3rd March 2014
ALL OUT TO BUILD THE 22 MARCH DEMOS AND THE CAMPAIGNS AGAINST GRIFFIN AND BRONS
Neither Washington nor Moscow
THE Party Council on Sunday discussed the situation in Ukraine and the SWP’s perspectives for the coming months.
The extraordinary acceleration of the tensions in Ukraine underlines the volatility and tensions in the world system. It began as the latest phase of a struggle between competing oligarchs. In addition there was an uprising against the Yanaukovich government within which the far right came to play a significant role. This underlines the weakness of the left and the damage caused by Stalinism.
The internal situation has now been overtaken by rivalry between imperialisms. The US and the EU have far fewer cards to play in this conflict than Russia.
Alex Callinicos’s article explaining the position is on the SW website at http://socialistworker.co.uk/art/37577/Putin+raises+the+stakes+in+imperi...
He reminds us, “Socialists in the West must of course oppose any military intervention by the US or NATO in Ukraine. But the crisis reminds us that imperialism can’t be reduced to American domination.
“It is a system of economic and geopolitical competition among the leading capitalist powers. Rather than tail any of these powers, we must fight the entire system.”
In Britain the UKIP conference underlined the way that politicians are consciously using racism in an effort to boost themselves and fracture the opposition to austerity. Farage’s foul speech about Britain as a “foreign land” echoes Enoch Powell. This further reinforces the 22 March demonstration as absolutely central. These are not UAF demos. We want to use the very broad support for M22 to show that there is opposition to racist scapegoating. The 22 March demos, and the campaigns against Griffin and Brons are crucial for every member. They can be a launchpad to anti-UKIP work.
The generally low level of strikes does not mean that there is no struggle - the teachers’ strike on 26 March will have an impact as will the marking boycott in HE. The trade union and Labour leaders hold back the struggle, but we need to enthusiastically grasp the possibilities of resistance.
Victories are possible! These include the bedroom tax in Scotland (and its weakening everywhere), the humbling of ATOS, and significant local strike successes at Edinburgh College, and Stem 6 school. These follow earlier successes including Hovis, Conel college cleaners and Reid Kerr college.
We need to build solidarity with key local strikes such as the SOAS cleaners, Doncaster Care UK and UCLAN college.
But this does not remove the need to fight for national, co-coordinated action. We cannot ignore the big picture.
Unite the Resistance has an important role to play in winning solidarity and providing a focus for those who want to go further than most union leaders are proposing.
The Labour Party special conference that dragged the party further away from the unions deepens the political debates.
The People’s Assembly conference on 15 March and its activities locally and nationally are important to us.
While pushing outwards and working with others we need to strengthen the party’s structures. This includes raising the sales of Socialist Worker and winning more members to selling at work and in their localities. It also means using the re-registration process to increase the activity and participation of all our comrades – and to increase the party’s income so we can do even more.
We need to continue and develop and work among students.
Building Marxism 2014 has to be integrated into all our activity.
Delegates to the Party Council should report back to their branches this week.
Last Saturday we had a very successful New Members’ and Students’ Day school. It saw 150 people take part in an exciting day of discussion and debate that showed the thirst for Marxist ideas and how we can all work together to develop confidence and depth in our theory. Lots of people signed up for Marxism and the atmosphere was electric. Try to have a report back from someone who attended at your branch this week.
30th anniversary of the Great Miners’ Strike
The 30th anniversary of the Great Strike will see events in many parts of Britain but particularly in the former mining areas. These include Maesteg (6 March), Sheffield (7 March), Dodworth (8 March), Brighton (8 March), Chesterfield (8 March), Dunscroft (9 March), Rotherham (21 March), Leeds (13 March), Barnsley (14 March), Armthorpe (16 March), Edlington (5 April), Kirkby-in-Ashfield (12 April), Orgreave (14 June) AND MANY MORE. Make sure you know about events in your area, have lots of SW specials (see below), the other party publications, the new miners’ strike pamphlet (order form attached). Marxism material and the special postcard etc.
Socialist Worker miners’ strike special: this week’s paper will be a special for the thirtieth anniversary of the miners’ strike. Get ready to use it at the events this week and order extra immediately if you need them. We will print extra copies of the special so that you can order them later in the year for anniversary events.
