23rd November 2015
After Paris: a test for the movement
THIS IS a very important week. The Paris killings have been followed by a push for Britain to join the war in Syria, racist and Islamophobic attacks, and intensified state repression (particularly in France and Belgium).
We have to move on all of these fronts—plus crucial climate change activity. Although the mainstream press and politicians are trying to drive public opinion to the right, there is a substantial section of people who agree with much of what we say around these issues.
Some polls have showed a majority against bombing Syria. Jeremy Corbyn’s stand against war, in defiance of many Labour MPs, is widely popular.
We need to be at the forefront of both the anti-war agitation and the anti-racist work. These two are connected and feed into one another. It is a tribute to the work of the Stop the War Coalition that Cameron is uncertain whether he can successfully carry a vote in the Commons.
Osborne’s Autumn Statement this week—and the devastating cuts it will unveil—will intensify the hatred of the Tories and undermine their claims to be standing up for freedom and justice.
Our tasks are:
1. To be part of the climate change demos on Saturday and Sunday. Tens of thousands are expected in London.
2. Continuing to build Stand Up to Racism and its refugee solidarity work. We also need to oppose the wave of Islamophobia seen in, for example, today’s Sun front page (“One in five Brit Muslims sympathy for Jihadis”) and the 64 racist attacks in the last week in Scotland (compared to 71 for the whole of last year).
3. Agitating against British bombing of Syria.
4. Holding big sales of SW.
No to more war in Syria! Cameron is poised to move to a vote to start attacks. We need to stand against the idea that more bombing will bring peace and security.
THIS SATURDAY, 28 November Stop the War Coalition protest against the bombing of Syria outside Downing Street 12 noon – 2pm.
STW meeting: After the Paris Attacks: The Case against War, Tuesday 1 December, 6.30pm, Conway Hall, 26 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL Organised by: Stop the War Coalition » Facebook »
Local STW meetings and protests: Contact STW activists in your area to hold a meeting to mobilise against the war drive and hold a protest.
Stand Up to Racism: Comrades in Glasgow held a very successful “Time for solidarity, refugees welcome” event on Saturday. Other comrades are collecting in their workplaces for refugees in Calais. We can do direct aid and raise the political arguments about opening the borders.
Every comrade should wear an SUTR badge, collect money for the SUTR winter appeal, and raise support for SUTR in their union branch or campaign. See SUTR statement on Paris at http://bit.ly/1Pu3XZu
Stand Up to Racism Winter Appeal: Don’t let them freeze: You can collect (cash only) and make cheques payable to Stand Up To Racism, c/o UAF, P0 Box 72710, London, SW19 9GX. Collection sheet at www.swp.org.uk/resource/1400 . The money will be used for
SUTR delegation to Calais, 12 December: SUTR is going to Calais again to take aid and highlight the appalling reality of refugees’ conditions. SUTR will take cash and the solidarity cards to Calais on 12 December. To order cards, SUTR badges etc email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are workplace days of action on 3, 5 and 6 December. Several areas are having days of action/mass collections. This is a good way to publicise the Calais initiative, involve others and build SUTR.
Stand Up to racism meeting: Thursday 26 November: After Paris Attacks: Islamophobia, Civil Liberties and the Counter Extremism Bill, 7pm, Committee Room 10, House of Commons (leave plenty of time to pass through security). Speakers include: Diane Abbott, Mohammed Kozbar, Maz Saleem, Malia Bouattia, Piers Telemacque, Aman Ali, Sabby Dhalu, Weyman Bennett. This meeting will launch a statement against Islamophobia and the Counter-Extremism Bill.
Peoples March for Climate, Justice & Jobs
London: Sunday 29 November 12 noon Park Lane. Details at http://climatejusticejobs.org.uk/
Edinburgh: Saturday 28 November: 12 noon, The Meadows (near Middle-Meadow Walk). Buses from Aberdeen, Dumfries, Dunkeld and Glasgow. For details go to http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/march
Cardiff: Saturday 28 November: 2pm, Senedd, Cardiff Bay. Or come on your bike to Callaghan Square at 1.30pm
Next week world leaders will come together over a two week period in Paris to discuss a possible new global agreement on climate change aimed at reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
This coming weekend there will be protests and demonstrations across the globe. There will be a national demo in London under the title “The People’s March for Climate Jobs and Justice in London on Sunday 29 Nov. With over 65 different organisations supporting it, this demo looks set to be big.
Due to the state of emergency that has been declared in France, Hollande has banned the demo due to take place at the same time in Paris. This makes it even more important that we go all out for the biggest turn out possible in London.
Coaches are booked from across the country. Please go to http://climatejusticejobs.org.uk/transport/ for more details. Comrades need to make sure they are booked on the transport.
