26th May 2015
Build Marxism 2015 as we build the protests against the Tories. If you have signed up yet, do it now at http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk/ Everyone to the People’s Assembly demo on Saturday 20 June
Resistance—and a huge demo coming
What a weekend! It may have been Bank Holiday time and the schools’ half term, but we saw real signs of the potential for resistance on Saturday. There are three conclusions:
1. We should be bold and confident in reaching out to people who want a fight back. The demonstrations this Wednesday (after the Queen’s Speech takes place) and on Saturday (as part of building for the People’s Assembly demo) will be big in many places. For protests/demos/rallies on Saturday in Bristol, Manchester, Cambridge, Hull, Swindon, Coventry, Birmingham, Newcastle, Milton Keynes, Ipswich and elsewhere go to http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/national_day_of_action?utm_campaign... Find out what’s happening in your area NOW!
2. The 20 June People’s Assembly demon in London and the one in Glasgow initiated by the STUC will be huge. We need to build them even bigger and make them a launchpad for militant action.
3. We need to prioritise building Marxism 2015. People are asking big questions, Marxism 2015 is where we want to bring everyone we meet to discuss these questions
London this week….we need you on the streets!
Wednesday 27 May: Queens Speech day: a series of demos in and around Downing Street. Please come to Downing Street from 4pm onwards. It’s still useful if you come at 5.30pm, stay for an hour then go to your branch meeting. Saturday 30 May: Three demos! The priority is the demo in support of the National Gallery Strikers and Candy Udwin, assemble 1pm, Trafalgar Sq (please be there at 12 noon). This demo is supported by PCS and the People’s Assembly.
There is also a demo (which is likely to be big) against the abolition of the Human Rights Act (1pm Parliament Square). And UK Uncut has called a day of direct action in London. We need every comrade in London to be part of these. There will be no Saturday sales, Instead branches should organise Friday sales to build 20 June and the
Here are just some of the events that happened last Saturday, (as well as the news of Ireland voting for equal marriage!) and comrades were at the centre of all of them.
Manchester: “A very big static protest and music festival of up to 3,000. It was remarkably young, energetic and angry. Up to three coaches-worth of people signed up to go to London on 20 June on top of the 80 already saying they are going. We sold at least 120 papers. Lots of comrades out—old and new. Our placards were very popular and our stalls mobbed. The demo was originally called by a couple of individuals on Facebook immediately after the election.”
Birmingham: Up to 75,000 people took part in Birmingham Pride, led by Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners and union banners. As well as a day of LGBT protest and celebration, it was infused with anti-austerity feeling. Our placards and our politics went down really well. Find out when Pride is coming to your area!
Newcastle: Around 5,000 people took part in the anti-racist Unity Festival, held in Leazes Park. The line-up included Ms Dynamite, Akala, Natty and Panjabi MC, supported by top North East DJs. We did well.
Glasgow: “Around 120 people took part in a lively protest. It drew in very wide support—campaign groups, political groups—including some who don’t usually work together. It generated a lot of goodwill.”
Barnsley: “Our demo was just over 40 people—but very lively and angry. There was a big contingent of TUSC supporters from our recent election campaign, a contingent from Barnsley Greens, Freedom Riders and workers and parents from children's centres threatened with closure by the council. Comrades were lifted by it - and we got new names for the 20 June demo and Marxism. Our demo was much younger than a lot of Barnsley protests.”
Meanwhile, at UCU conference, “The left won almost everything on the conference floor, from industrial action to boycotting the Islamophobic Prevent strategy. Both FE and HE will now ballot on pay, the union is committed to calling a national education demo and the motion on calling a political representation conference was voted for by about 85 percent of delegates. That means FBU and UCU have now voted for this.
The UCU Left fringe meeting was 125 and 58 people came to SWP fringe—after a nine hour conference day and in the in the gap before the congress social. Three people joined the SWP, and five people signed up for Marxism.
Elsewhere: North London comrades rampaged through Wood Green shopping centre, Edinburgh, Lewisham, Scarborough and many others took to the streets. Leicester had a great campaigning paper sale etc etc.
Ideas matter: There is continuing debate raging through the Labour Party. Labour-supporter Kevin Maguire wrote yesterday in the Mirror of the “panic, cowardice, failure of nerve and lack of radical ¬ambition at Labour’s pinnacle.” There are also important debates for the left about Greece, the success of the radical left in the Madrid and Barcelona elections, what sort of left we need in Scotland and more.
