20th April 2015
SIGN UP TODAY TO COME TO MARXISM 2015. Go to http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk
Murdered by migration laws and imperialism
The drowning of up to 950 people in the Mediterranean at the weekend is a terrible indictment of capitalism. It reminds of us of the price of the anti-migrant scapegoating that has been pumped out during the election campaign.
Imperialism smashed up Libya, and when people try to flee poverty they are deliberately left to die.
Home secretary Theresa May and others argue that rescuing people is a “pull factor” for immigration and therefore withdrew search and rescue patrols.
They are killing people as surely as putting a gun to their heads. We need to protest at this horror and redouble our struggle against racism, Islamophobia and Ukip.
Migrant livers matter: Saturday 25 April, 1pm, Protest at the EU Commission HQ, 32 Smith Square, Westminster, SW1P 3EU (Westminster or St James Park tubes).
Called by Movement Against Xenophobia, supported by Stand Up to Racism, Stop the War Coalition, Barac, Global Justice Now.
The Tories are in trouble, and parties such as the SNP, the Greens and Plaid Cymru go down well in debates because they are to the left of Labour over Trident, austerity and racism. This shows the gap for the left.
TUSC is only a beginning, but an important one. The last month has underlined how much we need an alternative to the main parties. This is a time of turmoil and we can expect street mobilisations, certainly in Scotland, after the election—whatever the result.
The TUSC TV broadcast on Friday had a very good response. Hundreds of emails have come in afterwards. If one has been forwarded to your area, please follow it up immediately and involve people in TUSC activity.
1. Every comrade can do something to be part of the fight against austerity and racism. Get in touch with your local campaign!
2. There will be a huge pull towards voting Labour (or in Scotland the SNP) to stop the Tories and Ukip. The Greens have also achieved a high profile. These factors will squeeze our vote. But every vote matters—for now and for the future.
3. Every campaign must keep a list of contacts we are making to build afterwards.
Tottenham has almost completed the mammoth task of leafleting the entire constituency with 50,000 broadsheets and has started canvassing. A comrade reports, “We are having a bigger impact in this election than in any election since 2005 - and possibly even better than that. Jenny Sutton now has a list of 51 non-members who have done something to help the campaign (and we know there are more). And there are over 600 people in Tottenham now getting her regular campaign newsletter.”
In Manchester, Gorton, TUSC campaigners spoke to dozens of people, and gave out hundreds of fliers. “TUSC candidate Simon Hickman was well received as 'a local firefighter' standing. One woman shopping with her children stopped and talked. We said, 'In a nutshell what we say is Blame the Bankers not migrants or Muslims.' Her response was, 'how do I join?'”
In Portsmouth North at a hustings on Tuesday night, “sitting Tory MP Penny Mordaunt was savaged by the audience over social care cuts. UKIP did badly. Labour were rattled by us. And TUSC’s Jon Woods got the best response from the audience. The stall on Saturday saw 15 people involved in campaigning, the biggest turnout so far.”
In Glasgow North the campaign was on the streets in the constituency and in the city centre on Saturday and there were stalls and leafleting on Sunday. Comrades tangled with Labour Scottish leader Jim Murphy at various points during the day, leaving Murphy in no doubt that his Blairite politics are not going to fit the bill!
Stand Up to Ukip
SUTU “Stop Farage” coach to Thanet Saturday 2 May
Join SUTU to #MakeFarageHistory!
The UKIP Leader has said that he will resign if he does not become an MP—and the polls are very close in Thanet South where he’s standing.
Stand Up To UKIP activists will be going en masse to Ramsgate in South Thanet to campaign against Farage on 2 May. This is a chance to engage with the local community and say – no to bigotry, no to Farage!
Transport will be provided from London – more details to follow soon, keep an eye on http://standuptoukip.org/ and @standuptoukip on twitter.
#MakeFarageHistory is part of the final Stand up to UKIP co-ordinated day of action before the election.
Branches should plan for actions on 2 May. SUTU will be leafleting in Clacton-On-Sea, Rochester, Rotherham, Dudley North, Heywood and Middleton, Great Yarmouth and many more. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
●More SUTU A5 leaflets are available at £15 for 1000 or SUTU 4 page factsheets can be ordered at 500 for £30 or 1,000 at £50 via email@example.com or post to Stand Up To Ukip, PO Box 72710, London, SW19 9GX
●To order the Socialist Worker pamphlet, “Ukip the Ugly Face of Politics” phone 020 7819 1170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 noon on Tuesday to order your copies and have them sent with the papers. They are £2 each or five for £9, 10 for £16, 20 for £30.