There is a “Trade Union/climate jobs bloc” on the demonstration. We are asking comrades to bring their TU banner and a delegation to be part of this bloc. https://www.facebook.com/events/885178824853269/
We need as many comrades as possible from London to come on the demonstration and to help us with our SWP stalls at it. The demonstration will assemble on Park Lane from 12 noon on Sunday 29 November. We will have stalls set up from 10am. Each London branch needs to send a minimum of 5 comrades to help with this at 10am. Please email names to email@example.com
Please note that The Campaign against Climate Change has called for a protest in London on Sat 12 December with the title Cop 21: A deal that kills our planet is no deal for us
There is probably no demo in Paris that day, so this mobilisation is important.
Publicity: We have more posters and flyers. Please let us know if you need more sending out with the papers this week. Make sure you use the publicity on all stalls and sales etc. Please note: Some places have called local demos for Saturday 28 Nov. Make sure comrades are part of these. We will be sending out placards to use on these local demos with the papers this week.
The French Government has banned the national protest due to take place in Paris on Sun 29 Nov. It has also banned the international demonstration and actions planned for Sat 12 Dec. It is still unclear whether some sort of mobilisation will still take place.
As far as we know the Alternative Peoples Climate Summit due to take place in Paris the weekend of the 5 and 6 December is still going ahead. If you are planning on being in Paris over that weekend please email firstname.lastname@example.org
New Socialist Review out for climate demo
December's Socialist Review is going to press early so that it will be available on the climate demo in London on Sunday.
We lead on what we mean by a sustainable society with Martin Empson looking at how Marx and Engels conceived of socialism.
Plus Simon Assaf and Jad Tayoun on the situation after the Paris attacks, Julie Sherry on the balance of class forces, junior doctors speak out, and we interview Roddy Slorach about his new book on disability.
In culture we collect Socialist Review contributors' picks of the year.
We will have lots of copies available at the SW stalls on Sunday - come and find us to take some back for your coach. The rest of the branch orders will be sent out as usual next week.
SWP meetings and SW sales A meeting template is at www.swp.org.uk/resource/1409 We can have good SW sales outside workplaces and in the streets. Here are a selection of reports. In Birmingham, “We sold 75 papers and took £10 in donations. Two local students joined the party and several comrades went away with contacts to follow up. Eight comrades helped on the stall and all felt that it was really important that we were on the streets with a clear message 'No to racism and war, Don’t bomb Syria'. In Cardiff, a comrade writes, “We sold 51 papers on our Saturday sale “No to Racism and War after the Paris attacks”. We made a point of ensuring a good turnout from comrades including new, young members and had a large energetic presence with a megaphone to really get the point across On Friday Brixton comrades sold 39 papers. A Nottingham comrade writes, “Despite a very cold day, we had an excellent sale of 35 papers and £8 donations with 6 comrades on the Nottingham Peoples Assembly protest against Tax Credit cuts protest.” In Manchester, a comrade writes, “Three of us sold approximately 20 papers for £22 pounds outside Manchester Town Hall on Wednesdays morning. We also sold 13 papers outside Manchester MRI Hospital and eight papers outside Manchester Uni. In a small branch in Milton Keynes a comrade writes, “We had a good Saturday sale on No to Racism, No to War and sold 14 papers, two immigration booklets and a book on Trotsky.”
A Huddersfield comrade reports, “On Friday we had a paid sale of £27.50 outside two Huddersfield mosques. About £6 of this was donations. I stood outside as people came out and called slogans like "Unite against racism and war", very simple, sometimes mentioning "Socialist Worker - the paper that fights for unity against socialism and war".
Get on to the streets, outside workplaces and Mosques. We can sell the paper whatever activity we are involved in.
Protests over Osborne’s cuts statement
On 25 November Osborne will announce his Autumn Statement. The People's Assembly is organising protests across the country before the Autumn Statement.
London: Protest: 24 November 6pm - March & Rally @ Trafalgar Sq > Downing St. Facebook event page here
Bristol: Tue 24 November, 5:30pm, Cascade Steps (by Harbourside - Facebook event page here
Birmingham: Wed 25 November, 5:00pm - Assemble outside Waterstone's on Birmingham High Street, FB event page here
Cornwall: Wed 25 November, 12:00pm - Protest @ St Nicholas St, Truro TR1 2RN Facebook event page here
Coventry: Wed 25 November, 5.00pm - Protest @ Broadgate, Facebook Event page here
Doncaster: Tues 24 November, 12:00pm - Protest @ Mansion House, Facebook event page here
Leeds: Wed 25 November, 5:00pm - Protest @ Victoria Grdns,
Manchester: Tues 24 November, 5:00pm - Protest @ Market street.
Milton Keynes: Sat 21 November, 12:00pm - Tax Credits Clinic @ Outside Macdonalds, 52 Midsummer Boulevard, FB event here
Newcastle: Tues 24 November, 5:00pm - Protest @ City Library > Newcastle Civic Centre.
Swindon: Tues 24 November, 5:00pm - Protest @ The Crumpled waterfall, Canal Walk, Swindon town centre FB event here
Sheffield: Wed 25 November, 5:00pm - Protest @ Sheffield Town Hall, Facebook event here
People’s Assembly national conference, 5 Dec
An important event for SWP members to be part of.
