Party Notes

22th August 2016


Voting begins for Labour leader

Ballot papers for the Labour leadership contest are being sent out from today. Jeremy Corbyn may not have the support of Sadiq Khan but thousands of people continue to flock to hear him speak at rallies across the country. A 4,000 seater venue in Kilburn, London was packed last night- the biggest political event in living memory to take place in the area, while 3000 turned out in Sheffield on Friday evening for a rally. Don’t miss an event like this in your area. Some of them are called at only a few days notice – so check social media. Set up stalls, leaflet for the Birmingham “Unwelcome the Tories” Demo and for the SUTR conference, and sell SW. At all of them comrades have reported a very good reception. 80 copies of SW were sold at the Kilburn rally as well as 12 of the Labour Party pamphlets, while 40 SW were sold in Sheffield. Stand up to Racism also did a stall and got details of lots of people who would like to be involved. At the 1000 plus strong Black and Minority Ethnic event organised by Corbyn in Islington last week comrades sold out of the 50 SWs they had brought.

As well as these rallies there are a number of JC4PM “Keep Corbyn” events now organised with speakers including Ken Loach, Billy Bragg, Francesca Martinez, John McDonnell and Mark Serwotka. Comrades should ensure we book tickets to go where possible and have stalls outside. Dates already confirmed are: Cardiff Mon 5 Sept, Wakefield Thurs 8 Sept, Manchester Sun 11 Sept, and Brighton Tues 13 Sept. More details can be found here and on Facebook here Other Momentum events can be found here.

It is important we have a good presence at all these events. We want to work alongside Labour Party members and supporters, many of whom will want to build for the “Unwelcome the Tories” demo in Birmingham on Sun 2 Oct and the Stand up to Racism conference the week after on Sat 8 Oct.

The Labour leadership result will be announced at the Labour Party Conference taking place in Liverpool on Sat 24 Sept to Tues 27 Sept. Momentum is hosting a four day fringe type event at the same time in Liverpool called “The World Transformed”. According to their website they will “host over 150 hours of talks, workshops, gigs, film screenings, art exhibitions, book launches, children’s activities and more.” Speakers include John McDonnell, Diane Abbott, Mark Serwotka, Paul Mason, Owen Jones and many more. According to the Facebook page over 1,000 tickets were booked in just 48 hours! This will be a fantastic place to meet and discuss with Labour members and supporters about where next after the leadership election and how we can campaign and build. Tickets are free but need to be booked here Comrades in Liverpool, Manchester and the North West should book tickets asap before they run out.

Relating to and working with Labour party members will not just end with the election result. Whatever the result the debates and arguments are likely to continue in the Labour Party. As a whole party we need to relate to the 500,000 plus members but we are also likely to develop long term relationships with individuals, many of whom will come to our meetings, like what we say, join SUTR, come to demonstrations. As part of this we have to make sure we think about our branch meetings – the titles and also how they are built. As well as making sure that every person at the Kilburn Corbyn rally got a flyer for 2 nd Oct demonstration and SUTR conference, comrades gave out leaflets advertising their local branch meeting. Everyone will want to discuss the election result in the week after leadership results so make sure you plan in now your branch meeting to be on “After the leadership battle: where next for Corbyn and the Labour Party”. Artwork will be sent out later this week.

Model motion: Back Corbyn build the resistance here

Back Corbyn – Start the fightback petition here

Back Corbyn -- Start the fightback leaflet here

Fight the Tories – Defend Corbyn placard here

For all our work around the Corbyn campaign you need the re-issued pamphlet Jeremy Corbyn, Labour and the fight for Socialism by Charlie Kimber. It has a new introduction which means it is right up to date.

Order now £3 one copy, £20 for ten, from amyl@swp.org.uk 0r ring 020 7840 5600.


“Unwelcome the Tories” in Birmingham – build for the demonstration at Tory Party Conference Sun 2 October

Tories Out - Austerity Has Failed
Assemble 11:30am, Victoria Square, Birmingham

This demo comes just a week after the Labour leadership election results. As such it is crucial we fight to make it as big as possible to help build a movement on the streets and in the workplaces that can help support and defend Corbyn as well as show to all those who have joined labour inspired by Corbyns anti austerity, anti racist message – that they can do more than vote for Corbyn. Comrades in Birmingham have been building the demo with the People’s Assembly who have called it. They now have a leafletting timetable and a plan to hit all the major events in the area with publicity.