London Event this Saturday: book now.
Still The Enemy Within: Film, long lost archive, music and debate from the strike that divided Britain and defined an era. This will be an excellent event and part of a crucial debate about ‘84-5 that will take place throughout the year. As well as taster of the Still The Enemy Within film,
it will see an exclusive showing of the brilliant South African film Miners Shot Down about the Marikana massacre and the miners’ resistance. Two flyers are attached. Please share widely.
Date: Saturday 8 March, 11am to late
Speakers include: Seumas Milne, Women Against Pit Closures, Darcus Howe, Mike Jackson, (co-founder Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners), members of Test Department, Paul Symonds, Joe Henry and other former striking miners and more.
Films include: Preview of Still the Enemy Within, Dancing in Dulais, Battle of Orgreave, Miners’ Campaign Tapes, plus UK premiere of Miners Shot Down – the Marikana miners’ struggle.
Venue: RichMix: 35 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA (nearest tube Shoreditch, Liverpool Street,)
Tickets: http://bit.ly/1hYekDT Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StillEnemyWithinDay
22 March demos
There are t less than three weeks to go until the 22 March demos and rallies in London, Glasgow and Cardiff. Last weekend Hackney anti-racists organised a cavalcade involving several cars which got the message out.
Other London areas are planning similar to Hackney. Bristol has nearly filled one coach and is starting on its second. Brighton is looking to fill a Union sponsored coach (free places) with students and workers.
Mosques in London have ordered thousands of leaflets and are distributing them at Friday prayers. Comrades are doing likewise and seeing it pay off. It is excellent that in areas like Chesterfield and Sheffield, M22 flyers will be distributed at the forthcoming Miners’ Strike events.
There is a full transport list at www.standuptoracism.org.uk/
Across the country a number of groups are organising meetings to mobilise for the 22 March demonstrations. These include:
Cambridge: Monday, 10 March, 7.30pm, Erasmus Room, Queens College, Cambridge CB3 9ET.
Birmingham: Thursday 6 March, 7pm, Unite the Union. Transport House. Broad St. Birmingham. B15 1AY.
Hackney: Wednesday 12 March, 7.30pm, The Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, Lower Clapton, E5 OPU. Speakers include Diane Abbott and Billy Hayes.
Waltham Forest: Tuesday 11 March, Harmony Hall, Truro Road, Walthamstow, E17 7BY. Speakers include: Sylvia Ingmire: Roma Support group; Omah Ali: Bravanese centre;
Weyman Bennett: Unite Against Fascism, Jean Lambert: MEP Green Party (tbc); Jamima Fageo: Kalungan, Phillipino organisation
At yesterday's Party Council 40,000 leaflets were distributed. To order more contact the Uaf office - 0208 9717 426.
Please spread the word, tell friends, encourage colleagues, students and all who support us to come along
What can you do in your city or town? Find a busy area, involve the widest possible forces and pump out the leaflets.
Stand up to Ukip: People will have witnessed the racism at the UKIP Conference. This is where Stand up to UKIP comes in. To order Stand up to Ukip leaflets, go to http://standuptoukip.org/
SWP members’ re-registration 2014
1. Please re-register yourself! You can return the form or go to www.swp.org.uk/forms/re-registration
2. Each week the district will receive a list of who has re-registered. Each week the district should identify comrades they are going to contact and make sure they are phoned and visited.
3. Sign people up to Marxism at the same time.
People’s Assembly 15 March
The People’s Assembly recall conference takes place on Saturday 15 March. Please try to be delegated. Already a good number of comrades are gong, but we would like to have more. If you cannot be a delegate, you can go as an observer and take part. Register at http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/peoples-assembly-delegate-conference-regis...
If you are delegated please email email@example.com
SOAS cleaners’ strike 4 and 5 March
Solidarity needed: SOAS cleaners need your support, on strike 4 and 5 March
• Pickets will run from 4am-4pm. Key picket times will be from 6-9am and their will be strike rallies both days from 12 noon at the main Russell Square campus (details below). Picket lines will be at Russell Square Campus, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, WC1H 0XG and Vernon Square Campus Vernon Square, Penton Rise, WC1X 9EW.
