Party Notes

1st February 2016


Unite Against Fascism Conference: Sat 6th Feb, NUT HQ,

central London. Book your place now!
Register Here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/unite-against-fascism-national-conference... For more details see below

London comrades:
This Saturday there is also the national Junior Doctors demonstration (see details below). We are asking all London branches to cancel their Saturday sales (do a big weekday tube sale).
As many comrades as possible should attend the UAF conference. Health workers should go to the Junior Doctors demo. Every branch needs to provide 4 comrades to help on our stalls and intervention on the health demo.
Please see details below.

Comrades outside London:
Pegida have called a protest in Birmingham. Comrades from the West Midlands should go to the counter mobilisation. We are also asking some districts outside London to send transport to this. See the details below.

Stand Up to Racism March 19th Demos:
Refugees are welcome here!

The March 19th demonstrations against racism in London, Glasgow and Cardiff are rapidly approaching. Details are:
London: Assemble 12 noon, Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA (Oxford Circus tube). March followed by rally in Trafalgar Square https://www.facebook.com/events/1518644688427867/
Glasgow: Assemble 12 noon George Square
www.facebook.com/events/1718485681706641/
Cardiff: Assemble 11.30am Clare Gardens, Cardiff, CF11
March at 12noon to City Hall for rally
www.facebook.com/events/944435048938664/

The clear message from leaders across Europe is that people fleeing war and poverty are not welcome: from the red doors and red wristbands here to Denmark, Switzerland and Germany all saying they will seize what few possessions of refugees manage to bring with them. Meanwhile Germany is tightening its borders, while Finland and Sweden plan to deport thousands of asylums seekers. But the sharpening of such a racist offensive also provokes a reaction. Many were outraged when David Cameron referred to refugees as “a bunch of migrants” on Holocaust Memorial Day. The crude scapegoating was clear; Cameron was responding to a question from Corbyn about Google and tax. And anger about Cameron’s comments can generalise quickly to a critique of the whole system. If Google had paid its tax then there would be plenty of money to welcome refugees! In response to the refugee crisis the last few months have seen many people mobilised into action of some kind. Whether it is travelling to Lesbos with aid organisations, charities and faith groups to help directly or organisations collecting for refugees, many sections of society have been drawn in to do something: From mosques to church groups, charities to student societies. We need to tap into this broad support to help make the March 19th demonstrations as big as possible. We need to connect the acts of solidarity with a political message: that Cameron should open the borders, and let refugees in. That means contacting trade unions, mosques, charities, churches, faith groups student unions, refugee support organisation and involving them in building for the demo.

The state racist offensive takes its sharpest form around the issue of Islamophobia. Now Ofsted is saying schools will be marked down if pupils wear the Niqab. We have to challenge this and the governments Prevent strategy. An effective way to do so is by building a mass movement that taps into the solidarity for refugees. That’s why the SUTR rallies need to have the broadest range of speakers possible on the topic “Refugees Welcome here” One of these speakers should of course speak about Prevent and broader Islamophobia but the rallies should not just be about Prevent.

The Nazi BNP may be no more but it is clear there is a small but very hard core rump of violent fascists who are using the issue of refugees to try and march over. We will have to continue to mobilise against them as we did in Dover and Dewsbury on Saturday. For example UAF is mobilising against Pegida in Birmingham this Saturday. One key way of demoralising the Nazis is to ensure that thousands of people hit the streets on 19th March saying Refugees are Welcome Here.

The racist offensive, the Prevent strategy and the mobilisation of hard core Nazis can make the situation regarding our anti racist and anti fascist work complex, particularly at a local level. It means the necessity of political discussion among comrades at Branch committee or District Committee is crucial as well as coordination with comrades nationally. At heart if we are to build the type of social movement capable of taking on the racist offensive then the size of the 19th March demonstration matters, as does building the biggest possible SUTR rally in your area involving the broadest forces. The Unite Against Fascism conference this Saturday is an important part of this strategy.

• Transport: Is this booked from your area to the 19th March demonstration? If not book it this week. Attached is a template flyer to use to advertise local coaches.

• SUTR rally: Every area needs to set up a SUTR rally at the end of February/start of March with the title: “Refugees welcome here: No to racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism” Aim for the biggest speakers possible. We can supply artwork for your rally. Please contact us at the National Office for this.

