Party Notes

27th July 2015


Build now for 4 October TUC demonstration in Manchester,and People’s Assembly events 3-7 October

Corbyn: it’s no mystery why he’s doing so well

THE surge of support for Jeremy Corbyn is not the result of conspiring Trotskyists seeking to subvert Labour. It’s a sign of the mood against austerity and the thirst for opposition to the Tories rather than the present leadership’s “me too” attitude.

Corbyn’s policies on fighting welfare cuts, taxing the rich, abolishing student fees, ditching Trident, renationalising rail etc are very popular—with many Labour members and non-members alike.

Look at the nominations from Labour constituency parties, which are not haunts of the hard left). This morning Burnham was on 101, Cooper on 87, Kendall on 14—and Corbyn on 109 nominations.

Just so the media is clear, the SWP has not called for its members to sign-up as Labour supporters (still less as members). The witch hunting statements from MPs John Mann and Graham Stringer betray a profound distrust and dislike of Labour members who don’t meekly follow the pro-austerity drive.

Jeremy Corbyn is clearly the best candidate by a mile, and we wish him all the best. We have urged the affiliated unions to endorse Corbyn.

And we hope that, whatever the result on 12 September, the outcome of Corbyn’s campaign will be a stronger movement against austerity, racism and war.

But we are for an alternative to Labour, not trying to “reclaim” Labour, so we are not signing up as Labour supporters.

Make sure you are at any Corbyn meetings. A comrade from Manchester reports, “Over 300 came to a Jeremy Corbyn meeting on Saturday. We sold 32 papers, and got a very friendly response.”

Key tasks now:

1. Build the fightback: The Tories are on the rampage. Their anti-union law proposals would make it virtually impossible to have legal strikes for many workers. The key date is Sunday 4 October, the TUC demo at the Tory party conference.
Get the date into everyone’s heads and diaries now before the summer lull. There are further days of activities from 3-7 October organised by the People’s Assembly similar to the European social forums of the past. See http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/manchester_4_day_pledge and www.facebook.com/events/503640606458747/505237642965710/

TUC backing means we can push for funding from the unions and trade councils. Make sure the transport is for everyone, not just a particular union’s members.

Transport needs to be booked now. Coaches are already coming from many areas, and some are planning or both sets of events. Bristol has several coaches planned, most coming back after the 4 October demo, but at least one offering transport back on 7 October.

2. Build solidarity with the Greek fightback: The struggle in Greece is not going away. The EU and IMF are poised to demand still more cuts before they agree another bailout for the banks. There are important and militant struggles taking place.

Try to twin your union branch/campaign with a union branch or workplace in Greece. You can raise money or other materials, swap information and go though the struggle together. Perhaps it can lead to a speaker coming to Britain, or you sending out a delegation.

We sent out an excel file and pdf of contacts. WE NOW HAVE ANOTHER LIST WITH CONTACTS IN schools, hospitals, civil service, underground, local government etc. If you need these sent to you, please email charlie@swp.org.uk

Well done to Kingston comrades for their “Oxi and Ouzo” party at the weekend that raised £150 for strikers in Greece.

A comrade is going to Greece in a few weeks and she will take any money raised, get it to workers in struggle and come back with receipts.

If you have money you want taken to Greece, please email charlie@swp.org.uk and we will put you in touch with her.

3. Interesting meetings and discussions as well as activity and taking part in the movement: there are many contemporary issues that are well worth discussing. For example, the EU referendum is sparking lots of good debates inside the party and much wider. The Corbyn campaign—and Greece—raise issues of elections and struggle, reform and revolution, the limits of Labour etc. The attacks on Muslims and the scapegoating of migrants put centre state issues of anti-Muslim racism, immigration controls and the roots of racism. The sharp falls in the Chinese stock market and the downgrading of global growth forecast indicate the fragility of the recovery. We want meetings that will pull in people we meet during activities and sales. We also need meetings on history and theory every eight weeks or so.

Major meeting on anti-union laws THIS WED

This meeting (will be a chance to discuss the resistance we need to these laws. Please try to be there. If you’re going email charlie@swp.org.uk

SWP national trade union meeting
SATURDAY 19 SEPTEMBER: NATIONAL TRADE UNION MEETING: 11am – 4pm
With the austerity agenda gathering pace and the attack on trade union rights in the “Trade Union Bill”, activists face massive challenges.

Coming just a week after the TUC meets in Brighton this is an essential meeting for all SWP members involved in the unions and organising in their workplaces. There will be a general session starting (on the dot) at 11am with union fractions meeting at 2pm.