UNISON members employed by ISS at SOAS, mainly migrant workers, voted 100 percent to strike in their long-running dispute over terms and conditions. They want equality with similar in-house university workers. This strike brings together the politics of fighting austerity and the politics of migrant workers.
Everyone can do something to boost this fight. Do a petition, send a donation, send a message of support
SOAS UNISON branch has set up a hardship fund for the cleaners. You can either contribute via a credit/ debit card at http://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=RECG... or you can send a cheque (made payable to SOAS UNISON, c/o Peter Baran, SOAS UNISON Branch Treasurer, SOAS Students' Union, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG), or pay into the account directly. The details are Unity Trust Bank, Account Name; SOAS UNISON, Sort Code: 08-60-01 - Account Number 49022162.
For further information see the SOAS Justice for Cleaners facebook page at "https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-For-Cleaners-SOAS/487787121252241"
To send messages of support or to request speakers for meetings, etc contact Sandy Nicoll (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ezequiel Kramer (email@example.com)
Solidarity materials are attached
Unite the Resistance London forum 10 March
NUT Deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney will join Consuelo Moreno Yusti from the SOAS cleaners, Steve Hedley assistant general secretary of the RMT and Ellen Clifford from DPAC at a forum organised by Unite the Resistance on Monday 10 March.
The forum will build solidarity for the cleaners’ action at SOAS and debate the state of play in the run up to key national action by teachers and college lecturers. We’ll also here about possible further action to defend jobs on London Underground.
With the Tories, UKIP and the right wing press stirring up divisions and scapegoating migrants linking the fight in the workplaces with the battle against attacks on migrants and disabled people couldn’t be more important.
The movement also needs a forum where we can have a genuine debate about the way forward in the fight against austerity. This meeting gives us the opportunity to start that debate and is one of a series being organised by Unite the Resistance.
The meeting is next Monday, 10 March, 7pm, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8EP. Download a leaflet from http://uniteresist.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/London-UtR-fight-auste...
Support Doncaster Care UK strikers
Over 100 striking care workers are in the middle of a seven-day strike in Doncaster. The workers care for adults with learning disabilities and are striking over cuts to evening and weekend wages by their employer Care UK, a private healthcare firm.
There have been big, vibrant pickets every day and a successful demonstration in Doncaster last Saturday where around 100 turned out, with a big presence by the strikers themselves, but also support from other trade unionists, Unite the Resistance and the People’s Assembly.
From the street rally, Unison’s regional organiser called for a vote on who was willing to strike further to stop the attacks—it was a unanimous yes.
With two days left of the strike pickets are planned at Care UK office 9.30am on Tuesday 4 March and on Wednesday 5 March there will be a meeting at the Trades & Labour Club at 10am with guest speakers from 12 noon.
Comrades have done a great job so far, with around 60 of this week’s issue of Socialist Worker sold to strikers across the picket lines and the demonstration. Given that the new paper will be out just before the end of the strike, with a full report, it’s important that locally comrades aim to get back round the strikers with the paper on Wednesday.
We should be rushing messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org along with requests for speakers. The branch is also calling for solidarity collections. Cheques can be made payable to “Doncaster, District & Bassetlaw Health Branch” and sent to: Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster, DN4 5GJ
Solidarity materials are attached
Demo at Lib Dem conference, 8 March, York
The Yorkshire and the Humber TUC has called a demonstration in York on Saturday 8 March to protest against the austerity measures of the Coalition government and to highlight a better way to grow our economy and protect our society. The demonstration takes place while the Liberal Democrats hold their Spring Conference in York and our march takes us past the Barbican Centre where they are meeting.
11am Assemble Clifford’s Tower, Tower St, York YO1 9SA
11.30am March begins
12.15pm Rally and speeches outside Clifford’s Tower
Save legal aid
Solicitors and barristers will take part in another day of action of Friday (a strike in all but name) against the attacks on legal aid. This struggle is escalating!
Save Legal Aid 7 March demonstration and rally
“GRAYLING DAY” Demonstration to SAVE LEGAL AID Friday 7 March 10am Old Palace Yard SW1
Followed by march to Ministry of Justice Follow @justallianceuk #just4justice
Speakers include: Paddy Hill (Birmingham 6) Shami Chakrabarti (Liberty) Ian Lawrence (NAPO) Sign the petition for legal aid www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-cameron-uk-government-save-legal-ai...
