24th November 2014
THE RESULT of the Rochester and Strood by-election demands action. As the statement we put out immediately says, “Unless there is a serious campaign against Ukip—and a powerful alternative for the bitter anger against the political elites—then a racist populist party is going to establish itself as a serious player in parliament.”
We need to build Stand Up to Ukip and push seriously for a united left. British politics is in turmoil. We have to rise to the challenge—and the left has t get its act together.
Every branch should use part of its meeting this week to discuss the by-election, the response from the main parties and our statement at http://t.co/9DHSbmAsHy
The large majority of people in Britain do not agree with Ukip’s attacks on immigrants. We need to mobilise that majority.
Ukip has grown by scapegoating immigrants but also by posing as an alternative to the main parties. As SUTU said in its response to Rochester, “UKIP poses as an alternative to the discredited mainstream parties. But in truth Nigel Farage, Mark Reckless and the rest are the very same people who are the winners in “austerity” Britain.”
Ukip has profited from the main parties’ targeting of immigrants—an assault that both Tories and Labour are now stepping up. This is a disaster. As even the very mainstream pollster Peter Kellner knows, “The more the traditional parties say, in effect, ‘Ukip is right to bang on about immigration, don’t vote for it’, the worse they will do.”
SUTU will be calling national days of leafleting and targeting particular constituencies where the campaign can make a real difference.
The preparations we are making for the May elections as part of TUSC are also a central part of strengthening amore united left and putting forward a socialist alternative as the main parties nosedive.
And the anti-racism demonstrations in London, Glasgow and Cardiff on 21 March are very important for everyone to build.
Thinking big, relating to the ideological crisis in society, being involved in activity, and seeking to shape a united left are crucial because there are major battles coming. And we can grow.
Today’s NHS strikes show the alternative to division and austerity. Early indications suggest that the response by health workers was even better than last time. This underlines how wrong it was to call off the local government strikes and the UCU marking boycott.
Early reports of SW sales on the picket ones include 13 in Bristol, 11 at Whipps Cross in Walthamstow and five in Tooting.
Stand Up to Ukip’s national activist meeting takes place this Sunday, 30 November. All those in UKIP target seats for the general election, and those who currently have a big UKIP presence in their area, are invited to attend.
Sunday 30 November, Central London
Time and venue to be confirmed this week. Please email email@example.com to register your place.
Demonstration at Ukip’s Welsh conference
Assemble: 11am, Saturday 6 December.
The Orangery, Margam Park, Port Talbot, SA13 2TJ
Backed by Unison Wales and several Unison branches.
For details, transport etc go to www.facebook.com/events/357521674418852/
Stand Up to UKIP Wales says, “We are asking that on Saturday 29 November that people get together with local supporters of the demonstration to leaflet their local city/town centre. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know where you are intending to or want to leaflet and we shall try and link people up with you.”
In Glasgow on Saturday 3,000 people came to the Radical Independence conference and next door 12,000 listened to Nicola Sturgeon, the new leader of the SNP. We had over 40 comrades taking part in the events, sold 226 SWs and handed out some 5,000 leaflets.
Two important demos:
STUC St Andrew's Day, Anti Racism March and Rally
Saturday 29 November, Assemble Glasgow Green 10am, Rally 12 noon, Glasgow Film Theatre, Rose Street, Glasgow
Scrap Trident Coalition demonstration at Faslane, Sunday 30 November, 12 noon. Transport from Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Student and new members’ school this Saturday
SWP student and new members event: Sat 29 Nov, Central London: Understanding Marxism
There will be a special day event for all new members, student members and those who have joined SWSS on Sat 29 November. This is a place for newer members and those around us to come and found out more about our politics and Marxist ideas. We want to encourage as many people to come as possible and for branches to use it as a place to bring any new students that are coming round them.
Where possible please do not have book District Aggregates for this date. Tickets are £10 waged/£5 unwaged/students.
We would like to encourage districts to book up and pay for cheap transport to this event. But where necessary we will refund transport costs. We don’t want lack of money to stop people coming.
Every branch should make sure that any members booked have their transport sorted and use the next few days to try and book up any new members or students not yet signed up.
Please note that although this is not an open public event we would like to encourage any student who has joined SWSS but not yet the SWP to come too so they can find out more about our politics.
Sessions will include:
Can Marxism explain a world in turmoil? Iraq, Gaza, Ukraine: What causes wars? Marxism and imperialism
Sexism, racism and homophobia —How can Marxism explain oppression? Where does profit come from?