Union fraction committees and convenors will be elected at this meeting. There's a pooled fare of £15 ( for comrades on low wages, £5) that everyone pays and transport costs will be reimbursed. The event will register from 10am and run up to 5pm. If you can attend this event please email michaelb@swp.org.uk

Timetable for the day:
10am: Registration
11am - 1pm: General lead off & discussion
2 - 4pm: Meetings by union fraction (Unite/ Unison/ PCS/NUT/ UCU/ CWU/ BFAWU/ transport/ media)
4pm - 5pm: Caucus for NHS comrades

SWP young workers’ and new members’ meeting
SUNDAY 20 SEPTEMBER: YOUNG WORKERS’ & NEW MEMBERS’ TRADE UNION DAYSCHOOL: 11am – 4pm
This dayschool is for younger workers and newer members in the SWP, for anyone organising at work as a revolutionary for the first time.
It will be a chance to learn, discuss and debate the political ideas that inform how we organise in the trade unions and the working class movement, and the centrality of this to fighting for and winning a better society. Please email julies@swp.org.uk to confirm attendance. A pooled fare will operate, £5 for low waged workers and £15 for others, so please don’t let money stop you from coming as all travel costs beyond this will be reimbursed. Free accommodation for comrades coming from outside London can be arranged if needed.

Timetable for the day:
11am - 12 noon: Revolutionaries & the unions: the rank & file the bureaucracy
12.15 - 1.15pm: The working class today
LUNCH BREAK
1.45 - 3pm: How the unorganised became organised
3.15 - 4.30pm: Building in the workplace as a revolutionary: political trade unionism

A LEAFLET FOR BOTH MEETINGS IS ATTACHED

National student meeting, 12 Sept
SWP National Student Meeting: Saturday 12 September, 12 noon – 5pm, central London
In order for student members of Socialist Worker Party to get together and discuss what we are doing in the universities and colleges in the autumn term we would like to invite all student members to this meeting before term starts. It will be in central London and we will be able to refund any travel expenses.
Please can branches contact student members (FE and HE) over the summer and encourage them to come and transport is sorted. In particular make sure that all students that joined at Marxism are asked to come.

Please email Paddy in the Student Office on paddyswp123@gmail.com to confirm attendance or for more information or call us on 020 7819 1178.
There will be a lot to discuss: The term will kick off with the “Rage against the Tories” anti austerity demo in Manchester on 4 October, called by the TUC, and the series of meetings and events in Manchester 3-7 October called by the People’s Assembly.

There will be anti-racism initiatives taking on Islamophobia and scapegoating too, as well as campaigns to support Palestine and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

Plus on 29 November there is The People’s March for Climate, Justice and Jobs in London in the run up to the Cop 21 Climate talks in Paris.

And we will want to think how we can have Socialist Worker Student Society meetings on campuses.

So it’s crucial that as many students as possible come.

Tube strike 5 August: a major confrontation
London Underground strike on 5 August—and push for unity on the buses: The next scheduled Tube strike is 5 August.—and the employers seem determined to unite the entire workforce against them!

Last week they threatened to take legal action so that they could force drivers to bring trains into service that have not had their 24 hour safety prep. When that tactic failed, they said they will send drivers home without pay if they do not operate those trains.

This is a major battle that can give a big lift to our side if the Tube workers win.

Make a note of the date and prepare for solidarity and picketing. There are also moves towards pulling out the buses at the same time—a move that would really stop London. Leaflets for the bus garages went out last week.

Towards an all-out strike at the National Gallery
Preparing for an all-out strike at the National Gallery
After 52 days on strike, PCS members have now voted overwhelmingly for an all-out strike. The vote was 99 for with four against and four abstensions.

An all-out strike is likely to start in the middle of August, when new director Gabriele Finaldi is due to start his post. It is vital that comrades continue to organise solidarity collections and invitations to gallery strikers to speak at union meetings etc,
Candy Udwin’s appeal was postponed last week because the gallery didn’t give the proper notice.

There is a one day strike at the gallery this Wednesday 29 July, join picket lines 9am-11am. Then on Thursday there is an “alternative leaving party” for outgoing director Nicholas Penny. It is at 6pm at the Sainsbury Wing. Go here for the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/680728625391304

Campaign meeting to plan solidarity with all out action:
Thursday 6 August 6.30pm
Central London – venue to be confirmed
Donate and download posters and collection sheets: ngnotforsale.wordpress.com

6/9 for Palestine: demo at Wales V Israel match
On 6 September the Israeli football team comes to Wales. Israeli PR is already working to promote its image as “good sports”. This match gives a huge opportunity to say loud and clear that Israel is an apartheid state and must become a pariah state.

The Palestinian BDS movement calls for a sporting and cultural boycott. We need to keep the momentum going in support of the suspension of Israel from FIFA and UEFA.

There is no fair play in Israel, a country which is illegally occupying Palestine.
1. Work with PSC and Palestine activists to arrange transport. The demo is supported by Unison and PCS unions.
2. Pass the motion (one of the attached “motions for trade unionists”).
3. Use the attached leaflet.

Protest against the visit of butcher Sisi
Campaigners are organising to protest against an official visit to Britain by Egypt’s president. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi heads Egypt’s murderous regime that is carrying out execution, torture and imprisonment of any opposition figures. We don’t know exactly when Sisi will be coming, but we have to prepare now for action.

