20th June 2016
Racism and scapegoating: SUTR, the Convoy to Calais and the EU referendum
Nearly 200 vehicles assembled on Whitehall on Saturday as part of the Convoy to Calais taking aid and solidarity to refugees. Another 200 people came to see them off, with many more at send offs across the country. Disgracefully the majority of those on the convoy were prevented from travelling on the ferries they had booked to France, making a mockery of the idea of free movement within the EU. Some delegations got through such as South London, Birmingham and Newham and delivered aid and money to the distribution centre. This was followed by a rally with refugees in Calais. Those who were stopped at the border held a protest and then returned to London to protest at the French Embassy. See SW reports here. An open letter has been launched by the convoy organisers in protest. Sign it here
The Convoy came at an important time. Just a few days before the EU referendum it aimed to send a political message to Cameron and the Tories that they should open the borders and let refugees in. The horrific murder of Jo Cox shows what can happen when a climate of racism, scapegoating and hatred is whipped up. Jo Cox had spoken out in favour of immigration and in defence of refugees. Witnesses say that her suspected attacker, Thomas Mair, shouted “Britain First” during the attack. Britain First is a Nazi party founded by ex-members of the fascist British National Party. See the SW article here Some of the politicians and newspapers mourning Jo Cox are gross hypocrites. They have whipped up the racism and fear that make violent attacks more likely. Their daily diet of hatred produces horrific results. On the day of Jo Cox’s death the Daily Mail ran a front page declaring that “another lorry load of migrants” had arrived in Britain.
We will continue to argue for an anti-racist and internationalist Leave vote. But whatever the result of the EU referendum vote we have to continue to build Stand Up to Racism on a scale able to challenge the racist lies about refugees and Muslims that will continue to be pumped out.
Convoy Report back meetings: It is crucial that every area has a SUTR report back from the Convoy. These should be built as widely as possible, and where possible held in conjunction with the Convoy partner organisations. We want the message of the convoy to reach a much wider audience. Please send details of your SUTR meetings and events to Zak on firstname.lastname@example.org and also to Aidenl@swp.org.uk so we can also advertise them in SW. Meeting template– download here
Every Calais report back meeting should include a speaker who takes up arguments about Prevent and Islamophobia.
Use the SUTR Prevent Factsheet – copies can be ordered from SUTR. A SUTR pamphlet on Prevent will be out soon.
Date for your diary: SUTR conference, Sat 8th October
Friends Meeting House, 173-177 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ, 10.30am-4.30pm. This will bring together speakers, organisations and activists from anti racist campaigns.
Marxism 2016 – just over a week to go!
Marxism starts in just over a week’s time. Coming so soon after the EU referendum it will provide a vital forum for activists to come together and discuss what next. One of the key meetings will be Natalie Bennett and Joseph Choonara debating “Where next after the EU referendum?” on Sunday 3 July.
Last push for Marxism: Every area needs to have a last push on signing people up to Marxism this week. Call back every activist, student, anti racist campaigner, junior doctor, health worker and striker that you have met over the last year. Districts that have now signed up more than the total they took last year to Marxism include Manchester, Sheffield, South East London, Essex, Chesterfield, York, Plymouth, Swansea, Fife, Edinburgh, Bradford, Hull, Kent, Derby, Cambridge and Leicester. These districts should carry on building Marxism. London districts need to continue right up until the night before. Poster, do stalls, go to 6 th form colleges. We are now getting lots of bookings from people who have picked up a flyer or seen a poster – mass publicity works.
Visit the Marxism website here
Join our Facebook group here and share the event here
New Marxism Flexi Ticket: We have introduced a new flexi ticket which is proving very popular. This ticket is for any 5 meetings across the whole 5 days of Marxism – enabling people to come and go and get to the particular meetings they want to come to.
Remember that people don’t have to come for the full five days – day tickets are available in advance.
French striker to join the Marxism 2016 opening rally: We are pleased to announcethat a French rail worker who spoke by skype at a number of the recent SWP rallies will be joining the opening rally at Marxism alongside Moazzam Begg, Dave Smith from the Black List Support Group, Brid Smith, newly elected Irish TD and many others.
He will also be doing a special meeting at Marxism on the resistance in France.
Contact everyone who has booked this week: As well as continuing to sign people up to Marxism every district needs to make sure those who are booked actually get to Marxism. We are currently sending out the tickets to those who have booked. We will send out lists this week. Call every person who has booked, especially newer and non members to ensure that their transport and accommodation is sorted and they know where to find comrades from their area at Marxism.
Creche and accommodation deadlines have now passed. If you know anyone who needs the crèche please contact us ASAP.
All accommodation requests will now be in placed in the community centre.
- Can you help provide accommodation? Every year there are people who want to come to Marxism but for whom sleeping on the floor in a Community Centre is not appropriate. Have you got a spare bed, sofa or floor that someone could use? If so please let Sarah know in the Marxism office on email@example.com
Practicalities at Marxism Festival
SWP stalls and crèche rota – every year we ask comrades to help ensure we have a good sale of SW and stalls at Marxism. We also need comrades to help with the crèche. Please find attached a crèche rota and a SW stall rota. Each branch must ensure that enough comrades are provided for both.
