15th December 2014
SWP conference: ready for 2015 and beyond
The SWP conference at the weekend set out a clear plan for the crucial period up the 7 May elections and beyond.
The political turmoil and the rotting of the major parties in Britain and in many other parts of the globe are the essential backdrop to our debates and decisions.
The essential “action points” from conference were:
Continuing to argue for a united left to offer a more powerful challenge to the mainstream parties and provide a focus for the bitter anger in society—some of which presently goes to Ukip. The left must get its act together.
Launching a serious election challenge as part of TUSC in around 15 parliamentary constituencies and council seats in these and other areas.
Building Stand up to Ukip and its initiatives in the run-up to the election, the 21 February UAF conference and the 21 March anti-racist demonstrations in London, Glasgow and Cardiff. We need a good turnout at the 28 February demonstration at the Ukip spring conference, 12 noon in Margate. www.facebook.com/events/761696690551167/
Continuing to fight for increased resistance in the workplaces, using Unite the Resistance’s “Ten demands for the election”, building solidarity with all the struggles that take place, increasing pressure on the union leader sand developing the independent initiatives of the rank and file.
Continuing to support the fightback against the attacks on benefits and on disabled people, for decent and genuinely affordable housing, and in defence of the NHS and welfare.
Continuing our work in the universities and colleges, holding regular SWSS meetings wherever possible and being part of fightbacks on the campuses.
Building the 7 March Time to Act climate change demo.
Continuing to build the SWP by campaigning alongside broad ranges of people while arguing for revolutionary politics and organization. We need to boost the sales of Socialist Worker on the streets and in the workplaces, and step up recruitment to the party. We want a party that is capable of meeting the immense challenges facing the working class, developing its understanding of the world and making revolutionary politics relevant to the tasks we face.
Ensuring that we are at the heart of Stop the War in our areas and tuned in to work around solidarity with Palestine.
Developing our members through activity and education, including the dayschools and special national events.
Building a big Marxism 2015—9-13 July.
Attached to Party Notes are the documents passed at the conference on The political crisis; The general election; Fighting racism, fascism and Islamophobia; Politics in the workplace and Unite the Resistance; Imperialism and building Stop the War; and Scotland.
It is well worth reading these documents as they give a fuller sense of what was decided.
There was also discussion on Students; Women’s liberation; and Building the Party based on the documents circulated in the pre-conference bulletins.
A full post-conference bulletin—including the results of the elections at conference—will be available as soon as possible, and there will be extensive coverage of the conference in Socialist Worker this week.
Report back meetings after SWP conference should be scheduled for early January to give a boost to getting everything moving quickly in 2015. It’s generally best to have the meetings on a district basis. The national office can help you with a CC speaker. Please get in touch with Mark Thomas to schedule your meeting.
Marxism 2015 – save the date: Marxism 2015 will take place from 9 – 13 July 2015 in Central London
TUSC is holding a one-day conference on Saturday 24 January to prepare for the election challenge. All candidates, agents and key campaigners need to attend it. The conference is at Student Central (formerly ULU), Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY.
Saturday 24 January, 11am to 4-30pm. Conference registration fee: £10 waged and £2 unwaged/low-waged. Travel refunded. For a conference registration form go tohttp://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/318.doc
If you are going to the conference, or have any election questions, please email email@example.com
Defence Support Group workers strike
Unite members at the Defence Service Group are continuing their ten-day strike today for decent pay.
The strike ends on Thursday. This is a crucial dispute. If successful the workers would break through the 1 percent public sector pay cap.
Can you invite DSG workers into your union branch or campaign meeting?
Can you get to the DSG picket lines? Please rush messages of support to DSGStrike@yahoo.com follow the striker’s @DSGstrike
The DSG sites are at
www.dsg.mod.uk/site_route_maps/sealand_colmap.pdf Sealand (Manchester/Liverpool/Wigan)
www.dsg.mod.uk/site_route_maps/bovington_colmap.pdf Bovington (Dorchester)
www.dsg.mod.uk/site_route_maps/donnington_colmap.pdf Donnington/Black Country
www.dsg.mod.uk/site_route_maps/catterick_colmap.pdf Catterick (Leeds, Middlesboro, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield)
www.dsg.mod.uk/site_route_maps/warminster_colmap.pdf Warminster (Bristol)
www.dsg.mod.uk/site_route_maps/colchester_colmap.pdf Colchester (Colchester/Chelmsford/Ipswich)
www.dsg.mod.uk/site_route_maps/Stirling_colmap.pdf Stirling (Glasgow)
Pickets are up from 6.30am.