It’s time to recruit! Two per branch before 7 May
We met hundreds of people in the run-up to the 21 March demonstrations. We are meeting more through our work around SUTU, TUSC and against racism. We want to get them to Marxism, but we also want to recruit. We desperately need a stronger SWP for now and for the future.
That’s why we are asking every branch to raise joining the SWP with everyone they meet at the money, and to think seriously about who they know and ask them to join.
We want every branch to recruit at least two people before election day by:
1. Asking people to join when we are doing sales and activities.
2. Drawing up a list and contacting people to talk to them about joining.
To help with this we have produced a leaflet (attached) which you should have on every stall and activity. Please feedback your recruitment to email@example.com
Marxism 2015: Ideas for revolution
A five day political festival to discuss alternatives for a world in crisis
9-13 July 2015, Central London
Did your branch get the new publicity?
If you did not get the new folded 6 page flyer please contact us asap.
Who does your branch know?
With less than three weeks until the General Election and the heightened political atmosphere – now is a great time to raise coming to Marxism with non members.
• Every area should draw up an actual list of people we want to invite from anti-racist campaigns, strikes, local trade unions, and all the other campaigns each branch has been involved in. This should be the responsibility of the whole branch not just the Marxism organiser. Make sure these people are contacted in the next week and asked to come.
• Every comrade should make their own list of people they will ask – workmates, friends, family and trade unionists. If non-members are going to come they need to be asked NOW so they have time to make arrangements.
Is your branch relating to students?
• Every branch needs to be doing SWP/Marxism stalls at the local Uni and/or 6th form college. Poster for Marxism, use the new flyers and get contacts of all those interested. Any students who come from your area will make it easier to get SWSS groups running next year. Make sure these are followed up quickly and help given with practicalities like travel and accommodation. If you are not doing this then you are missing a massive opportunity to grow in your area.
Are you involving new members?
We want to increase the number of SWP members who come to Marxism.
• Every branch should contact the new members who have joined since Marxism 2013 (i.e the last two years) and make a special effort to get them to come. Many new members will not have been before and so a longer conversation may be needed about what Marxism is etc. This is an ideal time to contact new members since they can also get involved in TUSC and SUTU campaigning. We will be mailing out the new publicity to all new members to make it easier for branches to contact anyone you have not been in touch with for a while.
Remember – Day tickets are now available to book both over the phone and online. Details of our themed days can be found on the new flyers.
A highlight of Marxism of Marxism on Sat 11 July will be: Syriza in power: whither Greece?
With Stathis Kouvelakis and Alex Callinicos
The election of Syriza poses some key questions for the left.
Stathis Kouvelakis (member of Syriza Central committee) and Alex Callinicos will follow up their previous debate hosted by the International Socialist Journal in February on Syriza and Socialist Strategy. Watch their debate at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV2jCTBjlpQ
New Russell Brand film tomorrow!
New Russell Brand film in cinemas tomorrow, 21 April
Russell Brand has a new documentary out about the financial crisis, gross inequality and the failure of the political system.
There are special preview screenings tomorrow, Tuesday 21 April, followed by ‘An evening with Russell Brand’ Live event across cinemas nationwide. The film then goes on general release. We should do Socialist Worker stalls – including with TUSC materials – outside showings as we did very successfully in the autumn when Brand’s launch for his book Revolution was live screened at cinemas.
We suggest that every branch leaflets any local showing for a follow up meeting next week (29/30 April) on Russell Brand’s Emperor’s New Clothes: The system in crisis - what would real democracy look like? (artwork attached – use www.pdfescape.com to add your branch details). A list of cinemas showing the documentary can be found here: http://www.theemperorsnewclothesfilm.co.uk/
Hope over Fear event, Glasgow, this Saturday
The Hope over Fear rally in George Square will be big. It begins at 11am. Comrades should be there at 10am to set up, sell SW and give out the placards we will have for the day.
Peoples Assembly End Austerity Now demo
The Peoples Assembly End Austerity Now national demo on 20 June is a key date. The PA say coaches have already been booked from Bristol, Cardiff, Swindon, Doncaster, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and York. Find out now what is happening in your area.
We're getting some great feedback on the current issue of Socialist Review - Jacqui Freeman's article on education was a hit at NUT conference with about 15 copies sold, and Lee Humber's on social care went down well at the Social Work Action Network conference last week.
