14th April 2014
Make 10 May the stand up to Ukip day
ON 10 May we want comrades everywhere to work with the broadest possible range of people to show public opposition against Ukip.
Ukip are standing everywhere in the European elections, as well as in hundreds of council seats. We can leaflet and campaign anywhere.
Before 10 May contact as many people as you can–anti-racists, people we worked with around the 22 March demos, trade unionists, students etc–and tell them we want a united day of leafleting against Ukip. The on 10 May use the Stand Up to Ukip materials (available from http://standuptoukip.org/) and go into your town or city centre and leaflet and petition.
The point is to bear down on the Ukip vote and to show there is an opposition to their anti-immigrant lies. It will give heart to everyone who wants to see a challenge to Ukip
If there is a Ukip event in your area, organise an anti-racist protest. We don’t treat them as fascists, but we should certainly hold an anti-racist protest wherever possible.
Two placards are attached for you to use.
We know there is immense anger at the Tories, and that our politics can gain a hearing with a wide audience. We sold, for example, 57 SWs at the NUJ conference which has about 200 at it. On the first day of the UNISON Health conference in Brighton, we have already sold 50 papers, and we sold 46 at NUS conference.
But we also know the ruling class and all the major parties are encouraging racism, so we face a real challenge to defeat Nick Griffin, to try to stem the Ukip vote and to take a lead against scapegoating.
The more united class action we can get the less the racists’ lies will have a purchase. That’s another good reason to support the local strikes taking place and to push for national, coordinated action.
And the issues of racism, fascism and the struggle in Britain will be central to Marxism 2014.
If you are in NW England then the UAF anti-Griffin campaign is central and you should already have a clear plan from now to 22 May. Make sure everyone knows about it. National Front Nazis attacked a UAF stall in Manchester on Saturday, but this has only redoubled comrades’ determination to get Griffin out–and there will be an even bigger stall in Manchester next week. There was successful CWU-UAF campaigning in the Wirral, Merseyside, on Saturday.
Please send any reports of anti-Ukip campaigning to firstname.lastname@example.org
In areas where we are running TUSC candidates, plan now to involve as many people as possible in the campaign. TUSC candidates should submit their nominations as soon as possible (see the section below).
Every branch/district should schedule a public meeting for the week after 22 May (28/29 May) on the lessons from the elections.
UAF conference: Saturday 14 June: TUC Congress House, London. Full details to come, but make sure you have this in your diary, are coming yourself and bringing others. This will be an important meeting after the 22 May elections.
Good news from the courts! The case against five anti-fascists arrested at the demonstration against the BNP at the Cenotaph last June was dismissed at Westminster Magistrates Court today. Well done to all who came to the solidarity picket this morning and all who helped fight for justice.
PUT THIS IN YOUR DIARY NOW! Saturday 18 October, TUC demonstration in London, Britain needs a Pay Rise. This will be big!
With 1300 bookings already for Marxism 2014, we are in an excellent position to build a big, vibrant event.
Building Marxism is of key strategic importance for every branch and district.
London Marxism Planning Meeting: Sunday 27 April, 3-5pm
This meeting is open to anyone in London who wants to build for Marxism. But it is essential for every branch Marxism organiser (if you don’t have one yet please agree one this week so they can come to the meeting) to come, plus every London Branch Secretary and every NC member based in London. Please confirm your attendance by emailing Amy on email@example.com
We will be setting up similar meetings or extended district committees in other districts. To sort out a date for one in your area please get in touch with the Marxism Office.
The impact of a good delegation to Marxism goes beyond the five days in July. The more people that come from your area, the stronger both the SWP will be in the coming months, and our ability to both shape and intervene in the wider movements. Every area needs a plan to ensure that their delegation to Marxism reflects the work done in your district. There are four essential components to getting this;
1) SWP members. Many members have not yet booked up. Each branch needs to target these comrades. A priority should be comrades who went last year, comrades who pay subs and comrades who have joined in the last year. Talking to them about Marxism is part of involving them in the life of the branch
2) Non members. Here we need think both creatively and concretely, and think about organisations that could send delegations and individuals we know. Invite local campaigns like Anti Bedroom Tax organisations, DPAC groups, local anti cuts groups, Keep Our NHS Public and other NHS groups. Invite trades councils and unions to send a delegation. Approach refugee and asylum groups we have worked with. Send an official email or letter then follow up with a phone call, going to the meeting or approaching people we work with in the groups
In addition each branch needs to make a physical list of which individuals they know and we can ask to come to Marxism. Every year at Marxism comrades always wish they had got certain people to come. This year lets make it happen. That means approaching people now, talking politically about the event and then working out the practicalities with them
3) Mass publicity. Marxism 2014 has great meetings, speakers and cultural events. We need to advertise widely things like the showing of the film about Marikana “Miners shot down” followed by a panel discussion with a miner, Ronnie Kasrils and film director Rehad Desai or the fact we will have the first London showing of “Still the enemy within” with a panel discussion afterwards. See the website for more speakers and themes.
