Party Notes

25th July 2016


Defend Corbyn, fight austerity and racism

Our task is to be part of the movement in support of Jeremy Corbyn, but also to develop the struggle against racism and austerity. These are interrelated aspects of socialist activity.

A victory for Corbyn would be a defeat for those who want to return Labour (and politics in general) to the pro-capitalism of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband. But a victory for Corbyn will be guaranteed only by a broader movement of resistance.

Corbyn himself pointed to this on Saturday (see SW report http://bit.ly/29X3k9h). There are three things for every branch to do over the summer.

1. Sign up yourself and build for the Stand Up to racism event on Saturday 8 October in London. This is not a routine conference. There will be workshops on the Black Lives Matter (organised by the movement itself), on tackling Prevent and Islamophobia, on solidarity with refugees and new initiatives to build this is workplaces, on winning the argument about migrants in the workplace, on Love Music Hate racism and more. It will be a council of war for all those who want a fightback against racism.

Details at http://bit.ly/2amVc3t

2. Prepare for and build the demonstration at the Tory party conference in Birmingham on 2 October, called by the People’s Assembly. Everywhere must get its transport set up now. If we wait until September it will be too late. Approach others in the PA, and seek funding from unions. Produce tickets and start selling them. Make sure support for the demo is on the agenda for the next meeting of unions, trades councils and campaigns

3. Every branch needs to maintain its meetings and pay attention particularly to newer members. There is much to discuss—Labour, the situation in Turkey, Donald Trump, Hilllary Clinton and the US, Black Lives Matter, plus general historical themes such as Spain in 1936 or what socialism would be like. All of these can draw an audience.


Marxism 2016 audio and video:

There is a very valuable resource available of the meetings from Marxism.

All the meetings from Marxism are available as an audio recording here

Many videos are here here

Thanks to Kevin B for all his hard work in producing these.


Involving new members and education

We need to keep in contact with everyone who came to Marxism 2016 to invite them to our meetings and activities.

It’s very important that we remain in a dialogue with everyone who went to Marxism and with all our members about the political developments that are taking pace all the time.

This means activity, meetings, friendly discussion, reading and encouragement to read our publications.

“Corbyn, Left Reformism and the Labour Party” educational course

The rise of Jeremy Corbyn is a crucial issue for everyone on the left in Britain. The SWP has consistently supported Corbyn against the right wing in his own party, and we welcome his election as leader.

We are not members of the Labour Party, as we believe an independent revolutionary socialist organisation is necessary to successful challenge the capitalist system.

Nonetheless, we believe that revolutionaries do have to work alongside Labour Party members and supporters to build struggles for the kind of reforms that Corbyn advocates.

For us, the attempt to wrest reforms from the system, when done through mass workers’ struggle, is not in opposition to the fight for revolution, but rather it is a part of that fight.

Because of the importance of this issue, we are encouraging districts to organise a series of educational meetings for members that can discuss some of the theoretical background necessary to assess the arguments in the Labour Party.

The course consists of four meetings with some reading material for each. For details go to http://www.swp.org.uk/education/main#Corbyn


Unwelcome the Tories to Birmingham

It is now just ten weeks until the Tory Party conference gathers in Birmingham and preparations are under way to give them the welcome they deserve.

Birmingham People’s Assembly is convening fortnightly meetings and up to 40 people, made up of trade unionists, DPAC activists and Momentum activists, alongside SWP activists, are gathering to plan a campaign of resistance when the Tories are in town.

The Midlands TUC has called a demonstration on Sunday 2nd October and the People’s Assembly is mobilising for this nationally.

Coaches are beginning to be booked. We would encourage trade union branches, anti racist campaigns, anti cuts campaigns to start booking transport to the demonstration.

Facebook event for the demonstration here https://www.facebook.com/events/1727957407465972/

On Saturday 1st October there will be a People’s Conference held in Birmingham city centre which will present an alternative to the Tories agenda of austerity, privatisation and racism.

There is an impressive line up of speakers being arranged.

During the week there will be cultural events, protests and meetings.

Facebook event for the week of events https://www.facebook.com/events/906366306124903/


Back Corbyn events this week

There have been some huge Corbyn events, and they can be big even if Corbyn himself is not speaking. It is very important that you attend and sell at these events.

Manchester comrades sold 82 SWs at the rally of 1,700 on Saturday.

Barnsley: Wednesday, 27 July, 7.30pm, Miners Hall, NUM Offices, Victoria Road, Barnsley, S70 2LS. This is a public meeting with guest speakers from Momentum, Barnsley Trades Council and the Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign.

Tameside: Thursday 28 July, 6.30pm, The Station pub,
2 Warrington Street, Ashton-Under-Lyne.

Bromley: Momentum public meeting, .Thursday 28 July, 7 pm at the Bromley Labour Party, St Mark’s Road, BR2, Bromley. The Guest Speaker will be TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes.