Any teachers heading back to work this week should make sure they have copies to sell. Call us on 020 7819 1176 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order extra copies by post or with your branch papers.
If you or contacts you've sold it to have thoughts on any of the articles please write us a letter - deadline for the May issue is 10am this Wednesday.
Racism, resistance and revolution dayschool
Saturday 30 May, 10.30am-5pm, London. In order to defeat racism, we need to better understand it. 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 a place, return the booking form to SWP dayschool, PO box 42184, London SW8 2WD, or email email@example.com
Strikes at National Gallery 20-24 April and 1 May
PCS members at the National gallery are back on strike this week against privatisation. The workers have taken 17 days of strike action so far. This crucial dispute has hit the national press and gained massive support and solidarity. The importance of the dispute has been heightened by the victimisation of PCS rep Candy Udwin.
It’s crucial that everyone who can is building the maximum possible solidarity. The strikers have called for a national collection day this Friday. We’re asking every comrade who can to go for a collection for then National Gallery strikers.
In London there is an evening picket this Friday followed by a “solidarity social”. We should be inviting workmates to come to the event and to bring collections. Download a collection sheet at www.pcs.org.uk/download.cfm?docid=978B1594-76BC-4AF6-9816839B980460E7
This is what you can do this week.
• Come to the pickets each morning at the National Gallery 9-11am
• Friday 24 April picket 5-6pm followed by Strike Party, Temple Bar, Strand, 1 Milford Lane WC2R 3LL Aldwych
• Take a collection at work on collection day, Friday 24 April
Get behind all out strike by Glasgow homelessness service workers
Some 70 Unison members employed by Glasgow council homelessness services are currently on indefinite strike over unfair pay grading. Organise strike collections. Send to Glasgow City UNISON, 84 Bell St, Glasgow, G1 1LQ Get to the picket lines to show your support. You can download a collection sheet here http://uniteresist.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/COLLECTION-SHEET.pdf
Rush messages of support and requests for speakers to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Back Tayside NHS porters indefinite strike
Around 120 porters at the Ninewells and Royal Victoria Hospitals are on indefinite strike. The porters are striking for pay equality following Agenda for Change regrading. They are on a lower banding than their counterparts throughout Scotland. Support and financial solidarity has been flooding in to the strike. Rush collections to 110 Blackness Road, Dundee DD1 5PB or donate online to crowdfunder.co.uk/support-ninewells-porters
Send support to strikers on their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Ninewells-Porters/452299284924508... or email email@example.com
Voices From the Front Line: Strikes Against Austerity Unite the Resistance Scotland public meeting in the Mercure Glasgow City Hotel, 201 Ingram Street, Glasgow, G1 1DQ this Thursday, 23rd April at 5.30
With speakers from 4 ongoing strikes including
(all speaking in a personal capacity)
1. National Gallery (London), PCS Strike against privatisation 2. Glasgow Homelessness Caseworker, UNISON Strike for fair pay 3. Ninewells Dundee NHS Hospital Porter, Unite the Union Strike for fair pay
4. Carlo Morelli, Dundee University UCU Strike against compulsory redundancies
This Saturday 25 April, Save Adult Education national demo Adult education is facing a massive 24 percent cut in funding. There have been a series of big protests in London and now there is a national protest this Saturday. SWP branches should be trying to leaflet (link below) at FE Colleges to build the protests.
Assemble 12.30pm, Lewisham and Southwark College (Waterloo Campus) 25 The Cut, SE1 8LF. What’s happening at your college? Can you get a delegation along? Download the latest leaflet at http://uculeft.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/April-25-UCU-Demo-revised-...
PCS workers at CSC in 5-day strike
PCS members, mainly in Glasgow, working on IT contracts and pensions administration for billion dollar company Computer Sciences Corporation are striking for five days over pay from today. Send messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenwich College UCU out on Tuesday & Thursday this week Greenwich College UCU members are involved in a series of strikes against cuts in holidays, increases in the teaching week, on the spot lesson observations and performance related pay. Lecturers have received no pay rise for seven years! Further strikes are planned for this week on Tuesday 21 April, Thursday 23 April and then on Wednesday 29 April and Friday 1 May. Rush messages of support to UCU branch chair email@example.com
Barnet Unison to strike 30 April -1 May
Some 87% of Unison members working for Barnet “easyCouncil” have voted to strike against outsourcing. The first action will be on Thursday 30 April and Friday 1 May.