We are aiming to have the timetable out for early May but every area can start now using the flyers, posters and postcards.
4) Students. Four students booked while at NUS conference last week. Any students who come from your area could be the basis for a SWSS group next year. Although the third term is exam time, students will be on campus – studying or in the library. Find out when your local Uni’s new term begins. Each area should do a stall at least once a week. If you don’t have a Uni, pick an FE college to work around.
Teachers: time to escalate against Gove
NUT Conference 18-22 April: time to escalate fight against Gove
Delegates to the NUT conference will be asked to make crucial decisions about how to take forward the campaign against Gove after the successful strike by the union across England and Wales on 26 March.
Joint regional strikes with the NASUWT were a success, but months were spent trying to push for a joint national strike that the NASUWT pulled back from.
Now if the momentum of 26 March is not to be lost the NUT conference must decide on a programme of political campaigning and escalating industrial action that can beat back Gove’s attacks.
If you a delegate or observer at the NUT conference and you haven’t let us know you are going yet please do. SWP delegates and observers will be meeting at 12.30pm on Friday in Brighton. For details please contact Michael Bradley - email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• NUT NEC elections: SWP members Anne Lemon and Stefan Simms were elected to the unions’ executive. A detailed report of the elections will go out to NUT members in the run up to conference.
UCU: lock-out threat over marking boyvcott
With a growing threat from universities that they will carry out 100 percent pay docking (effectively a lock out) in response to the union’s proposed marking boycott, it’s essential that the UCU takes a strong stand in the face of blackmail. We do not want a Grangemouth in HE!
Union negotiators are meeting the employers tomorrow and the UCU’s HE committee meets on Wednesday.
• The UCU’s anti-casualisation day of action for FE and HE is on 7 May. Details of activity can be found at http://www.ucu.org.uk/anticasaction Please let us know what’s happening at your institution.
• The deadline for motions to UCU Congress is 12 noon on Wednesday 7 May 2014
Recruitment to the SWP in March
In March we recruited 85 people to the SWP, with half of them on direct debit. In March 2013 we recruited 68 and in March 2012 we recruited 63. The recruitment figures for the first three months of 2014 are 165. In the first three months of 2013 it was 154.
Look at your district and ask how recruitment has gone so far of 2014. Discuss how we can improve.
Revolt on construction sites
Construction workers who are employed by agencies on sites across Britain have been hit with a pay cut of £100 a week following changes to tax law that means they will be paid through “umbrella companies”.
Already on a handful of sites workers have downed tools and demanded to be directly employed by the electrical contracting firms on JIB terms with some success.
This affects any agency worker (not just sparks), therefore SWP branches could target any major construction site in their town/ city and get a response using the SW leaflet and Unite RnF flyer that we have sent out.
A number of regional meetings have been called to address the issue, these are: Monday 14th - Manchester - Town Hall Tavern - 7pm, Tuesday 15th - Liverpool - Jack Jones House - 7:30pm, Wednesday 16th - London - Conway Hall - 6:30pm, Saturday 19th - Glasgow - John Smith House - 10am, Thursday 24th - Southampton - CIU Working Mens Club, Swathling - 6:30pm, Crawley/ Gatwick - Wednesday 30 April – Jubilee Club, Jubilee Walk. Three Bridges, Crawley, RH10 1LQ - 6.30pm
A national rank and file meeting is being held in Liverpool on Saturday 10 May, 12 noon at the CASA club on Hope Street.
People’s Assembly demo, 21 June
The demo on 21 June now features Russell Brand as a speaker. It is a chance to raise the level of resistance to the cuts and austerity – and to increase the pressure on the union leaders.. We should push local unions to lay on transport.:
Saturday 21 June: People's Assembly National Demonstration and free festival
Against Austerity, cuts and privatisation
For the NHS, education and public services
Assemble 1 pm, BBC HQ, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA. (Oxford Circus tube)
Comrades should continue to build and be centrally involved in their local assemblies.
Socialist Worker May Day greetings
LAST WEEK TO SEND YOUR GREETINGS: Make sure your union branch, campaign, trades council etc has a May Day message in Socialist Worker. This will be in the run-up to the Euro and council elections when anti-austerity, anti-racist and pro-fightback messages will be particularly relevant.