An introduction to Marxist economics Russia: From workers power to state capitalism—understanding the Russian revolution What do Marxists mean by class?
Why the working class? Ukip, Islamophobia and the far right Fighting racism and fascism today The Labour Party, the Trade Unions and reformism. How does change happen? Why we need a revolutionary party
Booking form attached. Please print off and use with new members and students in SWSS. For more information or to book over the phone please call either the National Office or Student Office.
People’s Assembly Autumn statement protest
The People's Assembly is organising a protest outside Downing Street on the eve of George Osborne's Autumn Statement. Assemble 5:30pm on Tuesday 2 December to send a clear message: Austerity Has Failed: Sack George Osborne!
And this week… Austerity lies and myths - what the government doesn't want you to know People's Assembly economic briefing ahead of Osborne's Autumn Statement:
Thursday 27 November, 6.30pm
Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BS
Escalate FBU strikes
FBU protest as Tory fire minister, Penny Mordaunt re-opens West Norwood fire station, TOMORROW Tuesday 25 November “Defend our pensions, Save Our Fire and Rescue Service, End the Pay Freeze”, 1pm Tuesday 25 November, West Norwood Fire Station, 210 Knight’s Hill, London SE27 0QA
FBU national activists meeting Wednesday 3 December
Following 4 days of solid strike action in early November and the sacking of Buckinghamshire FBU EC member Ricky Matthews, many firefighters are seriously worried by the fact that no further action has been called in the union’s pension dispute.
In response the London Region of the FBU, along with Merseyside and Manchester, has called an open meeting for FBU members to discuss the way forward.
The meeting is on Wednesday 3 December at 1pm, Exmouth arms, 1 Starcross Street, NW1 2HR. We should be encouraging FBU members we’re in contact with to attend.
UCU: battles in the universities and colleges
UCU: USS pensions fight-get the action back on
Following the suspension of the UCU marking boycott, there is a continuing campaign to call a special Higher Education conference to restore the action.
You can add your name to the statement opposing the suspension and get the model motion calling for a special conference at http://uculeft.org/2014/11/defend-pensions-fight-to-win-join-the-call-fo...
UCU: FE pensions’ ballot starts 28 November but a special conference called for 13 December could halt national action.
While UCU members in FE start to vote in a national next week, the “Independent Broad Left” has won backing for a special conference of FE members which could effectively junk a national strategy.
The conference is on Saturday 13 December. Those who want to see a fight over pay make sure their colleges are represented.
Motions for the conference have to be passed by noon on Thursday 4 December. Delegates have to register no later than 5pm on Friday 5 December.
There are also important FE briefings in Birmingham (Thursday), Manchester and London over the next few days.
A Socialist Worker leaflet for the FE colleges will be out on Wednesday while UCU Left material is available at http://uculeft.org/
Barnsley College two days strike this week
UCU members at Barnsley College will strike on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 November over the imposition of a new contract.
Lambeth College more strike action on the way
Following an 85 percent vote for further strikes, Lambeth College UCU members are set to launch the next stage of their campaign with an escalating series of strikes planned from the first week of December.
Rush messages of support to email@example.com Follow the campaign on twitter: @lambethstrike
Unite Against Fascism
Congratulations to anti-fascists who defied the EDL rabble in Luton on Saturday.
Protest against Nazi supporters of Golden Dawn
Saturday 29 November, 11am – opp Greek Embassy,
1a, Holland Park, London, (nearest tube – Holland Park)
Called by UAF. British fascists are demonstrating at the Greek Embassy, later this month, in a sick show of support for the Nazi, Golden Dawn party. Join the counter-protest.
Tommy Robinson not welcome here, Demonstrate outside the Oxford Union, 7 pm Wednesday 26 November St. Michael's Street, off Cornmarket, OX1 2DU
UAF conference: 21 February 2015. Keep the date free!
Support the Freedom Riders in court on 8 Dec
On Monday 8 December two Barnsley pensioners who are leading figures in the Freedom Riders campaign to win back free train travel for older people in South Yorkshire are due to appear in Sheffield Magistrates’ court. Tony Nuttall and George Arthur (both SWP comrades) are charged with obstructing the police and not having a valid ticket and are summonsed for a five day trial. The prosecution may call up to 13 witnesses!
There will be a mass protest outside the court (on Castle Street S3 8LU) starting at 9am. Unite the Union has laid on coaches to bring demonstrators from Barnsley—and there are already 53 names on the list.
