Party Notes

25th April 2016


Junior Doctors: “full walkouts” begin tomorrow

Junior doctors are set to hold “full walkouts” as they strike between 8am and 5pm tomorrow and Wednesday. The Tories and press have switched from trying to downplay and ignore the 48 hour strikes to attack mode. Meanwhile Heidi Alexander, Labour’s shadow health secretary, attempted to derail the strikes by pushing for an agreement to hold ‘trials’ of the new contract in a number of areas in return for the strikes being called off.

On the Junior doctors picket lines and protests:

  • A Socialist Worker leaflet for the picket lines is attached
  • A Unite the Resistance “sign-up sheet” to gather the names/numbers and emails of campaigners who want to be kept in touch with the solidarity network . (send the sheet to Unite the Resistance PO Box or email details to Unite the Resistance so they can go onto the national mailing list).
  • A special flyer for Marxism to use on the picket lines is attached
  • Please send photos and reports from the picket line to reports@socialistworker.co.uk post up videos and photos from pickets and protests on facebook and if you tweet videos and photos tag the addresses @socialistworker @resistunite @TheBMA and use the hashtags #juniordoctorsstrike #juniorcontract #notsafenotfair
  • Maximise solidarity – get trade unionists to picket lines, inviting junior doctors into workplaces and union meetings. Lambeth NUT had a junior doctor speak at their meeting to discuss forced academisation, while a comrade in Southwark took a junior doctor round local bus garages and fire stations to build support.

    London Joint BMA/NUT Demo, tomorrow Tues 25 April, Assemble 5pm, St Thomas’ Hospital, SE1 7EH (Nearest Tube: Westminster, Waterloo, Lambeth North) then march to Dept of Health.

    This is a very important initiative. Any London comrade that can should come down and be part of our SWP intervention. We will be setting up from 4pm.

    Building solidarity means pushing for more initiatives like this. The debate about the next steps in the strike will intensify. A leaked letter last week showed that the BMA’s junior doctors’ committee is at least discussing the option of an indefinite strike, possibly from early June. Escalating strike action needs to be combined with escalating solidarity – including the demand that the TUC call a national demonstration in support for the junior doctors and the NHS.

    And the Tories are under massive pressure over the forced academies plan announced by Osborne in the budget. There are growing press reports about some kind of U-turn – despite Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, telling the NASUWT conference at Easter the she has “no reverse gear” on Academisation. NUT Associations are seeing some of their biggest meetings for years – in some cases bigger than around the 2011 pensions dispute and there is a growing parents’ revolts over Academies and the “exam factory” regime of constant high stakes testing of children. Kevin Courtney, the NUT’s deputy gen sec, told a 200 strong Parents Defending Education meeting last Saturday in London that even if Morgan does retreat in some form, the momentum was on our side to continue the fight and ballot.

    In other unions, we need to be arguing for concrete solidarity with junior doctors and that this is right time with the visible sense of the weakness of Tories, reinforced by the civil war over Europe inside the Cabinet, to launch other fights and to break with the pessimism that says the government can’t be beaten etc.



    May Day events: Use the SW May Day special

    Every branch should make sure that they are part of local May Day events. These are ideal places to build Marxism 2016 and also Stand Up To Racism. Plus this week’s 36 page Socialist Worker will carry 12 pages of May Day Greetings plus a special pull out on Hillsborough. Every area needs to think how we can sell extra copies both at May Day events and also to activists we know

    London May Day event: Sun 1st May with Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell

    Assembles from 11.30 at Clerkenwell Green (nearest tube Farringdon). March to Trafalgar Square.

    We will have SWP stalls at this. Each branch should send 5 comrades to be part of the intervention. Please get there by 10.30.

    Burnley May Day event: Mon 2 May

    Jeremy Corbyn will be speaking at this event taking place in Townely Park. If any comrades from the North West can help with the SWP intervention please contact Aiden in the National Office.