Prices start from £30 – the same as last year. The deadline is 16 April. A letter inviting messages, model motion and order form are attached.
Cadre school 7 June
The party is holding a cadre school on 7 June in London. This is aimed at members who already have some experience as activists in their branch, workplace or university, and who possess a basic grasp of Marxist theory.
The event will have four sessions, covering “The Marxist Method”, “The Contemporary Working Class”, “The Relevance of Leninism Today” and “Imperialism and National Liberation”.
These topics will be discussed in more depth than would be possible in a branch meeting or a new members’ school. We hope through the event to create a larger pool of people who can intervene in debates on these issues, and who feel confident playing a leading role in the party’s work, organising our interventions, writing for our publications or speaking at meetings.
Preparatory reading will be required for the various sessions, details of which will be circulated to attendees.
Those attending will be charged a pooled fare of £10 (which they should claim from their branch or district treasurer) and their travel will be refunded (at the cheapest advance rate).
Spaces are limited. Those wishing to attend should email email@example.com or phone 020 7819 1186.
TUSC candidates: send in your nominations!
SWP members will be standing as part of TUSC in the elections in areas including Manchester, Barnsley, Birmingham, Sheffield, Tottenham, Hackney. Waltham Forest and Portsmouth.
We will be battling the Tories, the cuts and austerity and making it clear the crisis is due to bosses and bankers, not immigrants. We will be putting forward a positive alternative to the poison of Ukip and the pro-business policies of the other parties.
Comrades who are candidates should fill in and return the form at http://www.tusc.org.uk/candidate
This enables them to stand as TUSC candidates. In addition they must obtain the nomination form from the council where they are standing, and submit it in good time. The final deadline is 4pm on Thursday 24 April.
You should seek to submit it in person seven days before this, have it checked and make sure there are no problems.
All candidates need to go to their town hall and fill in a form (usually called the Candidate request for register form) which will entitle them to a paper copy of the register for their ward. They can use this when getting the nominations needed to stand. It is also useful for canvassing etc.
Fast Food Rights
Fast Food Rights day of action: Next step, international day of action 15 May
The campaign has developed links with the SEIU union in the US who are organising the US Fast Food strikes, and there are now plans for an international day of action on 15 May, so far with some form of involvement on the day by campaigns/ unions in 30 countries. The next planning meeting for the campaign will take place at parliament on 28 April at 6pm.
If you’re planning an action in your area for this day, please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be added to the list of actions. If you need any materials sent by the campaign for your action, please email the request and postal address to email@example.com You can download PDFs of leaflets and posters for placards to use at fastfoodrights.wordpress.com
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.
Social Work Action Network (SWAN)
A comrade reports. “The Social Work Action Network (SWAN) annual conference was a great success with lots of good discussion excellent participation. It was fully booked in advance with over 350 activists in attendance.
“There will be several regional SWAN events over the next six months to roll out the charter, which was agreed at the SWAN AGM, about the crisis in mental health services.
“We have also booked the 10th annual conference for Glasgow in 2015.
“We sold over 50 SWs, and Bookmarks sold several hundred pounds worth of books. “We also distributed all of our Marxism 2014 leaflets.”
Well worth comrades engaging with this and building it. Go to http://www.socialworkfuture.org/
A comrade reports, “NUS conference this year came against a backdrop of austerity and rising levels of racist scapegoating. These themes played heavily through the conference with motions on fighting for free education, workers’ rights and fighting racism and fascism.
“A motion to oppose UKIP passed with ease, as did a motion to support the TUC 18 October national demo, and another supporting free education.
“There was heated debate on UAF. NCAFC proposed an amendment to the motion which supported anti-fascist work but did not want to affiliate to UAF.
“The motion passed, however this isn’t new. A successful UAF fringe meeting showed that there are still those who will fight for UAF at a grassroots level.
“Our intervention went well. We recruited two students and signed up four to Marxism. After hours in a packed room listening to the NUS bureaucracy prioritise abstract motions and push back important ones, we were like a “breath of fresh air” for those who wanted to talk about what was actually going on.”
International Socialism journal
This quarter’s ISJ will be available soon. The spring issue features Philip Marfleet on the Egyptian Revolution and Dave Hayes on the role played by the SWP in the 1984-5 miners’ strike.
Ralph Darlington discusses the antagonism between rank and file and union bureaucracy and argues that it still provides the best guide to revolutionary trade unionism today and Esme Choonara and Yuri Prasad continue our discussion of oppression with a critical examination of privilege theory and intersectionality. Plus feedback and book reviews.