Followed by a training event between 1-4pm at Methodist Central Hall www.iccsa.org.uk/lcssa-training-day-07032014…
Marxism 2014: book now
Marxism 2014: 10-14 July
1914-2014: A century or war, crisis and revolution
What are the alternatives for today?
Book online today at www.marxismfestival.org.uk
A key theme at this year’s Marxism festival will be the 30th Anniversary of the Great Miners’ Strike of 1984. One highlight will be the new film “Still the Enemy Within”. Fresh from its planned premier launch at Sheffield documentary festival in June, the showing at Marxism 2014 will be one of the first opportunities to see it in London.
The film will be followed by a panel discussion involving miners, and other activists involved in the strike.
Our course at Marxism on the miners will take up the issues raised in the film in more detail:
From the 1920s to the 1980s: What can we learn from miner’s struggles in Britain?
• The miners, the Communist Party and the 1926 General strike
• 1972-1974: Who governs the country? The miners or the Tories?
• The great strike of 1984-5: How the miners could have won
There will be over 160 meetings at Marxism 2014. Other themes include:
From war to revolution: one hundred years since the First World War
Fighting for liberation: how can we end oppression
Anti racism and anti fascism – coming after the Euro elections, Marxism will be a key place to bring activists to discuss anti fascist strategy and assess the situation with UKIP following the elections.
Class, trade unions and the prospects for resistance
The Arab Spring three years on
In the evenings there will be plenty to keep you entertained, including live music, film showings, poetry and much more.
Visit www.marxismfestival.org.uk for more information and to register for the event.
Special offer: book your ticket before 6th April 2014 and get £5 off
Remember we provide a free crèche for children up to the age of 12 years old. Places need to be booked in advance. Plus we can provide basic accommodation for free.
Marxism is crucial for every branch. The more members, new members and non members go the stronger your branch will be afterwards.
Every branch needs a strategy for building Marxism. . .
• Each branch needs a Marxism organizer. In bigger districts there should be a Marxism team. This makes a massive difference to the building of the event. Already Waltham Forest and Glasgow districts have booked up over 50% of their total bookings last year. This puts them in an excellent position to take down many more people to Marxism. They have been able to do this by having comrades responsible for Marxism in each branch. If your branch has not yet got a Marxism organizer please agree one this week and let us know in the Marxism office.
• Make sure every comrade asked to re-register is also asked to sign up to Marxism.
• Get posters and flyers out. Use the publicity widely on every stall, demo, meeting etc
• Make a target list of people we know and are working with over things like the 22nd Demo and ask them.
• Students. Every branch should focus on either a University or FE college. Set up stalls to build both for the 22nd March Stand up to racism demo and Marxism. Poster inside departments and round the campus. Give out lots of flyers. Use the Marxism sign up sheet to get contacts of those interested to follow up. This is part of our long term strategy of rebuilding among students.
Egypt Solidarity: sign up and build it
A major new campaign, Egypt Solidarity Initiative, has been launched to raise support for activists facing harsh repression from the military regime. The initial signatories are a broad range of academics, trade unionists, MPs, writers and academics. They include Bob Crow, Katy Clark MP, John McDonnell MP, Dr Maha Abdel-Rahman, Gilbert, Achcar, Olivier Besancenot, Adam Hanieh, Seung-chul Shin and many others – from many parts of the world.
Please look at the website and use the model motions (for trade union, student unions and education unions. Ask everyone you know to sign up and to pass support through unions, campaigns etc.
International solidarity has made a difference to the fate of Egyptian activists in the past and can do so again. Of course events in Egypt (such as the heroic strike taking place in Mahalla) matter most, but the regime will be less confident to jail, torture and murder its opponents if there is a big wave of solidarity internationally.
Stand up to racism, fascism and xenophobia demonstrations in London, Glasgow and Cardiff, Sat 22 March
There are just three weeks left to build for this important day of action and all students must be part of building the demonstrations in their area. It is important to be thinking about transport for yourself and the people you are bringing with you. Can your SU book a coach or minibus? Is there a way to book cheap coach tickets in bulk? We must be organised with the logistics of the day. If you haven’t done so already, arrange a caucus with members of your SWSS group to discuss and formulate a strategy for getting people to the demo and a method of how you are going to build on campus.