Everywhere else needs to book transport asap. There should be a coach from every area. Comrades in Bradford have booked a coach and are hoping to get trade union support to cover the cost. All the comrades who can are putting in motions to support the demo to their union branch for discussion in September. In Scarborough the local anti fracking group has given money towards the coach booked by the People’s Assembly. Every union, campaign and activist group should be approached in your local area.

Attached is a template flyer to add local transport details on. Make sure you have tickets to sell for transport. If you need more colour flyers or posters please contact the National Office.

  • Please let us know in the National Office details of your transport as soon as you can. Email amyl@swp.org.uk

The Facebook event for the demo is here

The People’s Conference: On Sat 1 Oct, the day before the demo, there will be Peoples Conference held in Birmingham Town Hall, Victoria Square, B3 3DQ, 10.30am-5pm. This will be a chance to discuss alternatives to the Tories’ agenda of austerity, privatisation and racism.

Full details for the event and to book a place are here


Peoples Assembly National Assembly: Sat 3 Sept

Nation Union of Teachers HQ, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, LONDON WC1H 98D

The National Assembly is the decision making body of the People's Assembly between conferences. This is a delegate meeting - Each Local People's Assembly group & National Affiliated organisation is entitled to send two delegates . Please let the National Office know if you are going as a delegate from your local Peoples Assembly.


Stand Up to Racism Conference: Sat 8 Oct – a council of war for the anti racist movement

Racism remains at the centre of British political debate. The fall-out from the “Brexit” vote, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the ongoing issues of immigration, Islamophobia and the refugee crisis all mean that building a mass anti-racist movement is a crucial task for the whole movement.

In the wake of the attacks over the summer in France and Germany, Islamophobia, racism and the growth of the far right in Europe give that task an obvious international dimension, as does the ongoing Black Lives Matter mobilisations in the US.

The conference, now with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a key note speaker, gives activists the chance to develop strategies to oppose Prevent, build solidarity with refugees, combat the myths around immigration and develop the struggle against police racism.

This isn’t just another event. We can’t successfully combat austerity if our side is divided. We need organisation in every town and city that can mobilise the huge potential movement against racism. That means making sure that the conference is a huge event and that the key campaigners in the trade union, student and anti-racist movements are there.

The first step is for you to book now. Friends Meeting House in London is a big venue but it’s not that big! Over 500 people are registered already, so we need to make sure everyone we want to get along are booked in, and soon.

Outside of London we need to make sure that Stand up to Racism groups are booking cheap transport now. We don’t want anyone priced out of attending, particularly as many campaigners and activists will be travelling to the People’s Assembly protest in Birmingham just six days beforehand (2 October). The conference happens at the height of the freshers fayres. We don’t want students to be priced out of attending.

Stand up to Racism wants all details of transport for the conference so they can advertise it on their website.

Register here for the conference and send details of your local transport to info@standuptoracism.org.uk

Approach every person your branch has met over the last year – on the refugees welcome demos, the Convoy to Calais, the Black Lives Matter protest, anti EDL protests.

  • Leaflets for the conference are now available – if you need more please contact the National Office to have them sent up with the papers

Trade Unionists say stand up to racism: The SUTR conference is a big opportunity for comrades in workplaces, particularly with Corbyn speaking, to relate to the highly politicised mood around Corbynism and the aftermath of the Brexit vote. In many union branches and workplaces there will be a lot of scope for building delegations to come to the conference. Comrades should look to setting up workplace Stand Up To Racism meetings.

Please find a model motion that can be used to get union branches to support the demo in Birmingham, the SUTR conference and also the UTR conference in November: here

There will only be one union meeting in September to get support for the Birmingham demo and SUTR. Every comrade who can should try and get it (or an adapted version of it) passed. We should approach trade unionists we know in other workplaces to raise it too.

NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL 2016!!! – London Calling
The Notting Hill Carnival is one the biggest multi-cultural festivals in the world, with up to 2 million people attending at its peak in 2008. Last year, we sold over 100 papers.

Politicians and the right wing media are using migrants as scapegoats for job and housing shortages – we should turn the stalls into a little political village in the middle of the carnival; petitioning against police violence and arguing that refugees are welcome and immigration is not the problem.