Analysis deals with the crisis over Ukraine and argues that rivalries among the imperialist powers continue to dominate international politics. As this is relevant to current debates around Ukraine we have made it available on our website already. Go to www.isj.org.uk or use the link below:
Every branch should have copies of the journal for meetings and stalls. To get copies for your branch or to subscribe as an individual and get the latest issue in the post when it comes out contact Camilla at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 819 1170.
Care UK workers’ demo on Saturday in Donny
Care UK…Join the solidarity demonstration in Doncaster this Saturday
The former NHS workers at Care UK in Doncaster are on strike again on 18,19,20,21 April. So far they have held sixteen days of strikes.
A solidarity demonstration will take place on Saturday assembling 11am in Civic Square, Waterdale, in Doncaster town centre. The strikers are asking trade unionists from around the country to join them in support with delegations and banners. Management are using bullying tactics to try to get individuals to sign the new contracts. A strong show of support on Saturday will be important. Please email email@example.com if you intend to be there.
A solidarity social is being planned afterwards so that people can grab a bit of lunch and a chat with strikers etc.
Keep sending messages and solidarity donations/ collections – every one is appreciated.
Rush solidarity messages and requests for speakers to: firstname.lastname@example.org Make cheques payable to: Doncaster, District & Bassetlaw Health Branch and send to: Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster DN4 5GJ Email Care UK chief executive Mike Parish to complain about the way they’re treating their workers: email@example.com
Visit the strike Facebook page ‘Doncaster Supported Living Unison Strike’ click here Follow on twitter: @StrikeUnison
Unison service group executive elections
Hundreds of thousands of Unison members are being balloted in the unions Service Group Executive elections. Voting runs to 18 May. Among the left candidates we are supporting are a number of SWP members:
Local government: John McLoughlin (London), Jon Woods (South East), Duncan Smith (Scotland) and Martin Sleath (East Midlands). Health: Janet Maiden and Jordan Rivera (London) and Karen Reissman (North West). Higher Education: Sandy Nichol (London). Water, Environment, Transport: Mike Killian (North West).
Egypt Solidarity workshop 24 May
Join Egypt Solidarity on 24 May at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) for a half-day campaigning workshop on the current situation in Egypt
Resistance, revolution, repression – a workshop organised by Egypt Solidarity
Saturday 24 May, 12pm-5pm
Khalili Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG. Nearest tube – Russell Square
To register ronline go to http://egyptsolidarityinitiative.org/
Some 1,800 people from 50 countries have signed the statement launched by Egypt Solidarity in response to the mass death sentences imposed by Egypt’s military regime on alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Add your name at http://egyptsolidarityinitiative.org/
Do you know any Arabic speakers? If you know anybody who can help Egypt Solidarity, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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. You can look at some of them at https://www.facebook.com/pages/30th-anniversary-of-the-miners-strike/645...
There are many forthcoming meetings and events including Aylesham, Kent (5 May), Orgreave (14 June) AND MANY MORE. Make sure you know about events in your area, have lots of SW specials (order well in advance from circulation), the other party publications, the miners’ strike pamphlet, Marxism materials and the special postcard.
Unite the Resistance Scotland 10 May
Unite the Resistance in Scotland ‘Organising to Win’ conference: Sat 10 May
Unite the Resistance in Scotland is hosting a day of plenaries and workshops, bringing together workers who are leading in the fight against austerity with other trade unionists to discuss how to get the widest solidarity for strikes taking place, what we can learn from these inspiring struggles and how to push forwards the battle to defend workers’ rights, for decent pay and to stop the austerity cuts.
The event will take place from 12 noon to 5pm
@ Renfield St Stephens Church,
260 Bath Street, Glasgow
For full details and publicity see http://uniteresist.org/2014/03/unite-the-resistance-in-scotland-sat-10-m...
No to Nato/Na I Nato 30 August-5 September
On 4 and 5 September the NATO summit will take place at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport. There will be protests and meetings.
From Saturday 30 August people will flock to South Wales for international actions including a weekend march (30/31August), a Counter Summit, week-long peace camp, and protests on the summit’s opening day.
Start planning now for STW groups etc to come to Newport on 30 August and afterwards. Go to www.nonatonewport.org and follow @NoNATOnewport
Defend our NHS
The avalanche of privatisation contracts sweeping through the NHS and the renewed wave of closures are leading to resistance.