    Stand up to Racism – organise a local SUTR meeting & build for the 18 Jun Convoy to Calais

    The Convoy to Calais, organised by Stand Up to Racism, The People’s Assembly against Austerity, Stop the War Coalition and other organisations and unions, planned for 18 June will take place less than a week before the EU Referendum. As well as offering practical solidarity to the thousands of people forced to live in horrific conditions in Calais, it will also send a powerful political message that refugees are welcome at a time when both the official campaigns for Leave and Remain are attempting to stoke up scapegoating of immigrants. Just this week we have seen how mainstream politicians and the media are happy to lapse into blatant racism. In an historic victory Malia Bouattia was elected president of the students’ NUS union last week. She is the first black Muslim woman to hold that position. But immediately after her election yesterday right wing politicians and sections of the press attacked her as antisemitic and made the wholly unfounded claim that she backed Isis. Similarly, Zac Goldsmith and the Tories have resorted to racism to try and revive his election campaign for London mayor – claiming Labour’s Sadiq Khan has links to extremists. And not to be outdone Boris Johnson as part of his leave EU campaign claimed that Obama had an “ancestral dislike of the British Empire” because of his “part-Kenyan” ancestry.

    Such attacks and smears makes it crucial that we continue to build a broad anti racist movement that can take up the issues of refugees, Islamophobia and wider questions of racism. The Convoy is one part of this.

    On Sunday about 100 campaigners from across Britain came to central London for a Trade Unionists for Calais summit hosted by Stand Up to Racism (SUTR). Many had already taken part in delegations to Calais. They fed back on their experiences and talked about how to build on them, in particular with the mass convoy to Calais on 18 June. There were some good delegations from local SUTR round the country.

    SUTR meetings and events

    Every area needs to ensure that they have a Stand Up to Racism meeting planned very soon – ie in the next two weeks - and are organising for the Convoy.

    In Manchester, their next Stand Up to Racism meeting is next week on the theme of “No More Deaths in the Mediterranean”. They will be discussing how they can campaign against Prevent & Islamophobia, and how we can mobilise for the convoy to Calais on 18 June. Every area should do similar. Invite speakers who have been to Calais and other campaigners. See the Manchester Facebook event here to get ideas.

    Building the convoy

    In addition Manchester SUTR will be meeting with representatives from all the organisations backing the 18 June Convoy to discuss how to co-ordinate locally the building the convoy. These should be set up in every area where we are involved with SUTR. These can organise events to build the convoy and collect money for it, such as a workplace collection day, street stalls. In bigger places there could be a joint rally between all the organisations the week beginning 13 June in order to “see off” the convoy from your town or city.

    Convoy to Calais logistics

    It is hoped these will be confirmed this week. It is likely that there will be a big meeting on the evening of Friday 17 June in central London to bring together all those involved in the convoy. The Convoy will assemble at 10am on Sat 18 June outside Downing Street on Whitehall – hopefully stretching far up the road. Every vehicle will then drive to Dover or Folkestone to make their way over to France (recommended crossing times will be available soon). Once in Calais there will be a meet up point so that the Convoy can meet the organisations on the ground there, deliver solidarity and hopefully join refugees for a political rally.

    SUTR diary dates:

    “Keep racism out the EU referendum” Central London rally

    Wed 25 May, 6.30pm, Mander Hall, NUT Building (Hamilton House), Mabledon Place, WC1H 9BD

    Join the Facebook event here

    Register for free on Eventbrite here

    SUTR conference, Sat 8th October

    Friends Meeting House, 173-177 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ, 10.30am-4.30pm

    This will bring together speakers, organisations and activists from anti racist campaigns.



    #Lexit: The Left Leave Campaign: London International Rally: 18 May, Friends Meeting House

    With the EU referendum campaign underway, we have been part of launching #Lexit - The Left Leave Campaign, along with the RMT, the Indian Workers Association, the Bangladeshi Workers Council of Britain, Counterfire, Scottish Left Leave and the Communist Party.

    Between us we have already distributed some 3,000 leaflets on the PA demo and we will be producing a new one in time for May Day events around the country. There will be further publicity, stickers, etc as the campaign progresses. There is a website in progress at leftleave.org and a Facebook page "Lexit - the Left Leave Campaign". The official press launch will take place this Thursday and the first big London rally will be on 18 May at Friends Meeting House, 7pm - a #Lexit international rally featuring speakers from Greece, Catalonia, Ireland and Britain. Publicity will be available soon.