Lambeth College strikes Tuesday and Wednesday
Lambeth College strike 15, 16, 17 December
UCU members at Lambeth College will strike for three further days this week in their long running fight to prevent the imposition of new contracts. The UCU members urgently need your support. For the latest on the strike go to https://lambethcollegestrike.wordpress.com/
Can you get to the picket lines at Clapham Common, Vauxhall and or Brixton on Tuesday and Wednesday (from 8am onwards)?
Can you invite Lambeth College strikers to speak at your union branch/campaign meeting? Send invitations to firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you do a collection for the Lambeth UCU hardship fund at your workplace or college? Download the collection sheet at http://uniteresist.org/2014/12/lambeth-college-collection-sheet/
Keep sending messages of support to Lambeth UCU via Branch Secretary, Mandy Brown, at email@example.com
ISJ dayschool on China
China, World Capitalism and Workers’ Resistance—28 February
International Socialism journal will be holding a one-day event on 28 February 2015 with sessions on the political economy of China, China as an imperial power and overseas investor, workers’ struggles and democracy movements. Speakers include Jenny Chan, an expert on labour movements in China (and particularly the workers at Foxconn), Tim Pringle, author of Trade Unions in China: The Challenge of Labour Unrest, Jane Hardy and Adrian Budd. Tickets are £10 waged, £5 unwaged and available at www.isj.org.uk or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 819 1177.
Stop Boris demo on Wednesday
A leaked document revealed that Boris Johnson plans to cut 90 percent of the Greater London Authority investment in education and youth service. This Wednesday at 12 noon there will be a demonstration outside London City Hall, SE1 2AA, called by the Student Assembly Against Austerity.
International migrants’ day demo on Thursday
This Thursday is international migrant’s day. Given the rising levels of racist scapegoating and attacks on immigrants, there will be a protest at the Home Office in London at 6:30 pm. It has been called by a host of groups including the NUS International Students Campaign and NUS Black Students Campaign.
Vigil for Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning
On 15 May 2010, Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment for revealing US war crimes. Chelsea Manning's 27th birthday will be on 17 December.
Vigils in honour of Chelsea Manning will be held in cities across the world on 17 December. Join the London vigil:
Vigil for Chelsea Manning Wednesday 17 December
2:30pm-4pm On the steps of St Martin-in-the-Fields
Trafalgar Square, WC2N 4JJ Charing Cross
(St. Martin’s request that vigils on the steps are silent)
You can write to Chelsea Manning at:
1300 North Warehouse Road,
400 Unite members at Shelter strike for three days from Tuesday to Thursday against pay cuts of up to £5,000.
Below is a list of confirmed pickets.
Shelter London - 88 Old St, EC1V 9HU
Shelter London - 4 Garrett Street, EC1Y 0TY
Shelter Bristol - New Bond House, Bond Street, BS2 9AG
Shelter Sheffield - Furnival House, 48 Furnival Gate, S1 4QP
Shelter Manchester - Victoria House, 5 Samuel Ogden Street, M1 7AX
Shelter Glasgow - Breckenridge House, 274 Sauchiehall St, G2 3EH
Shelter Dundee, 1 Courthouse Square, DD1 1NH
Shelter Edinburgh - 4th floor, Scotiabank House, 6 South Charlotte Street, EH2 4AW
Shelter Truro - Palace Building, Quay Street, TR1 2HE
Tweet support to @shelterstaff and @shelterstrike
High Court Blacklisting trial continues & Blacklist Support Group meeting 17 December 9:30 am - 3pm (approx). Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand (nearest tube Holborn or Temple) 4:30pm - 6:30pm, Blacklist Support Group national meeting Central London venue.
PCS members at the National Gallery in London are to strike on 27, 29 December and on 3 January against privatisation. Protest at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, 6pm, Wednesday 17 December. Contribute to the Branch Hardship Fund by organising bucket collections at your office and sending donations to: Culture Sector Hardship Fund, c/o PCS North West Regional Centre, Jack Jones House, 1 Islington, Liverpool L3 8EG.
Sign the On-line Petition at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/no-privatisation-at-national-gallery
Send Messages of Support to noprivatisationatNG@gmail.com
Keep Up-to-Date with the Campaign https://www.facebook.com/nonationalgalleryprivatisation
The Arab Uprisings four Years On
Conference: The Arab Uprisings Four Years On
A conference organised by MENA Solidarity, Egypt Solidarity Initiative and BahrainWatch
6-9pm Friday 13 February – 10-5pm Saturday 14 February
School of African & Oriental Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Details and to sign up online go to http://egyptsolidarityinitiative.org/conference2015/
Speakers include: Ali Abdulemam – Gilbert Achcar – Anne Alexander – Joseph Daher – Miriyam Aouragh – Kamil Mahdi – Nadine Marroushi – Sameh Naguib – Ala’a Shehabi and others
Leaflet attached and at https://egyptsolidarityinitiative.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/arab_revs_...