Some key things to do:
• Poster your university: Get posters up everywhere! All inside the university but also outside in bus stops, trees, lampposts etc. If you need some posters sent to you with your districts papers then get in contact by tomorrow at 12pm.
• Have publicity on your stalls: Make sure every papersale and SWSS stall has leaflets and posters on it. Give a leaflet to everyone you speak to. Sell coach tickets on the stall.
• Organise a leafleting session: Contact other societies, groups, clubs and individuals on campus that would come and leaflet with you. Building a united front against fascism must start by involving wider layers of students on campus and working with people to the right of us (ie Labour party, Plaid Cymru etc) Ask your local branch to help with your stalls if your SWSS group is small.
• Spread the word: Send a text and email to everyone in your SWSS group and any one whose contact details you have from stalls and meetings. Call people you think would be up for coming on the day and sell them a coach ticket.
• Set up a UAF meeting: Do you have the time and resources to set up a successful Unite Against Fascism meeting? If you think you can, get together with others on campus to build for a UAF meeting to publicise the demo. Get in touch with us at the office if you plan to do this.
Stand Up to Racism and Fascism – London Student Activist Meeting TOMORROW, 4 March
Time: 6pm to 7.30pm
Venue: NUS Headquarters - NUS UK, Macadam House, 275 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8QB
This will be an important meeting to discuss building the London demonstration on March 22nd. All SWP and SWSS members are encouraged to attend. Its also an opportunity to get materials for building on campus and to discuss the student day of action on March 13th.
Build SWSS: Meetings, stalls and postering
SWSS meetings continue to attract an audience and play a key role in helping recruit to the SWP. Last week, Kingston SWSS held a meeting on Religion and Capitalism that brought in 16 people. Sussex had 30 at a meeting on the First World War.
With International Women’s day coming up (8th March), it’s a good idea to plan a meeting this month on ‘Fighting Oppression and Exploitation: The real tradition of International Women’s Day’. It’s not too late to have a meeting on LGBT liberation for LGBT history month. At the weekend, the party held a dayschool for new members and students called A Rough Guide to Marxism. Lots of students from around the country came and brought their SWSS groups for a day of discussion and debate on different aspects of Marxism. We had a lot of people sign up to Marxism and a SWSS member from Southampton Solent SWSS joined the party.
Every week we need to push out to build the SWSS meeting and make sure SWSS has a big presence on campus. Poster every day for the meeting – put them up in departments and all round the campus: walls, bus stops, trees etc. Make sure there is a weekly email and text out for the meeting activities and call those students contacts we have met before. Having a weekly papersale is massively important to building a meeting. Not only do you get an opportunity to meet new students but also get the publicity out on campus and have a chance to discuss our politics and sell the paper.
This term is crucial for building Marxism on campus. Its much harder to build in the third term due to exams and coursework deadlines. Building Marxism is important for SWSS groups as it can lay the foundations for bigger groups in the next year and a wider periphery to be in contact with. It’s a great place to recruit people to the SWP and make lasting working relationships with people on campus. Kingston SWSS has already signed up 15 people to Marxism. London Met, Sussex and Glasgow are also doing well in sign ups.
By now, every SWSS and SWP member on campus should be signed up for Marxism and a strategy should be in place for getting sign ups. The publicity should be on our weekly stalls and at our meetings and anyone we have a conversation with should be asked to sign up. Use the Marxism sign up sheets to get contacts for those interested in attending and make sure they are followed up quickly.
For announcements, updates or to book tickets go to: www.marxismfestival.org.uk
NUS conference: 8-10 April 2014, Liverpool
We want to ensure a good SWSS intervention at NUS conference. That means we need as many comrades as possible to stand for election. Please check out the dates of NUS conference delegate elections at your Uni this week and let us know when the elections are. Contact Ellie email@example.com
New Socialist Review out this week
The March Socialist Review leads on The Tory education nightmare - Jess Edwards and Sara Tomlinson examine Gove's war on progressive education, the growing crisis in his academies plan and the prospects for a fightback. Ken Muller reflects on the union victory at the STEM 6 free school.