    Comrades outside London should look into organising a #Lexit rally in early June, when the debate around the referendum will be reaching a peak. You should get talking to the other forces involved in #Lexit now - the CP, the RMT, Counterfire, etc, so that we ensure coordination and that we are able to help shape the platform. For advice on speakers contact Joseph Choonara

    Make sure that any rally does not clash with SUTR meetings and Convoy events, or SWP rallies. It is a busy time so each branch and district needs to ensure they have a clear plan of dates etc



    Marxism Festival 2016: Push out this week – hit colleges and universities

    Moazzam Begg, CAGE Outreach Director will be speaking as part of the Marxism 2016 opening rally. Other speakers have been announced on the new publicity. Marxism festival will take place just a week after the EU referendum – with the result unknown one highlight of Marxism will be Natalie Bennett debating Joseph Choonara over “Where next after the referendum?”

    New publicity went out last week. If you need more please contact the Marxism office on 020 7840 5620. New posters and stickers will be available by the end of the week.

    Now is the time to push out round Marxism. If people are going to come to London they need time to get organised. So it is crucial for districts outside London to approach people early. Five districts have already booked up more people than they took last year. This potential exists everywhere.

    If we are going to build Marxism on a big scale then it cannot just be left to your branch Marxism organiser. Every comrade needs to think about workmates, activists and trade unionists they can invite. Birmingham comrades got 6 Marxism bookings last week. Waltham Forest got 4 bookings in. But every London branch should be aiming for at least 5 bookings a week.

    Think about junior doctors, teachers and anti racist activists and draw up a list this week of people to approach

    Being able to tell people some of the speakers makes it easier to build Marxism. This week every branch needs to:

    • Reach out to students. This is crucial. Do a stall at a Uni or 6th Form. Use a petition and sell SW but make sure every person who stops gets a Marxism flyer. Use the Marxism sign up sheet to get details to follow up
    • Poster the student area – if you need posters contact the Marxism office
    • Make a list of members and non members in your branch to ask to come to Marxism.

    Make sure every member is asking friends, family, workmates and activists to come. Remember people don’t have to come for five days. Day tickets are now available

    • Have a list of all the big political events in your area This weekend we want to make sure that every May Day protest or meeting is covered with Marxism publicity.

    Don’t miss out – book here to join the debate, or phone

    on 020 7840 5620 or Click here to do it online.



    SWP rallies: ‘Is Socialism Possible?’ in May and June

    The SWP is holding a series of rallies under the title “Is socialism Possible”? The events give us a chance to put the case for resistance to austerity and for the kind of strategy we believe is necessary to build a socialist alternative. Newly elected socialist TD’s (MP’s) from Ireland and junior doctors heading up opposition to the Tories will join SWP speakers on the platform. SWP members are working alongside thousands of activists in the anti-racist movement, building solidarity for junior doctors, opposing the housing bill, working as part of People’s Assemblies and campaigning for #Lexit.

    The rallies give us the chance to engage those activists with our strategy for change while we are working together in campaigns and for us to raise the question of joining the SWP with those we’re building the movement with.

    Each event will have a full scale book stall organised by TUC bookshop Bookmarks, film and refreshments will be available as part of the ticket price.

    The rallies takes place in/on:

    Sheffield - Thursday 19 May, Postcard here poster here (involving Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster, Scunthorpe & Chesterfield SWP).

    Leeds – Saturday 21 May

    Postcard here poster here (involving Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford & Huddersfield SWP).

    Manchester – Wednesday 25 May

    Postcard here poster here (involving Manchester, Wigan & Bolton SWP).

    Birmingham - Thursday 26 May

    Postcard here poster here (involving Birmingham, Coventry & Black Country SWP).

    South London – Wednesday 8 June postcard here (involving Brixton, Southwark, Croydon & Tooting).

    North/North East London – Thursday 9 June

    postcard here and poster here (involving Islington, Haringey, Waltham Forest & Hackney SWP).

    A guide to building SWP rallies is attached.



