can also be made via a crowdfunding account – please share this widely. For more information email email@example.com. We should keep push for motions in union branches to back the 19 March anti-racist demos and use this help build delegations on the day. The latest publicity for the demos list the unions who are already nationally backing it – CWU, Unison, NUT and PCS.
Building the SWP: Can your branch recruit two new people in February?
We are asking every branch to try and recruit two people during February. As we push out building for March 19th demos we should be asking those we are working with to join us. One of the main places we recruit is at our meetings. 70 people came to Manchester SWP public meeting on Imperialism with Alex Callinicos last week including a lot of non-members and students. Two people joined the SWP and 6 people signed up to Marxism. 25 went to Brixton’s branch and 25 to Birmingham, while 17 were at York’s meeting. All of these meetings were properly built using publicity. We can often help with artwork and provide templates. Ben, our designer has set up a website where templates can be downloaded here This week new artwork has gone up for meetings on: Why we say Trident must g” & Labour & the bomb: Can Corbyn stop Trident?
Contact Aiden at the National Office to discuss titles, publicity and speakers. Ideas for meeting titles: Marxism and Imperialism: Why capitalism leads to war; From Cop 21 to flooding: are we too late to stop climate change? How much can Corbyn change the Labour Party? Will there be another economic slump? Who gains from the European Union? Missile madness: why we say Trident must go; Labour and the bomb: Can Corbyn stop Trident? What is the United Front? Is Bernie Sanders the US’s Jeremy Corbyn? From the War on Terror to Prevent: Islamophobia today. February is LGBT history month. An interesting title given all the current debates about trans issues could be What do Marxists say about gender and sexuality? In addition branches should plan in a meeting for International Women’s Day on 8th March – one title is “Fighting oppression and exploitation – the real tradition of International Women’s Day”. If you have not already had a book launch of Marxism and Women’s Liberation with Judith Orr your branch could try and book this in.
The Subs Drive. The aim of this year’s subs drive is to both increase the amount of income we have per month but also to increase the number of members who pay regular subs by direct debit. Every branch needs a membership and subs drive organiser. We will be sending out lists every Friday showing who has responded to the subs drive. Every branch needs to organise a ring round as part of the drive. Contact new members who are not on dd, members who have cancelled their subs and working comrades paying relatively low subs. For more information please contact Christine, Nathan and Ant in the Membership Dept.
SWP Student and New Members Dayschool: Sat 5 March, London
This dayschool is an opportunity for newer members to come together and discuss some of our key ideas including oppression, imperialism, class and the EU. Every branch needs a hit list of members to ask to come. The Dayschool is open to all and any comrade who has joined the party in the last five years should be encouraged to come. If comrades are from a district outside London think about transport now so it’s affordable. For bookings and more information please email Paddy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scottish Cadre School, Sat 13 Feb
Comrades in Scotland can reserve a place at a special cadre school, open to party members, to be held in Glasgow from12.30pm on Saturday 13 February. The aim of the school is to explore and discuss our theory at a level of detail that is not possible at a branch meeting.
Alex Callinicos will lead off a discussion on "The Challenge of Left Reformism" and Sally Campbell will speak on "Is the Working Class Finished?". We will run a pooled fare system: entry will be £10 waged/£5 unwaged and we will refund the cheapest pre-booked travel to those outside Glasgow. Booking is essential as only 60 places are available at the school. Please email email@example.com, and put "Glasgow" in the subject line, to reserve your space. Some reading material will be circulated before the school.
Marxism 2016: 30 June – 4 July: Book up now!
Book up early and get a £5 discount. Click here to book up online. Or call the Marxism Office on 020 7840 5620 to book up and to request new publicity for your branch.
Stop Trident National Demo, Sat 27 Feb
Every area should ensure that comrades are part of any organising meetings for the CND demo and comrades are booked up on the transport. For full details, including transport and resources to promote the demo, visit www.cnduk.org/StopTrident. FB here
Stop the War Coalition Steering Committee
Stop the War is holding a steering committee on Saturday 13 February, 11-4.30pm. Every local StW group can send a delegate. If you can be delegated to this meeting please email firstname.lastname@example.org for caucus details.
The Abortion Rights AGM is being held at Unite HQ on Saturday 12 March, there will be a public meeting at 1pm followed by the business of the AGM at 3pm. All details of speakers and how to register are at abortionrights.org.uk. Please let Judith know if you can attend, email Judithorr@hotmail.com
Peoples Assembly: March for health, homes, jobs and education. 16 April, central London
The People’s Assembly have called a national demonstration: March for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education, Sat 16 April, Central London. Comrades should go to any planning meetings for this and get involved building for it. Make sure comrades are booked on the local transport.
Momentum Tour: JC4PM
Momentum are hosting a tour of comedians, singers, poets, campaigners and politicians to build support for Corbyn. Below is a list of dates. Districts should do stalls at these, build for M19 and sell SW. The first of these in Kentish Town last week drew over 500 people. Comrades leafletted for M19 and Marxism and sold 40 sw. Make sure you cover ones in your area:
Tues 23 Feb: Colston Hall, Bristol
Wed 9 Mar: Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Sun 13 Mar: Fairfields Halls, Croyden
Tues 15 Mar: Tyne Theatre and Opera House, Newcastle
Bookmarks event to commemorate the Easter Rising
On Friday 4 March Bookmarks will host a book launch with Kieran Allen on 1916: Ireland's Revolutionary Tradition. This will be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the centenary of the Rising, but also to debate its political legacy for socialists and the question of national liberation. Bring your friends and workmates and share the Facebook event widely here Flyers will be available soon.