1. Organise a delegation for Monday 8 December from your union/campaign group. Pensioner comrades should try to involve their local NPC activists. (There are pensioners travelling from around the country to support the protest). Trade unionists should get there with their banners.
2. Send a message of support from your union, campaign group etc to the campaign to: firstname.lastname@example.org (copied to Barnsley Trades Council at: email@example.com). Send cheques made payable to Barnsley Retirees action Group c/o D.Gibson, 33 Western Street, Barnsley S70 2BT.
SW appeal nears 100K!<.span>
The SW appeal has reached £96,340. Thanks to all who have donated.
Collections sheet attached- Hackney teachers are collecting at schools across the borough: “I have collected £50 at my school by explaining to people who have bought the paper why we have an appeal and asking them to make a pledge even if they can’t pay there and then. Have got one £20, one £10 and four £5s,” says one teacher.
At Lambeth College, £100 has been collected for the appeal. A comrade in Manchester sent in £20 from a collection at work. These donations add up and they are part of cementing a political relationship between the paper and those around us in future struggles. We want to have a 'workplace push' – print off the attached collection sheet and use it inside or outside workplaces, and at union meetings.
Well done to comrades in Lewisham who put on a gig this week and raised £116 from door entry, and to Joel and Roger from Walthamstow who raised around £400 from their Tolpuddle walk this weekend.
50 years a revolutionary: Social evening to celebrate Sarah Cox’s 50 years as a revolutionary socialist with food, drink and entertainment. Saturday 6 December, 7-11pm, Paddington Arts, 32 Woodfield Road, London W9 2BE. Tickets £10/£5. You can book tickets through our website below and put ‘Sarah Cox’ in the comments.
Going twice! We will be having an auction at conference. Please let us know on the contact details below if you have anything we can use.
Simon Assaf is cooking a five course meal 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.
Share the appeal video http://youtu.be/fLVbFAhUE5I
You can donate through the website www.socialistworker.co.uk/appeal, in the office on 0207 819 1190, or by post to PO Box 42184, London SW8 2WD.
New pamphlet on LGBT politics out soon
New Socialist Worker pamphlet out soon
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... Available at SWP conference in mid-December. £3 per copy or £2 each for 10 or more. Order now from Bookmarks and collect at conference. Call 020 7637 1848 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Construction protests and meetings
‘Umbrella Scam’ Day of Action
Wednesday 26th November, Demonstration at Parliament 1045am demo, 12:45 Lobby - Committee Room 14
Scotland: Holyrood Lobby - 10:30am
Construction Safety Campaign AGM Sat 13 December 2014, 11.00am to 3.00pm. Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5NS
High Court Blacklisting trial continues & Blacklist Support Group meeting 17 December
9:30 am - 3pm (approx)
Blacklisting trial continues, Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand (nearest tube Holborn or Temple)
4:30pm - 6:30pm, Blacklist Support Group national meeting
Central London venue
LONDON MARCH FOR HOMES: March on Boris in City Hall Assemble 12 midday, 31 January, St Mary’s Churchyard, Newington Butts (Elephant and Castle tube/rail). Called by Defend Council Housing, the South London Peoples Assembly and the national Peoples Assembly. For more information go to: http://www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk/dch
Still the Enemy Within film
Still the Enemy Within is having a huge impact with big audiences and intense debate. The film is a major event and an opportunity to engage with people about the strike, sell SW and make new contacts. There are screenings soon in
St Helen’s library, Thursday 27 November, 7pm; Electric Cinema, Birmingham, Tuesday 2 December, 6.15pm; East London: Thursday 4 December, 8pm, Rich Mix with special exhibition; Dumfries, Thursday 4 Dec, Robert Burns Centre film theatre, 7.45pm; Doncaster: Friday 5 December, Askern miners’ welfare club, 7pm; Inverness: Eden Court theatre Monday 8 December (6pm), Wednesday 10 December (6.15pm), Thursday 11 December (6pm). Bath: Saturday 13 December, 3.30pm, Natural Theatre Company, Widcombe Institute, Bath. Hosted by Bath Trades Council - Part of day long event to commemorate miners strike
Full details and to book at http://the-enemy-within.org.uk/
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.
Some useful dates:
Saturday 29 November: Students’ and new members’ dayschool on Understanding Marxism
Sunday 30 November: SUTU activists’ meeting, London