For updates go to egyptsolidarityinitiative.org

Add your own name to the statement against the visit https://usilive.org/takeaction/protest-camerons-invitation-to-sisi-sign-...

Prides
Make sure you are at your local Pride.; Brighton Pride Saturday 1 August; Liverpool Gay Pride 2015 Saturday 1 August ; Leeds Gay Pride 2015 Sunday 2 August; Wakefield Pride 2015 Sunday 9 August; Cymru Gay Pride 2015 Saturday 15 August (in Cardiff); Glasgow Pride Saturday 22 August; Manchester Gay Pride 2015 Saturday 29 August; Cornwall Gay Pride 2015 Sunday 29 August (in Truro); Kent Gay Pride 2015 Sunday 29 August (in Margate)
Walsall Gay Pride 2015 Sunday 29 August; Grimsby Pride 2015 Saturday 5 Sept; Leicester Gay Pride 2015 Saturday 5 Sept; Totnes Pride 2015 Saturday 5 Sept; Reading Pride 2015 Saturday 5 Sept; Sunderland Pride 2015 Saturday 26 Sept; Lincoln Pride 2015 Sunday 27 Sept
Circulation can send placards if you ask in advance.

Paul McGoay 1972-2015
On Friday we received the very sad news that our comrade Paul McGoay has died - so very young and unexpectedly.

Paul, a PCS member, worked in London and was well known in particular to comrades there as the Chair of PCS Passport Office and previously the PCS Group President.

He led strikes, had recently recruited new young members into the union and activist positions and was happiest when he was involved in political struggle.

He was held in high esteem by his work colleagues and also within the union.

He was twice centrally involved in Mark Serwotka’s general secretary election campaigns.

While building the SWP, he managed to work across all boundaries within the movement. He was a well-read working class intellectual.

Funeral details will be at www.socialistworker.co.uk when available.

Solidarity after Suruç
After the massacre at Suruc of Turkish and Kurdish left activists by Islamic State, the Turkish government has turned its fire on—the Kurdish PKK!

It is raining down far more firepower on the Kurdish groups than it is on ISIS. And it has allowed the US to use its Incirlik base for its bombing operations.

This is a very dangerous time. The Turkish government has abandoned the ceasefire with the Kurds. Turkish President Erdogan is trying to create a war mentality to shore up his crisis-ridden government and sideline the HDP which did so well at the last elections. Join any solidarity demonstrations with the Kurd s and the Turkish left in your area.

SWP democracy: please note these dates
1. Sunday 13 September: Party Council—two delegates from each branch and student group plus NC members attend as well.
2. Sunday 11 October: National Committee.
3. SWP national conference, 8-10 January 2016

Workplace Notes
Reinstate the Sotheby’s 4: Protest on Friday
Meet Friday 31 July, 5.45pm at Oxford Circus station, United Colors of Benetton exit.
Two of the Sotheby's four have been reinstated. However, Sotheby's and Servest are continuing to victimise Percy and Barbara, United Voices of the World shop-stewards, on the malicious grounds that they are "inciting violence" and are "deliberately trying to harm Sotheby's".

The fight continues to get Barbara and Percy reinstated and all workers paid a real living wage and contractual sick pay. Follow the campaign on https://www.facebook.com/unitedvoicesoftheworld

Fast Food Rights is having a planning meeting on 12 August, 5.30pm, for venue contact industrial department on 020 7819 1175. The main item for discussion is organising and building for the 16 September National Organsing Day (leaflets etc asttached). With a number of campaigns up and running, there is the opportunity for pulling together in the battle for union rights, against low pay and against zero hours contracts.

News from Bookmarks
Them and Us: Fighting the Class War (1910-1939)
John Newsinger £7.99
This was one of the most explosive periods in British working class history. Today, as the Tories try to take us back to the 1930s, Them and Us is a timely reminder of how workers responded to a previous ruling class offensive.

Understanding the record of Labour and trade union leaders in times of heightened working class struggle will be crucial for the battles to come. Them and Us provides a vital starting point for that debate.

Fighting on All Fronts
Popular Resistance in the Second World War
Ed Donny Gluckstein £13.99
The Second World War, contrary to the later claims of the Allied governments, began not as an anti-fascist war but as a naked conflict between the haves and have-nots of imperialism. However, the mass popular resistance movements that sprang up had quite a different purpose – economic, political and social liberation. Fighting on all fronts explodes many myths to reveal the impact of these movements in the East (Australia, Burma, China, Japan, Philippines) and in the West (Algeria, Ireland, Jewish resistance in Eastern Europe, the Netherlands, Slovakia and the Soviet Union) and the lessons we can draw for today.

Bookmarks: the socialist bookshop 1 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QE. 020 7637 1848 www.bookmarksbookshop.co.uk
info@bookmarksbookshop.co.uk