Friday 4 March, 6.30 for 7pm at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8EP. Call Bookmarks on 020 7637 1848 or email email@example.com to reserve your place.
Bookmarks book launch this Thursday
Join Roddy Slorach for the launch of his new book "A Very Capitalist Condition: a history and politics of disability", co-hosted by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and Bookmarks publications. Roddy will be joined by Debbie Jolly, co-founder of DPAC, and Sean McGovern, disability councillor for the TUC General Council. Sign language interpretation will be provided.
6.30pm Thursday 11 Feb at Unite the Union head office, 128 Theobald's Road, Holborn, WC1X 8TN. There are limited spaces - to reserve a place email or call: firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 76371848
London Underground RMT maintenance staff to strike this Friday
Though the strike by RMT station strike which was due last weekend was called off, another section of tube workers are set to begin a series of strikes starting this Friday morning with a 24 hour strike. Around 1500 maintenance staff are in dispute over safety issues. This start starts at 6.30am.
The plan for picketing is still being drawn up, and we will send out clear times and places from the SWP industrial office later this week. Look out for the email. But here is a list of the likely places for picket and we expect early morning picketing as well as picketing at other times in the day on Friday: Hainault & Leyton (Walthamstow SWP district); Lambeth North – (South London SWP district); Baker Street & Edgware Road (Griffith House) (Central London SWP district); Acton Town & Rickmansworth – (West London SWP district).
Ainscough crane strike
Crane drivers at Ainscough struck for a second time this morning over pay and zero hours contracts. Next week the strike escalates to two days (Mon-Tues). You can find a map of the 30 depots where they’re picketing here: http://www.ainscough.co.uk/depots/
FE strike by UCU & UNISON across England 24 February
UCU and UNISON further education branches in England will take joint strike action over pay for the first time in over a decade on 24 February over the failure to agree our pay claim of £1 extra per hour. A leaflet for FE Colleges is out this week.
UCU Elections for Vice President and NEC run until 26 Feb
Important elections for the UCU NEC and for the position of Vice President are underway. The UCU Left, which includes SWP members, is standing a full “slate of candidates”. Leading UCU activist Mandy Brown is standing for the Vice President position.
• You can download the latest b&w ‘Vote Mandy Brown’ flyer here & latest colour flyer here
• Follow Mandy on facebook here and on twitter here
• Download UCU left flyer for HE here & download UCU Left flyer for FE here
UCU HE Convention, debating and opposing the HE Green Paper, Saturday 27 February
Activists and academics have initiated the second “HE Convention – debating and opposing the Green Paper” on Saturday 27 Feb. We should be raising this on every University campus and building the maximum turn out on the day. Go to HE Convention website here Download a leaflet here And please book for the event now here The HE Convention is on twitter @heconvention
Defending Further and Adult Ed: Shaping the future - SOAS, Central London Sat 5 March.
This major event, initiated by the London Region of UCU is being organised by UCU, NUS, Learning and work Institute, NATECLA and Action for ESOL. You can register now here. Around 500 people attended UCU’s “Defend public education from Cradle to Grave” event last Saturday, which Jeremy Corbyn spoke at, and we sold 45 papers.
Simon O’Hara update
If Simon O’Hara, victimised NUT rep at Small Heath school in Birmingham, is not reinstated today, a three day strike at the school will begin tomorrow (Tues), following a massive yes vote in a ballot for strikes over Simon’s suspension. Keep sending messages of support and post them on the campaign twitter feed: @ReinstateSimon
Unison Women’s conference
This starts this Thursday (11 Feb) and runs to Saturday. If you are a delegate and haven’t done so please email email@example.com for details on of an SWP caucus.
Scottish Colleges: EIS-FELA ballot
The ballot over the call for an equal national pay rate for lecturers across Scotland starts on 12 Feb. A leaflet will be send out later this week.
Libraries: three strikes and a lobby
Library staff across a number of South London boroughs are striking over cuts to libraries. Lambeth library workers in Unison struck today while Unite library staff in Greenwich are on strike for four days from tomorrow (Tues 9 Feb) and library staff in Bromley (also Unite) are striking all week until this Saturday night (13 Feb). The campaign group Speak Up For Libraries is holding a lobby of parliament tomorrow (Tues 9 Feb) beginning with a meeting at Central Hall, Westminster 11am-1pm, which will also be joined by strikers. If you can help sell at this, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports Direct: Unite national day of action this Sunday 13 Feb
Unite has called a day of action over pay and conditions at Sports Direct for this Sunday with around 30 actions planned. To check if there is one in your area, go here
There was a meeting of the party’s National Committee on Sunday. If you would like help in trying to arrange a member of the NC to do a report back for your branch please contact the National Office.