20 June will be massive
There are 60,000 people saying on Facebook that they are coming to the London demo. There is still over three weeks to go. And when you leaflet for it on the streets there are a surprising number of people who already know about it. This is the big focus for mobilisation and to boost the confidence to fight. In every area:
1. Set up mass leafleting, with other people in the PA at bus, tube and rail stations and in city and town centres.
2. Choose local workplaces to leaflet.
3. Make sure you are on local transport. Help fill the coaches and then pressure the unions etc to book more.
You will receive leaflets this week. Contact us for more.
All roads lead to Marxism 2015
Marxism 2015: Ideas for revolution
A five day political festival: 9-13 July 2015, Central London
There are now just over six weeks until Marxism 2015. This is the time to get out the mass publicity, put up posters wherever possible and go back to everyone you have met who may be interested. We hope to have the timetable online this week, ready for the weekend and out with the papers next week.
Where next after the election?
Marxism is the place to discuss crucial questions such as Why did Labour lose? Is the SNP a radical alternative? How can we organise resistance to the Tories? And What sort of left do we need?
• If you have not yet booked your own ticket – please do so on www.marxismfestival.org.uk or call the Marxism office on 020 7819 1190. Day tickets are available. You can book a day now and change it later if you want.
• If you have booked a ticket for yourself - then think of who you can ask to come this week. Every comrade will have talked about the election result and what it means with colleagues, friends, family and other activists.
We want every comrade to ask at least one person to come. Don’t set the bar too high – maybe people can’t do the whole five days but could they come for one or perhaps two days?
Everyone knows someone who they can ask. In the last week a comrade in Glasgow (who had already signed up all her workmates) has signed up eight members of the choir she is in. They will also be performing at Marxism. Glasgow has now beaten their target of 100 bookings with 106 signed up. This is the most they have taken to Marxism for years. Other districts that have signed up more than last year are York, Doncaster, Plymouth and Cornwall, Barnsley and Cardiff. Every district and branch should be pushing to sign up more than last year asap.
Members and non members - Attention to detail – don’t just text or email – ring every comrade and contact who has not yet booked about coming this year. In particular if you have new members who have not been before make a special effort to ensure they can come to the event – this means talking accommodation, transport, food and money. Cardiff has recruited ten new members in the ten days. Their challenge is to try and get as many of them as possible to Marxism. This is part of how we will help retain our new members. Marxism provides an opportunity for new members to discuss the totality of our politics.
Go to your local 6th Form. Branches that are not doing a regular stall at a Uni and/or 6th form are missing out big time. This is a priority for EVERY BRANCH. Young people are at the heart of the demos against the Tories and have been central to anti racist work and Stand up to UKIP.
Set up a stall at your local Uni or 6th form THIS WEEK, give out lots of Marxism flyers and get contacts of those interested in going and build for the Peoples Assembly No to Austerity demo on 20 June.
Initiative & recruitment: Cardiff shows the way
Cardiff branch responded quickly and energetically to the possibilities after the election. Here’s how one comrade sums up the results:
Cardiff Demo – 9 May, called by us and other forces - 300 people, 36 papers sold, two joined SWP
Branch meeting "Where Next After the Elections?" 13 May, 28 people, 12 non-members, two joined
Demo on 16 May – 1,000+ people, 95 papers, four joined SWP A student joined SWP at our meeeting last night on "What Do We Mean By Class?" and someone else at PCS conference. Ten new members in ten days!
Racism, resistance and revolution dayschool
This Saturday 30 May, 10.30am-5pm, London. Leaflet attached. This day school will arm SWP members with the politics to win liberation. The event is open to all members of the SWP and the Socialist Worker Student Society, but is particularly aimed at black and Asian comrades. It costs £10 (waged) or £5 (unwaged). To book, phone 020 7819 1170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Defend Our Unions: defend Candy Udwin
The PCS has called a major national demonstration in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 30 May, 1pm, in support of the campaign against privatisation at the National Gallery and to reinstate Candy Udwin. The People’s Assembly is backing this under the slogans “Defend our unions”. The PCS transport is at
National Gallery workers have begun a ten day strike that continues until Thursday 4 June. Pickets are from 9-11am every day and 5-6.30pm on Fridays.
It’s vital that we are inviting strikers to every area to build the campaign and support for the demonstration
Sign the statement to reinstate Candy
Donate to the strike fund: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KYY...
Donate to sort code 08/60/01 and account no: 20169002 Cheques to PCS Culture Media and Sport Association, c/o PCS North West Region, Jack Jones House,1 Islington, Liverpool L3 8EG
South East Region TUC (SERTUC) solidarity meeting in support of the campaign against privatisation at the National Gallery and the victimisation of Candy Udwin: Mon 1 June, 6.30pm, Congress House, Great Russell Street, WC1B 3LS with Mark Serwotka, (PCS), Mark Wallinger, (artist), Olivia Mansfield, (Unite, Dulwich Picture Gallery).