Local People's Assembly Group: 10 Delegates
National Affiliated Organisation: 10 Delegates
Local Affiliated Organisation (including trade union branches): 2 Delegates
If you’re going please email email@example.com
Back junior doctors’ strikes—defend out NHS
The junior doctors’ strike has become a political crisis for the government. Doctors have voted 98 percent for strikes, and there is clear public support for the action. It could set off a much wider defence of the NHS and, if victorious, encourage further public sector revolts. See SW report http://bit.ly/1MMCv3n
According to the Guardian, “Hunt’s tough stance has the full support of both the prime minister and George Osborne. Number 10 sees this as a miners’ moment and wants him to look tough,” said a source. “Downing Street and the Treasury are backing Jeremy on this and pressurising him to be deeply muscular.”
If that’s true a major battle is coming—that our side has to win.
The action proposed is:
Emergency care only — from 8am, Tuesday 1 December to 8am Wednesday 2 December
Full withdrawal of junior doctors' labour — from 8am to 5pm, Tuesday 8 December
Full withdrawal of junior doctors' labour — from 8am to 5pm, Wednesday 16 December.
We should seek to do SW sales at hospitals and use the resources (leaflet, support selfie sign, petitions) at www.swp.org.uk/resources/latest
lThe Trade Union Co-ordinating Group rally (backed by the PA) took place on Saturday with around 1,000 attending. There are plans to launch a Trade Union Momentum next year, and to press the TUC to hold the day of action against the anti-union laws it passed at the Congress in September.
Refugees who walked through Channel Tunnel
Send a message, send a card at Christmas.
After travelling 4,559 kilometres from Sudan to Calais, Abdul Rahman Haroun made the dangerous last 50 kilometre walk through the Channel Tunnel. When he arrived in Britain he was charged under the Malicious Damage Act 1861 “for obstructing a railway carriage or engine”. This has been used to deny him asylum. Two Iranians, Payam Moradi Mirahessari, and Farein Vahdani are held in similar circumstances. Please send messages of solidarity. If you can, send a £5 postal order for phone calls.
Address letters to Abdul Rahman Haroun, PN A0964CX, HM Prison Elmley, Chruch Road, East Church, Kent. ME12 4DZ. Postal orders must be made out to “The Governor”. On the back of the postal order write Abdul Rahman Haroun PN A0964CX and also your name.
Vote John Burgess for Unison general secretary
VOTING CONTINUES UNTIL 4 DECEMBER: keep up the campaigning, every vote counts!
The result of the election will have a major impact on the development of a fightback in the workplaces against austerity. If John Burgess, branch secretary of Barnet unison was to win the election in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s victory, just imagine the effect it could have.
Materials for the campaign are still available. Go to http://johnburgess4gensec.blogspot.co.uk/ Comrades should also raise financial support for John’s campaign amongst Unison activists. Promote the online donation
Students: keep up the activity and meetings
Every area should be doing at least one stall a week at a local University or college. If your branch is not doing this you are missing out big time.
Make sure you do stalls this week to build for the Climate Demos. We should be involving students in all aspects of our activity, in particular Stand up to Racism.
Set up a SUTR stall to involve students collecting for the Winter Appeal.
Every area should be trying to have meetings set up to attract students. If you have not done one on Climate change yet this is one to build this week or next.
Meetings on After Paris: No to racism and war have also gone well as have meetings on the media. If you need to discuss any aspect of student work please call the student office on 020 7840 5610.
SW appeal reaches £83,000
The Socialist Worker Appeal has now raised £83,167.
It would be completely impossible to collect this amount of money without comrades in every branch arguing for the need for Socialist Worker. However, there is still a way to go to the £150,000 target.
The amount of money we raise during the Appeal has a very real impact on the paper’s ability to provide the cutting edge reporting we have published about the Paris attacks, Syriza in Greece and the refugee crisis.
We are entering the second half of the Appeal, therefore it is critical if comrades have not been asked for a donation yet that this should be raised with them as a matter of urgency.
Does your branch have a fundraising event planned? Saturdays South London social raised £380 with comrades from the district enjoying food and drink at a comrade’s house. This is an excellent way to raise significant amounts of donations in an informal way.
To make a donation or talk through branch strategy call Sarah on 020 7840 5620.
Sun 5 Dec-The Walthamstow Red Cyclists will be visiting labour history landmarks on a 7 kilometres sponsored bike ride. They will visit sites of important workers’ struggles, So far they have raised over £200. To sponsor them quote ‘red cyclists’ when donating online or by phone.
FBU firefighters’ protests: West Midlands FBU has called a protest against attacks on the conditions of firefighters on Monday 23 November, 9am, opposite Brigade HQ, Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW. Matt Wrack will be attending the protest.
There is also a London protest against proposals to scrap 13 appliances and threaten 184 frontline jobs. Lobby the LFEPA meeting Wednesday 2 December, 12.30pm, City Hall, Queen’s Walk, London SE1
Wining in Schools Conference: Sat 28 November 10.30 - 4pm Friends Meeting House, Manchester M2 5NS.