    Going backwards on climate change: protest Sun 8 May

    The Campaign against Climate Change, supported by many other organisations have called protests in London and round the country to make the one year anniversary of the Tories election. It will symbolically mark the fact that the Tories have done the very opposite from what is needed over climate change. For more information go to here

    Join on Facebook

    Sun 8 May, Meet 12pm by Nelson's column, Trafalgar Square for speeches then walk backwards to end up the Treasury entrance on King Charles Street., where there will be more speakers. For the full timetable go to the CaCC website here

    Not in London?

    In the run up to 8th May CaCC are supporting local events . There are several other backwards marches going on around the country that weekend (find out more). This is an ongoing campaign, if you're interested in holding a public meeting or even just a stall on your high street, get in touch! info@campaigncc.org



    SWAN conf Sat 4 June & refugee day of action

    The Social Work Action Network (SWAN) national conference will take place on Sat 4 June in Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London. The day is made up of four sessions: racism, refugees and Prevent; privatisation of social work and mental health. Comrades should make sure they book asap. Details of the conference are here: www.socialworkfuture.org

    Tickets for the conference can be booked on Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/social-work-action-network-conference-2016-tickets-21466241105

    The next day, Sun 5 June SWAN are holding a Social Work Day of Solidarity With Refugees. From Britain social workers intend to travel to Calais and Dunkirk on 5 June. Email Michael on michaellavalette1962@gmail.com for more information



    Kill the Housing Bill Lobby of Parliament: Tue 3 May plus National Organising meeting, Sat 30 April

    Despite a rough ride in the Lords the Tories are out to ram their housing bill through Parliament on Tue 3 May, The Kill the Housing Bill campaign has called for a lobby of Parliament, 12 – 2pm Old Palace Yard. Bring your campaign and union banners. Download leaflet here .

    Saturday 30 April Kill the Housing Bill national steering committee meeting, 11am Unite HQ Theobalds Road (comrades will meet at 10am, Costa Coffee, 112, Southampton Row for a pre-meet).



    Momentum Tour: JC4PM

    Districts should do stalls at these, build for M19, sell SW and give out Marxism 2016 publicity. Make sure you cover ones in your area: Cambridge, the Corn Exchange, Tues 17 May, Manchester, The Dance House, Thurs 19 May



    Workplace Notes

    FBU protest tomorrow at Parliament: can you help?

    The FBU has called a protest over the Police and Crime Bill which will allow Police and Crime Commissioners to take over control of fire and rescue services in England.

    11am Tues, Old Palace Yard, Westminster. Can you help sell Socialist Worker at it? Email markt@swp.org.uk

    Workers’ Memorial Day: this Thursday 28 April

    A list of local events can be found on the TUC website here

    Details of the London rally are here

    Strike at Interserve Industrial Services in Glasgow

    About 70 scaffolders and labourers in Unite employed Interserve Industrial Services by are on strike today and tomorrow at over a pay parity dispute. They plan to follow this up with a 48-hour strike from Tuesday 3 May.

    SWP Teachers’ Meetings

    We are holding two meetings for SWP Teachers and close supporters to discuss the revolt over the Tories’ education plans and how socialists can organise inside the NUT to push this process forward.

    •Saturday 7 May, 2-5pm in Central London (London, South East, South West, West Midlands). If you can make it, please register (free) here

    •Sunday 8 May in Doncaster, 1-4pm (Yorkhire, North West, East Midlands, North East). You can register (free) here

    Any queries, please contact markt@swp.org.uk

    John Roan school

    NUT members at the John Road school in Greenwich struck last week and are on strike tomorrow and Wednesday over redundancies and cuts to courses. Send messages of support to johnroannut@gmail.com

    Why FE matters: The case for lifelong learning rally:

    11 May House of Commons

    This important meeting is bringing together key players in the fight to defend Further Education. The event is at 6pm on Wednesday 11 May in Committee Room 11 in the House of Commons. Speakers include Gordon Marsden (shadow minister for lifelong learning), Natalie Bennett (Green Party leader), Nick Linford (FE Week), Liz Lawrence (UCU President) and Kevin Courtney (dep Gen Sec NUT).

    Download the leaflet

    here