Egypt: an urgent call for solidarity
Activists in Egypt who are defying Sisi's dictatorship need your support. Here are some simple things suggested by Egypt Solidarity that you can do to help…
Stop the executions - overturn the death sentences
Over 100 more opponents of the military regime were condemned to death this weekend, including former president Mohamed Morsi, and Emad Shahin, Professor of Public Policy at the American University in Cairo. Six men were also executed on charges of attacking soldiers, although at least two of them were already in jail at the time the crime was committed. Egypt Solidarity’s statement against the death sentences has already attracted high-profile signatures. Ask academics, trade unionists, journalists, MPs and activists to sign. http://egyptsolidarityinitiative.org/deathsentences/
#FreeMahienour: sign up for social media action before 30 May: Leading Revolutionary Socialist activists Mahienour el-Masry and Yousef Shaaban are in jail awaiting the verdict in their appeal against a two-year jail sentence. The verdict will be announced on 31 May. Please sign up for the ‘Thunderclap’ we have set up to boost the campaign’s profile on social media: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/26720-freemahienour
Addresses for protest emails here: http://egyptsolidarityinitiative.org/mahienour/
Get involved on 20-21 June with the international campaign in solidarity with Egyptian political prisoners
Read the statement which Egypt Solidarity is publishing on behalf of Egyptian activists and relatives of political prisoners who are calling for international solidarity actions on 20-21 June here: http://egyptsolidarityinitiative.org/prisonersolidarity/
In Britian Egypt Solidarity will be leafleting the People’s Assembly demonstration on 20 June - look out for more details on the website.
Send a postcard for Sondos and Shaimaa: stop arms sales to Egypt: Use our online postcard to call on Tory Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to stop British arms sales to Egypt. http://egyptsolidarityinitiative.org/2015/05/21/postcard-campaign-agains...
Housing and Benefit Justice summit, 13 June
Tenants and housing campaigners are meeting on 13 June in London to discuss campaigning after the election.
With Focus E15, New Era, Sweets Way, Fred Wigg, Aylesbury and Cressingham and the March for Homes inspiring growing resistance, the event will bring together tenants and campaigners to work out the next steps.
The event is on Sat 13 June, 11-4.30pm, Bloomsbury Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8EP. For leaflets contact: email@example.com
Suggested branch meeting titles
After the elections: Is Britain moving to the right? Is Scotland more radical than England? EU referendum: what do socialists say?Will there ever be a British Syriza? Do Rupert Murdoch and the media control what people think? Pride: sexuality and class struggle Are we all aspirational now? Is social democracy dead? Why do the unions still follow Labour? America: racism, the police and resistanceWater protests, gay marriage, crisis in the Church… Why Ireland is changing
Previous titles suggested: Capitalism vs. climate: Is Naomi Klein right?, Why are there so many wars in the Middle East? Putin, Ukraine and the West – are we heading for another Cold War?
How do we stop Ukip? Immigration: the myths they use to divide us, Islamophobia today: racism and the politics of fear, Are we heading for an economic recovery – or another slump?
Plus it’s worth occasionally having some more theoretical meetings alongside the more topical ones e.g. Is Marxism still relevant? Alienation: why we don’t control our lives, From coal mines to call centres: how has the working class changed?
Solidarity with UK Filipino health workers
In light of the recent Daily Mail article discriminating against Filipinos and Filipino healthcare workers, there will be a demonstration this Saturday, 30 May, 10am, 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5TT. All London health workers should be there and then go on to the PCS demo in Trafalgar Square.
Barnet Unison will strike on 1 and 2 June. Picket lines on both days will be at: 1. North London Business Pk—From 7 am, 2. Mill Hill Depot—From 6 am, 3. E Finchley Library—From 9 am
On Day 1 at 10.30am UNISON members will leave picket lines and travel to the Phoenix Cinema, 52 High Road, East Finchley, London N2 9PJ for a special screening of The Emperor’s New Clothes starting at 12 noon. On day 2: March and Rally. March starts 12 noon from NLBP to St John’s Church Hall Friern Barnet Lane, N20 for a rally. Messages of solidarity & support to firstname.lastname@example.org send donations to Barnet UNISON office email@example.com
Staff at University of Salford will strike from today, Tuesday 26 May, to Friday 29 May in protest at the treatment of two sacked UCU members. UCU members in the school of nursing, midwifery, social work and social sciences will be on strike. That four-day strike will be followed by a week-long walk-out (Monday 1 June to Friday 5 June) by UCU members who work in the school of marketing and student recruitment. Messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Lewisham academies strikes: the NUT and NASUWT have called a further two-day strike on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 June. Strike Rally Wednesday 3 June - from 9am in Cornmill Gardens, opposite Prendergast Vale School, Elmira Street, SE13 7BN - close to Lewisham station. Strikers and supporters will then be heading to: Lobby the Leathersellers' Company - from Midday, 21 Garlick Hill, EC4V 2 AU, to hand in a letter appealing to the Governors to reconsider their proposals. In the evening, there will be a Lobby of Lewisham's Mayor and Cabinet - from 5.15 pm Civic Suite, Catford, SE6 4RU.