Angela McCormick, Chris Newlove and Carlo Morelli look the intensifying debate over Scottish independence and the arguments on the left. Plus:
* Sheila McGregor on how the 1984-5 miners’ strike could have defeated Thatcher
* Charlie Kimber challenges the argument that migrants lower wages
* Weyman Bennett why the 22 March demonstrations are a vital next step in combating racism * Tomas Tengely Evans and Mark L Thomas on the revolt and crisis in the Ukraine plus much more!
Branch orders will go out with the papers and individual subs will be posted out this week. Contact 0207 819 1176 or firstname.lastname@example.org to increase your order. Branches should make a particular effort to encourage teachers to take extra copies to sell at school and union meetings.
Fast Food Rights Day of Action 29 March
Fast Food Rights: next day of action 29 March
Last Monday saw an organising meeting of the Fast Food Rights campaign, initiated by the BFAWU bakers’ union, John McDonnell MP and Unite the Resistance, following the campaign’s first day of action on 15 February. The meeting heard from two fast food workers now in the Service Employees International Union, the fastest growing union in the US with 2.1 million members, who joined the discussion (via skype) and fed in their experience of the explosive US fast food strikes and protests, and their fight for union recognition and $15 an hour.
The next organising meeting for the campaign is set to take place on Monday 17 March at the House of Commons.
The next Fast Food Rights day of action is Saturday 29 March.
In every area comrades should, through Unite the Resistance, get in touch with the local BFAWU bakers’ union and discuss what to do on the day of action. As soon as you have anything planned it’s important to send the details to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org . Watch the Fast Food Rights website for upcoming meetings and events http://fastfoodrights.wordpress.com/ .
If you’d like to discuss Fast Food Rights in your area, contact
Tube dispute and justice for Mark Harding
Talks run until 4 April between the rail unions and London Underground. Management and Boris Johnson show littlke sign of significant concessions and last week massively increased the stakes by announcing a plan for driverless trains on large parts of the network.
An updated leaflet will be sent out tomorrow and comrades should use this to distribute to tube workers on their journeys across the capital.
Some activists on London Underground in RMT are using a petition raising the demand for no settlement or offer to be accepted until it has gone to a mass members and reps’ meeting at the end of talks in April.
The Hammersmith and City RMT branch, The Jubilee South branch have also passed a motion stressing the same demand, and that there should be no deal until those victimised, such as Mark Harding, are fully defended. This same motion has now been passed at London Region RMT.
Last week also saw 50 turn out in the rain in solidarity with Mark Harding at the Hammersmith Magistrates Court at his initial court hearing. His full court hearing will now take place on Friday 23 May at the City of London Magistrates Court. Rush solidarity to email@example.com
Demo at Tory conference, Edinburgh 15 March
Demonstrate against Cameron and Co at the Scottish Tory Party conference. Saturday 15 March: Demo, Assemble Edinburgh, The Mound, 11am.
There are a million reasons to oppose the Tories from cuts to their racism against immigrants. Bring your banners and friends.
Sunday 16 March: Action Against Austerity Conference. Edinburgh University, Teviout Building, registration 12pm. Book at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/action-against-austerity-conference-tickets... Speakers include Owen Jones. Supported by Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC), All Scotland Bedroom tax federation, Unite the Resistance Scotland , All Lothian Bedroom Tax Federation, Disability History Scotland, Edinburgh Radical Independence Campaign, Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), , Edinburgh Stop the War Coalition, BARAC Scotland and many more.
Get behind teachers’ strike on 26 March
The NUT is set to strike across England and Wales on 26 March. Hundreds of thousands of teachers will strike against Gove’s attacks on pay. The action follows a series of regional strikes alongside the other main teaching union the NASUWT. The NASUWT is not taking part in the action this time around, despite Gove’s attacks on education.
The strike on 26 March gives the whole movement a potential rallying point and alongside the national action taken by campus unions (UCU, Unison, Unite and EIS) over recent weeks it raises again the possibility of pushing for the co-ordinated action that could take on the government.
That’s why we should be raising wherever we can the idea of co-ordinating industrial action with the teachers.
Many NUT associations are setting up street stalls on Saturday (8 March) to build support for the action amongst parents and the public. Many have already held successful events. Where ever we have comrades in an association we should be pushing for this kind of activity. In London there will be a strike rally on 19 March.