Pic-nics – these are crucial if people are going to eat cheaply and meet other activists from the local area. The lunchtime at Marxism this year will be an hour and a half rather than just an hour so will make these easier. Every district – including London – need to make sure there is a pic nic organised for each meal break. Make posters to use a Marxism so that people can find your district!
Lexit: After the referendum
If Britain votes to leave, protest to kick out the Tories.
A Leave vote will spark a big crisis for the British establishment and the Tories. Whichever way the vote goes, Lexit: The Left Leave Campaign will issue a statement on Friday morning. However, if it's Leave, we have to be prepared to protest.
In London there will be a protest at Downing Street 6pm on Friday if there's a Leave vote. The slogans will be “Tories Out. Call a General Election Now”, “No to Austerity” and “Migrants Welcome Here”. The demonstration is initiated by Lexit, but we will also aim to get left wing supporters of Remain to it. There will be a Facebook event up later today. In other cities we should make similar preparations.
As soon as possible after the result is announced we will produce a PDF Socialist Worker leaflet for use on protests or on Friday sales (if the result goes the other way) and on Saturday. We want to relate to the political atmosphere and talk to people about Marxism 2016 as the next step in the debate after the referendum.
London Pride this Sat and LGBT + work
Vigils for those killed in Orlando attracted large numbers across Britain over the last week. One of the main messages was for unity against bigotry and not to let racism divide the movement. The LGBT+ Against Islamophobia banner drew support at the Soho vigil. You can add your name to the LGBT+ Against Islamophobia Statement on Orlando here
London Pride is this Sat 25 June .
We are asking each London branch to send 3 comrades to help with our intervention. Please come to Oxford Circus tube station for 10.30am to set up. Please contact Michael in the National Office with names of who is coming from your branch or if you are planning on going yourself.
There are number of other LGBT events this week in London:
· TUC LGBT Conference takes place on Thursday and Friday at Congress House. We will be doing stalls outside this. Please contact Michael in the National Office if you can help.
· Wed 22 June: 'Challenging Racism in the LGBT community' fringe meeting TUC LGBT Conference. Called by GMB Shout! and UK Black Pride
Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, WC1H, 6pm. Details here
· Thurs 23 June: Pride is a protest: the radical roots of pride meeting with from the original GLF. Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, 6.30pm For more info go to FB event here
Prides across the country: We have leaflets and placards to use on Pride events – please contact the National Office to have these sent up to your district.
Stop the War Coalition
There is a StW steering committee in London on Saturday 25 June. If you can be delegated by your local group to come please let Judith know on firstname.lastname@example.org.
SWP Branch Meetings
It's crucial we have a branch plan for before and after Marxism. Some suggestions for meetings are
Muhammad Ali: A fighter against Racism and War – download here
The EU referendum is the week before Marxism – whatever the result Marxism will be a crucial place to discuss the outcome. But we should also plan now for a branch meeting (or even district public meeting) for after Marxism.
After Marxism – (Wednesday 6th or 13th / Thursday 7th or 14th). After the EU Referendum, where next for the fight against the Tories? – download here
The Chilcot Enquiry will finally report on the 6 of July. It will be massive news. Plan in a meeting on this for after Marxism as well. Suggested title “After Chilcot – Blood on Blair’s hands: What really happened in Iraq” – download here
Are you going to the Durham Miners Gala or Tolpuddle Festival?
The Durham Miners Gala takes place on Sat 9 July. We would like districts in the north to send comrades to help. Please contact Michael in the National Office if you are planning to go to this so we can co-ordinate a party intervention.
Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival is the weekend runs from Fri 15 July to Sun 17 July. For a number of years now the festival has been bigger, younger and more radical. We will be having a serious party intervention at the event and have already secured an official stand for the party. Last year, we sold 139 papers.
Please let us know if you or any comrades from your district will be at Tolpuddle by emailing email@example.com
New International Socialism Journal
The new issue of International Socialism journal (151) will be out soon and available at Marxism. It features articles on the fight against anti-trade union laws, the Anthropocene, Islamism, the history of British imperialism, social democracy and more. Alex Callinicos asks whether David Cameron can put his cabinet back together after the referendum. This is already available online http://isj.org.uk/david-camerons-cunning-plan-goes-awry as well as another article on Brazil by Eduardo Albuquerque http://isj.org.uk/a-historic-turning-point-in-brazil .
To get copies for your branch the easiest way is to collect them from the publications stall at Marxism (near the entrance to the Institute of Education). But if you can’t do this please contact Camilla 0207 840 5640 or firstname.lastname@example.org
New Pamphlet: Marxism and Ecology
The SWP pamphlet “Marxism and Ecology: Capitalism, Socialism and the Future of the Planet” by Martin Empson has been brought up to date and reprinted. Copies are £3 each or 10 for £20. Contact Aiden on email@example.com to place your orders. Martin is available to speak at branch meetings on the pamphlet topic. Contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org to book him.