Unite engineering staff employed by Kone will strike over the next two weeks. Unite engineers at Kone service lifts, doors and escalators across the UK, including at Gatwick and Heathrow airports. The strike starts at 6am on Wednesday 27 May and ends at 6am on Tuesday 9 June. The main Kone sites are at Chertsey, Gateshead, Glasgow, Keighley in Yorkshire and Warrington. Please send messages of support to our members in dispute via firstname.lastname@example.org
London Underground workers ballot across unions for pay strike RMT and ASLEF unions on London Underground are balloting for a strike over pay that could shut down the capital. Like the missed opportunity of a Network Rail strike, action on the Tube has the potential to play an important political role showing the strength workers have to fight. The ballot ends 18 June, a leaflet for tube workers will be sent out this week.
Barking & Dagenham refuse drivers, 22 days of further strikes: Refuse lorry drivers who work for Barking and Dagenham council are striking from 30 May – 7 June over reduced time for safety checks and a £1,000 a year pay cut. Join the picket line at the Frizlands Lane depot near to Dagenham Civic Centre. Rush messages of support to: email@example.com
Teachers strike in East London: The NUT national action committee has called a strike on 2 June over academy status at Rokeby School, Barking Road, Canning Town, London. This will be followed by three days of strike in the week beginning 23 June and three days the following week. Send messages of support to NUT rep firstname.lastname@example.org
Bakers' union members at Burton's biscuit factory in Llantarnam, Cwmbran are to strike on Tuesday 2 June at 5.25am until Wednesday 3 June at 8am. Each member will strike for one complete shift during that period.
Sheffield RMT train conductors strike back against victimisation First TransPennine Express Conductors based in Sheffield will stage a series of 24-hour walk-outs from midnight on Sunday 7June , Sunday 14 June 14, Sunday 21 June and Sunday 28 June.
UNISON members in the National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies have voted for industrial action over their 0 percent pay offer for 2014.
73 percent voted yes to a strike and 88 percent voted yes to action short of strike. If employers do not improve the offer there will be a 24 hour strike on Thursday 11 June.
Docklands Light Railway Interserve staff to strike
After a vote of over 80 percent for action, RMT members working for Interserve on the Docklands Light Railway will strike this week in a dispute over an assault on pay and working conditions. The strike runs from 5.30am on Wednesday 27 May for 48 hours.
No to Teach-Higher, demo against casualization, Friday 19 June, University of Warwick National demonstration about the threat of TeachHigher, that threatens job security and quality education at all UK universities.
Bromley Unite, after a series of strikes, has called a demonstration on Saturday 13 June, assemble 12 Noon, Norman Park, Bromley Common BR2. The council wants to privatise every part of the borough that they can get away with. Send a message of support and donation to the campaign. Cheques should be made payable to Bromley Unite. Messages to: Onay.Kasab@unitetheunion.org
A list of forthcoming Prides is below—and Birmingham showed how big and militant they can be. Start planning now to be part of it. We have a placard and a leaflet. Bradford Pride 2015 Sat 30 May; Oxford Gay Pride 2015 Sat 6 June; Blackpool Gay Pride 2015 Sat 13 June; Gloucestershire Gay Pride 2015 Sat 13 June; Swindon & Wiltshire Pride 2015 Sun 14 June; Cumbria Pride 2015 Sat 20 June (in Carlisle); Portsmouth Pride 2015 Sat 20 June; Edinburgh Pride Sat 20 June; Suffolk Pride 2015 Sat 20 June (in Ipswich); York Pride 2015 Sat 20 June; Coventry Gay Pride 2015 Sat 27 June; London Pride 2015 Sat 27 June; Warwickshire Pride 2015 Sat 4 July
Tuesday 26 May: Mitchell Abidor & Ian Birchall introduce A Socialist History of the French Revolution by Jean Jaurès, 6.30pm, £2, Bookmarks Bookshop, WC1B 3QE.