PEOPLE’S PARLIAMENT: 29 April
JOIN THE DEBATE – SAVE OUR NHS
Tuesday 29 April 6.30pm, Committee Room 19, House of Commons, http://thepeoplesparliament.me.uk/themes/nhs/
KEEP OUR NHS PUBLIC NATIONAL AGM:
Saturday 28 June, 10am to 4.30pm, Venue : Central London
SW sales successes
In Birmingham, which is showing consistently good sales, Kings Heath branch sale 13, The Ramp on the Thursday 14, Saturday sale 19. “We made some very good contacts and got details of eight people who are interested in our meetings. One regular buyer on the Thurs Eve sale says he will help on the sale next week and come along to the meeting afterwards. We also sold seven papers at the PCS executive, three papers at a teachers’ meeting, personal sales (teachers, lecturers, council workers, the pub) 28 making a total for the week 84.
In Barnsley, comrades sold 27 papers on the town sale on Friday using the petition on travel pass cuts – The front page fitted really well – they also sold 33 papers on Goldthorpe miners’ anniversary demo at the weekend – personal sales 23 – making a total of 83 papers this week.
In Southwark on Saturday, four comrades sold 20 papers in Rye Lane using a petition about the sell off of Lambeth College’s Bixton site. Also, two people both gave £5 donations to Party funds.
In Edinburgh, 38 papers were sold on the Saturday sale.
North London: Islington Saturday 32 and one recruit on direct debit plus four serious contacts + Hornsey and Wood Green Saturday 24 + Finsbury Park 16 + Haringey Council Friday 10 + St Anne’s hospital Friday 7
Glasgow sales: Saturday sale 34 + Motherwell 23 + Hillhead Friday 10 + Coatbridge 14 + Airdrie 8
Bristol sales: Saturday sale 40 + Prince St Bridge sale 14 + Stokes croft 8 + Public meeting 8 + LMHR gig 8 making it a total of 78
Chesterfield 35 SWs
In Brixton, 17 papers were sold on the picket line outside the Ritz cinema on Friday afternoon
We also sold 37 papers on Friday and Saturday at the TUC Black Workers’ conference in London – In Wolverhampton comrades sold 11 papers (with inserts of Miners special) outside the Grand Theatre showing of Brassed Off.
Ritzy strike for the Living Wage
Last Friday the Ritzy cinema at the heart of Brixton on Windrush Square was shut by the staff’s strike for a Living Wage. Management tried to say that it was ‘some’ staff taking strike action that had forced them to close, the big lively picket lines outside the cinema on Saturday said otherwise. The strike has an impressive level of public support. Following Friday’s success a further strike has been called this Friday and Saturday 18/19 April. The strikers are inviting people to join them in support from when the strike begins at 5pm this Friday evening and then there’s a particular focus all day on Saturday right into the evening – with what will no doubt be a carnival atmosphere.
You can send a message of support to: email@example.com You can send emails of complaint to management here to:firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the Facebook page ‘A Living Wage for Ritzy Staff’ at www.facebook.com/RitzyLivingWage Follow the campaign on twitter: @RitzyLivingWage Donations should be made payable to ‘BECTU’ and sent to Ritzy strike, Finance Office, 373-377 Clapham Road, London SW9 9BT
PCS NEC and GEC elections
Ballot papers for the elections for the union’s national executive are sent out this Wednesday 16 April and the election closes on Thursday 8 May. Group executive ballot papers are sent out from 23 April and close on Wednesday 14 May. PCS comrades need to ensure that they are involved in Left Unity leafleting locally. A Socialist Worker leaflet will be out later this week for branches to use on civil service sales.
RMT: Northern Rail strike
RMT Northern Rail maintenance depot drivers at Heaton and Neville Hill Traincare depots in Newcastle are set to strike in a dispute over regarding from Thursday 10 April at 9am until Wednesday 16 April at 7pm.
RMT/TSSA London Underground
Talks in the London Underground dispute following the 48 hours strike in February are set to end this Thursday, 11 April. It looks likely that the RMT will look to name more strike dates, and when talks are finished a mass members’ meeting should be called to discuss the next steps. Meanwhile, following Bob Crow’s tragic death last month, the process for the election of general secretary is now underway.
Nominations open this Thursday and close on 2 July. The ballot will open on 21 July and end on 22 September.
The NUJ national Delegate Meeting is taking place from Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th April in Eastbourne. We are in the process of organising the SWP's intervention at the conference, if you have not done so already please let us know ASAP if you will be attending as a delegate or an observer by contacting Julie .
CWU national conference
CWU conference is taking place from Saturday 26 April to Thursday 1 May April in Bournemouth. We are in the process of organising the SWP's intervention at the conference, please let us know ASAP if you will be attending as a delegate or an observer by contacting Julie