• SUTR organizing meeting. The building for the rally and the demo should involve the widest possible forces from the start. Make sure you have an organising meeting asap.

• Materials. If you did not get the SUTR flyers for the demo last week or need more please contact the National Office. There will be more to pick up at the UAF conference, including stickers that can be bought.

• Plus SUTR have produced a red wristband saying Refugees Welcome. Price £1 or £2 solidarity. Bulk buy 15 for £10.00. These can be ordered by calling Aiden in the National Office and making a card payment.

Unite Against Fascism Conference: Sat 6th Feb, NUT HQ, central London
Supported by Stand Up to Racism, NUT, CWU.
The UAF conference is an important place for activists to come together. The main plenary is “Refugees Welcome here – unite against Islamophobia, racism and fascism” involving Greek and German activists. Workshops include ones on Prevent, the rise of the far right in Europe, institutional racism and the police and After the Paris attacks – war and Islamophobia.
For leaflets and to book your place go to
Register Here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/unite-against-fascism-national-conference...

Stop Pegida UK in Birmingham
Pegida UK have called for a silent “Walk” to take place this Saturday starting at Birmingham International Airport. Former EDL leader Tommy Robinson will be speaking. Birmingham Unite Against Fascism and Stand Up to Racism Birmingham have called for a celebration of Birmingham as a diverse and multicultural city.
Sat 6 Feb, 12 noon – 4pm, Victoria Square, Birmingham. The demonstration is supported by: Momentum Birmingham, Birmingham National Union of Teachers, Birmingham UNISON, West Midlands UNISON, Sandwell UNISON, PCS Midlands Region
West Midlands Love Music Hate Racism, LGBT+ Against Islamophobia, LGBT Support Refugees and Migrants, West Midlands Disabled People Against the Cuts, West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
UAF are also calling for people to join a counter protest at Birmingham International railway station from 12 noon onwards. Comrades from the Black Country and Coventry should go straight to this. Please check the UAF website and fb page for updates.

Shut down Yarls Wood Detention Centre
The Movement for Justice has called a demonstration at Yarls Wood Detention Centre on Sat 12 March.
FB https://www.facebook.com/events/1084119398266917/
Check if there is transport going from your local area and make sure comrades are booked on.

TUC week of action, junior doctors strike and anti racism – what can you do at work?
Every comrade in a workplace can:

• Try and do something next week in support of the TUC’s week of action over the TU Bill’s attack on union rights. Tues 9 Feb is the call for lunchtime meetings and Thurs 11 Feb is the call for leafletting, rallies including “lunchtime walkouts”. The CWU, for example, has put a video to promote this and the push 11 Feb as “a day of action”. A link to the video is here

• Build solidarity with the junior doctor strikes planned to take place during the TUC week of action. The BMA have announced that the strike on Wed 10 Feb will go ahead after talks with the government broke down. This will now be 24 hour strike with emergency cover. The strike will start from 8am. Get organised now to take messages of support, union banners, solidarity delegations to the picket line. The strike coincides with a call for health worker students to walk out over the cut to their bursaries.
In London, the RMT station staff on the tube will be out on strike from this Sat 6 Feb evening to Monday night and Crane workers are striking on Monday around the country (see below). Branches in these areas need to plan for covering picket lines

• Mobilise for the 19 March anti-racist demos in London, Cardiff and Glasgow. The TUC, Unison, PCS and NUT are all backing the demo. Can you get a motion through your union branch to send a delegation, pay for some transport, circulate members, order flyer etc.
London: Junior doctors’ demo - Saturday 6 Feb, 12 noon assemble. This takes on an extra importance in the light of the BMA announcing that the strike on 10 Feb is going ahead. Health worker students are also planning a bloc on the demo. We are asking all London SWP health workers to go on the demo and help sell SW. Each branch needs to send other comrades to help with our SWP intervention. Meet 10.30am at the assembly point (Waterloo Place, off Pall Mall, Charing Cross station)