Rush messages of support to John Burgess Barnet Unisonjohn.firstname.lastname@example.org
Unison NEC elections still on until 15 May: Can you help? Elections to Unison’s NEC are still underway. Elections run until 15 May. SWP members are standing as part of the joint left 'Reclaim the union' slate. Election materials are attached. We urge all SWP members to distribute leaflets as widely as possible where they work and to other activists across the union. For full list of candidates go to http://reclaimtheunion.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/blog-post.html?m=1 Please let us know how you get on and if you need us to mail you bulk copies of the leaflet.
28 April: Whipps Cross in crisis: Protect our hospital Public Meeting It was a fantastic victory, and vindication for health workers inside Whipps Cross, to see Unison branch chair Charlotte Monro reinstated in recent weeks. She was sacked for speaking out to defend the NHS amidst the crisis that has led to the hospital being put in special measures. The damning CQC report has confirmed that cuts, down-banding and a culture of bullying management is to blame for crisis—not health workers. Activists inside the hospital and in the local NHS campaign have called a public meeting to organise a response to defend the hospital and NHS workers. Leaflet attached:
TUESDAY 28 APRIL, 7.30PM, EX-SERVICEMEN’S CLUB, 2 HARVEY ROAD, LEYTONSTONE E11 3DB
(NEXT TO RED LION, LEYTONSTONE HIGH RD)
30 April: NHS workers’ demonstration, dep. of health: Hands off our pay!
Health workers at St Thomas’ hospital in London in Unite and Unison have called a demonstration on 30 April at the Department of Health from a 40 strong rank and file meeting they organised a couple week’s ago. The demonstration called over proposals to attack unsocial hours payments—which could mean a pay cut of thousands of pounds for many—is about drawing a line in the sand for the future government.
DEMONSTRATION AND RALLY THURSDAY 30th APRIL. ASSEMBLE OUTSIDE ST THOMAS’ MAIN ENTRANCE 17:30
(Nearest tube Westminster)
“Vote for justice” rally, 23 April
A major rally to defend Legal aid is being held on 23 April at Westminster Central Hall. To download leaflets go to https://justiceallianceuk.wordpress.com/vote-for-justice/
A list of forthcoming Prides is below. Start planning now for an intervention. We will be doing a placard for Prides and a leaflet. Also order from Bookmarks copies of Laura Miles’ pamphlet Pride, Politics and Protest, a revolutionary guide to LGBT liberation.
Exeter Gay Pride 2015 Saturday 16 May; Birmingham Gay Pride 2015 Saturday 23 May; Bradford Pride 2015 Saturday 30 May; Oxford Gay Pride 2015 Saturday 6 June; Blackpool Gay Pride 2015 Saturday 13 June; Gloucestershire Gay Pride 2015 Saturday 13 June; Swindon & Wiltshire Pride 2015 Sunday 14 June; Cumbria Pride 2015 Saturday 20 June (in Carlisle); Portsmouth Pride 2015 Saturday 20 June; Edinburgh Pride Saturday 20 June; Suffolk Pride 2015 Saturday 20 June (in Ipswich); York Pride 2015 Saturday 20 June; Coventry Gay Pride 2015 Saturday 27 June; London Pride 2015 Saturday 27 June; Warwickshire Pride 2015 Saturday 4 July
ISJ out now
International Socialism journal issue 146 now available
The journal is now back from the printers and can be sent to branches this week.
This quarter’s ISJ looks at the two faces of Europe. On the one hand right wing parties across Europe continue to ramp up Islamophobia and racism against migrants, on the other the election of Syriza in Greece offers the possibility of a radical left alternative to austerity.
The journal features an interview with Panos Garganas on the balance of forces in Greece and articles by Jim Wolfreys on France and the Charlie Hebdo massacre and Hassan Mahamdallie on Islamophobia and the left.
Megan Trudell discusses racism in the US and the #BlackLivesMatter movement that has sprung up to oppose it, Sheila McGregor reviews Heather Brown’s book on Marx and gender and our discussion of the state of the organised working class continues with rejoinders to Simon Joyce’s article “why are there so few strikes?” in our previous issue.
To order copies for your branch use the form at http://swp.org.uk/resource/1235 or call 020 7819 1177 The journal also has a new website where you can read our latest issue plus older articles: http://isj.org.uk/
Special pre-election offer!
In the run up to the general election, everyone should read the brilliant book by Paul Foot, The Vote: How it was won & how it was undermined. Usually priced at £13.99, the book is on special offer at £9.99. Branches can get an additional discount when ordering.