On the Monday, 29/08/14, we will have a SWP stall at Carnival, from 11.00am until 2.00pm at the junction of Great Western Road and Westbourne Park Road. We are asking for three comrades from every branch in London to come and help with our stalls. Please let the National office know if you can make it by calling 0207 840 5600 or emailing Michael onmichaelb@swp.org.uk

Stand Up to Racism are also having a mass leafletting – please contact Zak if you can help or have others who would like to be involved. Z.cochrane1@googlemail.com

Refugees Welcome Here demonstration: Sat 17 Sept, Assemble 12.30 on Park Lane to march to Parliament Square. Called by Solidarity with Refugees.

A wide range of organisations have come together to call and support this demonstration, including Stand up to Racism.

This is the anniversary of the 50,000 strong last autumn in support of refugees. For full details see the Facebook event here

Every area should check if there is transport being organised and make sure comrades are part of going on it. Check out the organisations supporting the demo here - their local branches might be running transport. We will have a full London mobilisation for the demo.

Edinburgh college boycotts Prevent!

EIS staff members, including SWP members, at Edinburgh college have won an important victory by forcing the college to drop any references to Prevent in its staff training scheme. The college had initially intended to include Prevent in its training, but was forced to back down after a threat from EIS members to boycott it. This is an important victory against the government's Islamophobic agenda. It also shows that when groups of workers are confident in fighting against cuts - EIS won a stunning victory over pay in March when over 5,000 of them took strike action - this can feed into a wider confidence in confronting issues such as racism.


Students: plan now for 6th forms and Freshers Fairs

Students have been at the forefront of the recent politicisation in Britain – many have been enthused by Corbyn and have turned out in big numbers on recent demos against racism, war, austerity & climate change. There will be a big audience for socialist ideas this academic year as the political situation sharpens.

6th forms branches need to plan now about hitting 6th forms, most of which go back on Thursday 1 September. SWSS materials will be sent out next week. On our stalls we should be speaking to as many sixth formers as possible about coaches to the demo outside Tory Party conference, and about the Stand Up to Racism conference on 8th October. We should also think about branch meeting titles that are attractive for students, and make sure we have leaflets for them on 6th form stalls – ‘Black Lives Matter’, ‘Can Corbyn beat the establishment?’, ‘Capitalism versus the environment: why won’t our rulers act?’ are all good titles to have in first 2 weeks of September

Universities & Freshers Fairs Universities begin to go back from Monday 5 September. Every branch needs to check when their university returns, and what date the Fresher Fair is. In places where SWSS is registered, we will be able to have stalls inside the Fairs, but even if we are not registered, we should go for SWSS stalls outside. Outside the Fair often gives you a better atmosphere to speak to students and sign people up to SWSS. SWSS materials will be sent out next week, and again we should be building Oct 2 Tory Party conference & SUTR conference on Oct 8. We should also make sure we have SWSS sign up sheets on our stalls so we can get students contact details and get them involved in SWSS.

Every branch should go for a SWSS or branch meetings for the week after Freshers that we build on campus. jWe will be sending out template publicity for the first SWSS meeting and also flyers for subsequent ones throughout the term. Please speak with the student office about this.

  • Please contact the student office on 0207 840 5610 to let us know you are covering Freshers, to discuss student work in our area and if there are any student members we need to know about.


Marxism in Scotland: Sat 29 Oct

Sat 29 Oct, 10am-5pm, Renfield St Stephens Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP

Speakers include Judith Orr, Michael Roberts, Brid Smith and Talat Ahmed. Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite here


International Socialism Day School: Sat 15 Oct

The journal is holding a one day conference on Marxism and Nature on Saturday 15 October. Speakers include Canadian ecosocialist and author Ian Angus, Ted Benton, Martin Empson and Suzanne Jeffery.

The size of the demonstrations last year over climate change and the popularity of books like Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything shows that there is an audience for radical ideas on these topics.

The event is an opportunity to develop an understanding of Marx’s contributions to understanding ecology and the environment and debate and discuss their relevance today.