Building the SWP: Can your branch recruit two new people in February?
27 people joined the SWP during the month of January, 16 of which were on a direct debit. Ten of the 27 new members joined in Manchester. This means that most districts and branches have not recruited at all this year. As part of the current Recruitment and Subs Drive every branch should aim to recruit at least two people during February. Think about the people we are working with in each area. One of our key places for recruitment is our meetings. Plan your branch meetings well in advance and book up speakers. Every branch meeting should be advertised on a flyer so that we can invite everyone we meet from different activities and campaigns. We can often help with artwork and provide templates. Ben, our designer has set up a website where templates can be downloaded as well. https://meetingtemplates.wordpress.com/
Contact Aiden at the National Office to discuss titles, publicity and speakers. Ideas for meeting titles: Marxism and Imperialism: Why capitalism leads to war; From Cop 21 to flooding: are we too late to stop climate change? How much can Corbyn change the Labour Party? Will there be another economic slump? Who gains from the European Union? Missile madness: why we say Trident must go; Labour and the bomb: Can Corbyn stop Trident? What is the United Front? Is Bernie Sanders the US’s Jeremy Corbyn? From the War on Terror to Prevent: Islamophobia today. February is LGBT history month. An interesting title given all the current debates about trans issues could be What do Marxists say about gender and sexuality? In addition branches should plan in a meeting for International Women’s Day on 8th March – one title is “Fighting oppression and exploitation – the real tradition of International Women’s Day”. Of if you have not already had a book launch of Marxism and Women’s Liberation with Judith Orr your branch could try and book this in.
The Subs Drive. The aim of this year’s subs drive is to both increase the amount of income we have per month but also to increase the number of members who pay regular subs by direct debit. Every branch needs a membership and subs drive organiser. We will be sending out lists every Friday showing who has responded to the subs drive. Every branch needs to organise a ring round as part of the drive. Contact new members who are not on dd, members who have cancelled their subs and working comrades paying relatively low subs. For more information please contact Christine, Nathan and Ant in the Membership Dept.

SWP Student and New Members Dayschool: Sat 5 March, London
This dayschool is an opportunity for newer members to come together and discuss some of our key ideas including oppression, imperialism, class and the EU. Every branch needs a hit list of members to ask to come. The Dayschool is open to all and any comrade who has joined the party in the last five years should be encouraged to come. If comrades are from a district outside London think about transport now so it’s affordable. For bookings and more information please email Paddy: paddyswp123@gmail.com

Scottish Cadre School, Sat 13 Feb
Comrades in Scotland can reserve a place at a special cadre school, open to party members, to be held in Glasgow from12.30pm on Saturday 13 February. The aim of the school is to explore and discuss our theory at a level of detail that is not possible at a branch meeting.
Alex Callinicos will lead off a discussion on "The Challenge of Left Reformism" and Sally Campbell will speak on "Is the Working Class Finished?". We will run a pooled fare system: entry will be £10 waged/£5 unwaged and we will refund the cheapest pre-booked travel to those outside Glasgow. Booking is essential as only 60 places are available at the school. Please email education@swp.org.uk, and put "Glasgow" in the subject line, to reserve your space. Some reading material will be circulated before the school.

Marxism 2016: 30 June – 4 July: Book up now!
Book up early and get a £5 discount. Go to http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk/booking.htm
to book up online. Or call the Marxism Office on 020 7840 5620 to book up and to request more publicity for your branch. New flyers will be sent out with the papers this week.

Stop Trident National Demo, Sat 27 Feb
Every area should ensure that comrades are part of any organising meetings for the CND demo and comrades are booked up on the transport. For full details, including transport and resources to promote the demo, visit www.cnduk.org/StopTrident
FB https://www.facebook.com/events/160801110932716/

Stop the War Coalition Steering Committee
Stop the War is holding a steering committee on Saturday 13 February, 11-4.30pm. Every local StW group can send a delegate. If you can be delegated to this meeting please email judithorr@hotmail.com for caucus details.

Abortion Rights
The Abortion Rights AGM is being held at Unite HQ on Saturday 12 March, there will be a public meeting at 1pm followed by the business of the AGM at 3pm. All details of speakers and how to register are at abortionrights.org.uk. Please let Judith know if you can attend, email Judithorr@hotmail.com

Peoples Assembly: March for health, homes, jobs and education. 16 April, central London
The People’s Assembly have called a national demonstration: March for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education, Sat 16 April, Central London. Comrades should go to any planning meetings for this and get involved building for it. Make sure comrades are booked on the local transport.