Solidarity with jailed activists in Egypt
Repression in Egypt has seen over 100 revolutionary activists and human rights campaigners jailed for 5 years, and hundreds more detained. They join hundreds who have “disappeared” in the last year alone including Cambridge researcher Giulio Regeni.
Egypt Solidarity Initiative alongside Amnesty International, students and trade unionists from central London organised a protest last Friday. We want to send a strong message to our own government that we will mobilise in solidarity against the UK’s alliance with Sisi’s dictatorship.
Sign the Egypt Solidarity statement and circulate widely here
Workplace Notes – to update
More UCU pay strikes hit Universities all this week
The latest wave of strike action across Britain’s universities in the dispute of pay, gender pay gap and against casualization is well under way. In the last few days UCU members have been on strike at Coventry University (Saturday) and Stirling University (today). There are a swathe of strikes this week. The institutions to be hit next are:
Tuesday 21 June: University of Central Lancashire,
Wednesday 22 June: University of Greenwich, University of Manchester, King's College London, University of Oxford, University of Reading, Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh) Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Dance (Greenwich), SOAS, University of Wolverhampton and Trinity St David Wales
Thursday 23 June: Birkbeck, London School of Hygiene and tropical Medicine, University of Leeds, University of Sheffield and Glasgow Caledonian University
Friday 24 June: University of Chester, University of Liverpool, University of Warwick, Glasgow School of Art, Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh) and Oxford Brookes University.
A Socialist Worker flyer for picket lines is here and a UCU Left leaflet to get to UCU activists is here Please send photos and reports to email@example.com post to facebook and tweet to @socialistworker and @resistunite
· Use the Unite the Resistance contact sheet on UCU picket lines to help build solidarity networks in your area. Return to: Unite the Resistance, c/o Bookmarks, 1 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QE or email details to firstname.lastname@example.org so that activists can also go onto the national Unite the Resistance mailing list.
Mass picket at Samworth's to reinstate BFAWU activist Kumaran Bose: THIS SUNDAY
BFAWU have called a mass picket as a day of action in support of Kumaran Bose who was dismissed by Samworth Brothers for speaking out and for organising a union in his workplace. Please see BFAWU statement here . Rush messages of support to email@example.com
BFAWU are seeking the support from the wider trade union movement to call on the company to reinstate Kumaran.
Protest: 12.30pm Sunday 26 June at Chetwode House,
1 Samworth Way, Leicester Road, Melton Mowbray,
So far transport to Leicester is being organised from London and from Sheffield - can you get there on the day to join the mass picket?
If yes, contact Julie at the industrial office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the mass picket tomorrow to support cleaners on indefinite strike
Please come and support a protest at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 21 June , called by United Voices of the World union in support of the cleaners at 100 Wood Street in the heart of the City of London who are paid poverty wages and are being unlawfully dismissed by the anti-union cleaning contractor Thames Cleaning and Support Services Limited (“Thames”). The cleaners are picketing every day between 8am - 9.30am, and have called the protest to give activists in the wider trade union movement an opportunity to mobilise visible support for the strike. They are now in their third week of an indefinite strike.
Junior doctors Roadshow continues
The BMA have organised a roadshow to discuss the offer.
There are 120 meetings taking place. That means there is likely to be one in your area. And they are starting from today. These meetings are a crucial opportunity to engage with junior doctors in the area to raise the argument for a reject vote, and the potential to still win much more if more strikes are called.
See the full list on the BMA’s website of junior doctors’ meetings and a map of them here
Please check where and when the meeting taking place in your branch/district area.
We should organise to have comrades outside the meetings, leafleting with the SW leaflet about the dispute, and the colour NHS special Marxism flyers and chatting to junior doctors as they go in.
Now is also the time to try and sign up any junior doctor contacts to come to Marxism . The Marxism session will have leading NHS worker and student activists discussing the significance of the junior doctor and bursary fights, and the way forward.
RMT members on Scotrail are set to strike over Driver Only Operation as follows:
• 0001 hours and 2359 hours Tuesday 21stJune 2016
• 0001 hours and 2359 hours Thursday 23rdJune 2016
• 0001 hours Saturday 25th June 2016 and 2359 hours Sunday 26th June 2016
• 0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 3rd July 2016
• 0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 10th July 2016
• 0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 17th July 2016
Southern rail strike
RMT members are set to strike again, tomorrow, Tuesday 21 June. Pickets are expected to be up At around 8am. There have previously been picket lines at Brighton and Victoria.
Weymouth and Bridport bus strike
Bus drivers for First who are members of Unite are striking all this week in Weymouth and Bridport. They will strike from 04:00hours on Monday 20 June until 03:59 hours on Saturday 25 June.
International Socialism Day School: Sat 15 Oct 2016
The next ISJ day school- “Marxism and Nature” will be on 15 October in London. Speakers include ecosocialist author and activist Ian Angus who is coming from Canada to speak. For more information or to book go to http://isj.org.uk/day-school-marxism-and-nature/ There is also an interview with Ian in the latest Socialist Review http://socialistreview.org.uk/413/entering-age-humans