We need to make sure that all comrades who are teachers, parents and governors are involved in the activity on 8 March if at all possible and that we are fighting to get support from other union/student unions and campaigns to rallies and protests on 26 March itself.
A new Socialist Worker leaflet for schools will be out this week.
SW sales successes
In Oxford, a comrade reports, “despite three people sending apologies as they were going to London for the new members’ dayschool, four of us did the sale on Saturday and had an excellent time.
“We petitioned over the Tory attack on benefits and this had a particular resonance in Oxford with the recent death of a man from the city as a direct result of benefits cuts.
We sold 17 papers and one person also joined the SWP on the sale and four others took membership forms away with them.
“Many other people took leaflets about our next branch meeting and the march against racism and fascism.
“Our experience follows an excellent branch meeting last week about women's oppression. This really showed to me that we are pushing at an open door at the moment in people being interested in our politics and in joining the SWP.
In Leicester: “We are back on line again, we sold 8 papers on Wednesday lobby against the cuts and 12 papers this Saturday using the war on benefits petition which went down well with a number of people saying how much pressure they were under through unreasonable job search requests. A Kurdish person who we have met through UAF activities bought the paper and made a £30 donation to the party. On the whole it was a great afternoon.”
Birmingham District Sales 80 across the week – Sat Moazzam Begg Protest 30 + Thurs Eve 14 + Handsworth Branch ward meeting 7 + Kings Heath branch Street sale 8 + individual sales 21
Glasgow sales: Buchanan Street Sat 25 + Motherwell 20 + Airdrie 10 + Coatbridge 9 and Meeting on independence 7 papers and 5 pamphlets + Hillhead Fri 9 + Branch meeting 5 + Caledonian Uni 2 + Glasgow Uni 2 + Strathclyde Uni 2 + Langside FE 5 + leafleting outside Celtic park 8 + Morning star independence meeting 5 papers and 7 pamphlets
Ipswich 25 and 1 recruit; Edinburgh Sat 23; Portsmouth council offices sales 14; Bristol Royal Infirmary 9; Dorchester 12
In Brixton on Thursday comrades sold 25 papers at the Education Question Time meeting – Comrades in Hackney sold 21 papers at the UNISON AGM – Comrades in Barnsley sold 18 papers at a protest meeting on cuts to public transport concessionary fares – We also sold 20 papers at the Unison Higher Education conference in Brighton last week
UCU: University of Central Lancashire to strike Thursday & Friday (6 & 7 March)
Members of UCU will be on strike this week at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). The union announced that UCLan staff will take strike action on Thursday and Friday (6 and 7 March) as part of a row in which hundreds of them are at risk of losing their jobs.
The university has announced plans that would get rid of 52 posts, which leaves up to 400 academic staff at risk of redundancy. In response, over four-fifths (81%) of members who voted in the strike ballot backed the strike action.
Stop Mental Health Cuts campaign launch meeting,
Thursday 6 March, Stockport Town Hall at 7pm
New from Bookmarks
John Maclean: Red Clydesider by Dave Sherry, £4. New edition of the booklet on Maclean, Scottish socialist who stood up against the First World War. With a new introduction looking at the debates around Scottish independence and the centenary of the war.
1984, The Miners and the Strike that could have Won. A Socialist Worker pamphlet by Ian Taylor, £3. Thirty years ago more than 160,000 miners went on strike in defence of their jobs. They stayed out for a year, sustained by solidarity from millions of people across Britain who had never previously been near a coal mine. Ian Taylor gives a narrative of the dispute and the key turning points that could have forced the Tories and the Coal Board to their knees. Order your copies now from Bookmarks on 02076371848 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. 20% discount for branch orders. We will post them out as soon as they arrive, or you can pick them up at the People's Assembly on 15 March.
Paul Robeson: A Watched Man
Tuesday 4 March, 6.30pm
With Jordan Goodman & Tayo Aluko
Admission £2, Call 020 7637 1848 to reserve your place.
For any information about Bookmarks stock, orders or opening hours phone 020 7637 1848 or go to: www.bookmarksbookshop.co.uk or email: email@example.com or write to: Bookmarks, 1 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QE