Momentum Tour: JC4PM
Momentum are hosting a tour of comedians, singers, poets, campaigners and politicians to build support for Corbyn. Below is a list of dates. Districts should do stalls at these, build for M19 and sell SW.
Thurs 4 Feb: O2 Forum, Kentish Town
Tues 23 Feb: Colston Hall, Bristol
Wed 9 Mar: Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Sun 13 Mar: Fairfields Halls, Croyden
Tues 15 Mar: Tyne Theatre and Opera House, Newcastle

New Socialist Review out this week
February's Socialist Review leads on refugees, with a piece from German socialist MP Christine Buchholz on the political mood after the Cologne attacks and a report from the Dunkirk refugee camp by Raya Ziyaei of We Are Wakefield. Plus Alex Callinicos on Ellen Meiksins Wood and "political Marxism", and Noel Halifax on the unusual life of Roger Casement. Plus books and arts reviews. Call the office on 020 7840 5630 by noon Tuesday to order extra copies for your branch or pay in outstanding money for sales.

Workplace notes
Simon O’Hara update
Strikers at Small Heath School in Birmingham have forced the school management to drop their proposed academy plan and the sponsors reps on the management board have resigned. This is a very significant development. But NUT rep Simon O’Hara remains suspended. A new ballot over his victimisation saw a massive yes vote and strikes will start if Simon is not reinstated. Keep sending messages of support and post them on the campaign twitter feed: @ReinstateSimon

RMT stations strike: starts 9pm Sat 6 Feb – ends 9pm Mon 8 Feb
RMT members at stations will are striking for 48 hours from next Saturday night over changes to rosters and staffing levels at stations. Pickets are likely to start early Sunday morning and the ideal time to get there is from 5am.

UCU Elections for Vice President and NEC start Mon 1 Feb
Important elections for the UCU NEC and for the position of Vice President start today, Monday 1 Feb. The UCU Left, which SWP members in the union are a part of, is standing a full slate of candidates. Leading UCU activist Mandy Brown is standing for the Vice President position.
• You can download the latest b&w Vote Mandy Brown flyer here . You can download the latest colour Vote Mandy Brown flyer here Download UCU left flyer for HE here Download UCU Left flyer for FE here

UCU HE Convention, debating and opposing the HE Green Paper, Sat 27 Feb
Activists and academics have initiated the second “HE Convention – debating and opposing the Green Paper” on Sat 27 Feb. We should be raising this on every university campus and building the maximum turn out on the day. Go to HE Convention website here Download a leaflet here And please book for the event now here The HE Convention is on twitter @heconvention

Defending Further and Adult Education - SOAS, Central London Sat 5 March
This major event, initiated by the London Region of UCU is being organised by UCU, NUS, Learning and work Institute, NATECLA and Action for ESOL. You can register now here
• UNISON members at FE colleges in England have voted to strike over pay by two-to-one by a four-to-one margin following an earlier rejection of a 0% “pay offer” from national employers. The union’s further education and sixth form committee will meet next Wed 3 Feb, to consider the next steps in the campaign for a pay rise.

CWU mass reps’ briefing on pay and pensions
This Wednesday (3 Feb) the CWU is holding a national update on Royal Mail pay and pensions at the TUC Congress House, Great Russell St in central London, from 10am (we’ll have an SW stall from 9am). If you are a CWU member or if you are able to help on the SW stalls, please contact Mark (markt@swp.org.uk)
• Socialist Worker’s new issue this week will carry an interview with Dave Ward, the CWU general secretary, about Corbyn and the challenges facing the unions today. Every CWU members should try a sell this at work this week – it’s a way of opening wider discussions about what kind of movement and left we need in the union.

Living Staff, Living Wage: launch Party, Sat 6 Feb, London
Activists from the Ritzy Living Wage campaign are holding as fundraise to launch an organisation to share their experiences of campaigning to help other low paid workers. It’s being held at DIY Space for London, 96-102 Ormside St, London from 6-11pm (South Bermondsey or Canada Water stations). If you plan to go, contact markt@swp.org.uk
Street, London

National crane strike
Around 500 crane drivers, who work for Ainscough, the UK’s largest crane hire firm, are on strike today over pay and zero hours contracts. There is a serious programme of escalating strikes, with another 17 days of strikes planned. The next strike is Mon 8 Feb, then 15-16 Feb. You can find a map of the 30 depots where they’re picketing here:http://www.ainscough.co.uk/depots/