SW appeal over 120K!
The appeal has reached £121,023. Thanks to everyone for their generous donations at conference. £1,700 was raised at the social through the auction, raffle, and bar!
The solidarity cards went down really well too. We took orders for 625. These will be delivered with the papers this week unless you have specified otherwise. They are A5 full colour on 300gsm matt-coated card. The inside has been left blank. Get your workmates to sign them and then take to your local picket line. The design won’t date any time soon so put in a bulk order for your branch: 10 for £8, 20 for £14, and 30 for £20.
Simon Assaf is cooking a five course meal (MENU NOW AVAILABLE) in Maida Vale on the 21st December for the appeal. We are limited to about 50 people so book soon to avoid disappointment. To book make a £20 donation on the appeal website and put ‘five course’ in the comments box. https://www.facebook.com/events/608736332586760/
Major Climate Change protest, 7 March
Climate Change - Time to Act protest, March 7th, London: In the run up to the General Election there will be a major national demonstration calling for action on climate change, the Time to Act! protest, on Saturday 7 March.
There have already been some big local meetings to start planning for the event, and more are planned in the new year.
This is likely to be a significant protest following big demonstrations over the summer at the time of the UN conference. SWP branches should be finding out if local groups of the Campaign Against Climate Change, Friends of the Earth, Green Party etc and unions that support the Million Climate Jobs pamphlet want to organise a meeting or transport. Please contact Martin on email@example.com if you want to discuss.
More information at http://tinyurl.com/ormdsg4
New pamphlet on LGBT politics out now
New Socialist Worker pamphlet out now: Pride, Politics and Protest: a Revolutionary Guide to LGBT Liberation by Laura Miles. This comprehensive new pamphlet looks at the history of LGBT movements, the roots of oppression, developments such as queer theory, the revolutionary tradition, the question of genes, and much more... £3 per copy or £2 each for 10 or more. Order from Bookmarks. Call 020 7637 1848 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Still the Enemy Within film
Still the Enemy Within is available now on DVD. Go to http://the-enemy-within.org.uk/product/pre-order-the-dvd/ and order by 18 Dec to get it by Christmas.
Please do not use this for public showings! The film cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to make, and that needs to be recovered by people paying the modest sum needed for a showing.
Copies of the pamphlet 1984, the miners’ and the strike that could have won are available from Bookmarks. Phone 020 7637 1848. In addition we still have copies of the SW special on the miners’ strike. Phone circulation to have some copies sent on 020 7819 1171.
Bookmarks at Christmas
Bookmarks has an amazing Christmas range , including books not available from Amazon and gifts you won't find on the high street. We have cards from Tim Sanders, gifts from the Radical Tea Towel Company, badges, coasters, mugs and much more.
Every branch will also want to ensure they have plenty of copies of the brand new Rebel's Guide to Eleanor Marx and the brilliant new pamphlet Pride, Politics and Protest (discounts available for bulk buys).
The pamphlet on Ukip is also flying off the shelves and is avaialble AT half price for branches buying ten or more copies.
Please note, the Post Office recommended last posting dates for Christmas are 18 December for second class, and 20 December for first class. Get your orders in now.
Michael Rosen at Bookmarks
This Saturday at 3pm, 20 December, Michael Rosen will be presiding over an afternoon of poems and fun in the bookshop. He will be reading from his books and telling stories to get you in the festive mood. More details on our website.
Places for children are free, adults £4. All children must be accompanied and booking is essential. Call us on 020 7637 1848 or email email@example.com
Some useful dates for your diary
11 January All-Scotland aggregate and election of Scottish steering committee
24 January TUSC conference, London
25 January Marxism 2015 planning meeting
31 January Student Assembly Against Austerity National Convention
13-14 February The Arab Uprisings, four years on Go to http://egyptsolidarityinitiative.org/
14 February Women’s Assembly against austerity
21 February UAF conference
28 February SUTU demo in Margate (Ukip spring conference)
28 February ISJ school on China
7 March Time to Act climate demo
8 March International Women’s Day
21 March Anti-racism demos London, Glasgow, Cardiff
7 May General and council elections
9-13 July: Marxism 2015