Book now here call 0207 840 5640 or email isj@swp.org.uk. Facebook event here


Workplace Notes

The BMA Junior Doctors’ Committee recently announced their intention to move towards rolling, escalated action in September in the dispute to stop Hunt’s contract, and teachers are still in dispute following their national strike in July. And a major dispute continues at Southern Rail (and across Govia Thameslink Railway). More action is expected to be announced this week after talks broke down following a highly charged three day strike this month. Now drivers and station staff who have been balloted are gearing up to join the train guards who have already been striking. This is a politicised dispute that has become a lightning rod for a series of other groups across the railways going into dispute. The backdrop is a crisis on the rail, with Corbyn heading up calls to renationalise. This dispute isn't going away. Can you organise a Solidarity Selfie at your work/union branch , or send a message of support (1885Wackers@gmail.com)? And a number of strikes by migrant workers are providing real, concrete examples in the movement that migrant workers are ‘here to stay, here to fight’—such as the victorious strike at the Esso oil refinery in Fawley , the 59 day indefinite strike at 100 Wood Street that won the living wage, or the six day unofficial walkout by Deliveroo drivers that just defeated a major attack on pay.

On Saturday 12 November, Unite the Resistance is holding a national conference , which will bring together those who have been at the forefront of striking back, and organising in unorganised areas, as well as leading campaigners from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), housing campaigns, and with a particular theme around migrant workers organising and fighting back. There will be international speakers bringing experiences from the struggle. As well as building networks of solidarity around the disputes taking place, it will also provide a space for union activists to discuss what the surge in the movement around Corbyn’s policies means for our unions, and how we can use this politicised movement to rebuild strong, fighting unions. So far speakers include Mark Serwotka PCS general secretary amongst others.

TUC Annual Congress: 11 - 14 September: Are you going?

If you are attending as a delegate/ observer/ visitor - please contact us ASAP at the industrial office (0207 840 5605 / markt@swp.org.uk)

Glasgow Fast Food Rights Social: Thurs 1 Sep

7 PM to 12 AM @ Queen's Park Bowling Club, Queens Drive, Glasgow, G42 8DA

FACEBOOK PAGE HERE

"The BFAWU Glasgow Fast Food Rights (FFR) branch is hosting an official national launch of the campaign to build this global movement. Show solidarity with the young workers leading this fight in the UK, enjoy an evening of music and comedy with comedian and FFR activist Mark Thomas, Labour MPs John McDonnell and Neil Findley, National BFAWU President Ian Hodson and inspiring stories from young workers from across the UK and the US leading this fight.


Axe the Housing Act

Axe the Housing Act campaign's 'summit' on 22 October in London is gaining growing support from councils, housing and advice workers, tenants and housing campaigns and trade unions. It will be a focus for collective resistance.
A new campaign leaflet and postcard is available and next protest lobbies planned include:
7 Sept, 11am protest outside Parliament. Assemble Old Palace Yard SW1P 3JY

26 Sept, 6pm meeting at Labour conference - Holiday Inn Liverpool - with lobbying and leafletting 24-26th in Liverpool

Next Axe the Housing Act campaign meeting 3 September 11am London: contact info@axethehousingact.org.uk for details


Subscribe to SW, SR and the ISJ

Branches are working on subscriptions over the summer. We want to get people signed up to SW, SR, and the ISJ for £10. You get all this essential reading delivered to your door and we get a regular contribution that helps us grow. Lists have been sent out for each branch or district so if you haven’t had yours then email simon@socialistreview.org.uk. Ayesha in Edinburgh phoned up members and got a great response. An academic, a retired PCS member and a student signed up straight away and 6 more people pledged to next month.


Syria: revolution, counter-revolution and war

New supplies of this pamphlet by Anne Alexander and Jad Bouharoun are now available. Make sure you have a copy and some for your branch. They are £3 each or five for £10. Contact Tom or Amy in the National Office on amyl@swp.org.uk or call us on 020 7840 5600 to place your orders.


Support Bookmarks crowd funding

There is now less than 2 weeks left to support the publication of our new book 1917: Russia's Red Year by John Newsinger & Tim Sanders. We have smashed through our initial target of £2,000 but the more we raise the more books we can print.
There are some great rewards to be had for supporting our Kickstarter campaign. The option to have your face (or that of a friend) drawn into the book was so popular that it sold out! But we have persuaded Tim to add a few more faces to the crowd scene so we can fit more of you in. Don't take too long deciding or you may miss out for good this time.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/556239072/1917-russias-red-year-100th-anniversary-graphic-no
Book your place now to hear leading radical economist Michael Roberts to discuss his new book, The Long Depression at Bookmarks on 20 September. We expect this event to be oversubscribed, so email us or book via our website to secure your place.
https://bookmarksbookshop.co.uk/events