To check what’s happening in your area go to http://www.peoplesmomentum.com/calendar

Back Corbyn – Start the fightback petition here

Back Corbyn -- Start the fightback leaflet here

Fight the Tories – Defend Corbyn placard here

NEW PAMPHLET…NEW PAMPHLET…NEW PAMPHLET

For all our work around the Corbyn campaign you need the re-issued pamphlet Jeremy Corbyn, Labour and the fight for Socialism by Charlie Kimber. It has a new introduction which means it is right up to date.

Order now £3 one copy, £20 for ten, from aidenl@swp.org.uk 0r ring 020 7840 5600.


Black Lives Matter

BLM events continue to attract very large numbers of people, many of them new to politics. If there is one coming up in your area contact the National Office for materials.

A mobilisation is planned for the Notting Hill Carnival. For updates go to http://blacklivesmatteruk.com/


Organising around Pride in your area

Many young LGBT+ people have become active around campaigns against austerity and racism, and are exploring issues around gender and sexuality in a political context. The commercialisation of many Prides is also a source of anger.

Many of those taking part in Pride will be supporters of Corbyn. A political intervention in your local Pride can help to shape this anger, and can be part of building a younger network of contacts and new members.

Note in particular:

Norwich Pride , this Saturday 30 July

Brighton Pride 6 August

Leeds pride 7 August

Glasgow Pride 20 August

Manchester Pride 27 August

There should be three strands to our intervention.

  1. There needs to be a Party presence. This means ordering the placards and leaflets in advance to be sent up with your papers. Try to find a space where you can set up a stall as you would for a Saturday sale. You may also want to think about booking a good speaker on a relevant topic for the week after the Pride.
  2. We should try to coordinate an anti-austerity/pro-refugee bloc on the Parade by contacting trade unions and the local Stand Up to Racism group. This needs planning in advance and publicising through a Facebook event. We may be able to get a banner from either LGBT+ Against Islamophobia or LGBT+ Support Refugees and Migrants to you.
  3. Especially where we can involve non-members from LGBT+ or anti-racist groups we should collect for the Pink Bus to Calais. This is an initiative to take practical solidarity from LGBT+ people to the Jungle. Attached is a logo for the project which can be printed off to stick on buckets. Pink hi-vis vests can be bought cheaply on the internet and written on with a marker pen to help to attract attention for the collection. £200 was collected at Birmingham Pride in this way.

If you need any help contact the National Office, and let us know how it went.


No to the Nazis

London : Unite against Fascism (UAF) is calling on anti-fascists to demonstrate against the Nazi group, the South East Alliance, (SEA). They plan to be in Downing St, this Friday, 29 July. Assemble for the UAF protest at 5pm. Updates at https://www.facebook.com/events/1555060631468831/

Coventry: Britain First will be in Coventry this Saturday, 30 July. Counter-protest at 12 noon in the city centre. For updates go to www.facebook.com/wearecov1/?fref=ts


Syria: revolution, counter-revolution and war

New supplies of this pamphlet by Anne Alexander and Jad Bouharoun are now available. Make sure you have a copy and some for your branch. They are £3 each or five for £10. Contact Aiden on aidenl@swp.org.uk to place your orders.


Workplace notes

North Sea Rigs: Almost 400 members of Unite and the RMT at multinational oil and gas services company Wood Group will strike tomorrow, Tuesday 26 July, in a dispute over 30 percent pay cuts and changes to allowances.

The workers are employed by Wood Group across eight Shell oil and gas platforms in the Brent Field, located of the coast off Shetland in the North Sea.

Please email support to offshoreunite@gmail.com

Post messages at the Unite Offshore Facebook site facebook.com/uniteoffshore2015
and on Twitter @offshoreunite

Fawley migrant workers’ strike: Migrant workers at Esso's Fawley oil refinery in Southampton will strike on Wednesday (27 July) against bosses who pay them half as much as British workers.

The 20 specialists are employed by contractor Nico, and are mainly Italian and Bulgarian. They are members of the Unite union.

The workers get about £48 for a 10 hour-day, compared to £125 for the 270 other workers on the site, employed by other contractors, and British workers employed by Nico.

Send messages of support to malcolm.bonnett@unitetheunion.org

ISS cleaners strike in HMRC Merseyside: PCS members employed by multinational ISS, working as cleaners in HMRC buildings on Merseyside, are to strike against imposed changes to their pay and conditions.

The cleaners will begin a two-day strike starting today (25 July), followed by an overtime ban and a work to rule.

Weymouth bus strikes enter seventh week: First Group bus workers in Weymouth and Bridport are continuing to escalate their strikes over pay. The latest strikes are from 4:30am on 25 July, ending at 4:29am on 26 July; then 4:30am on 27 July, ending at 4:29 on 28 July; and at 4:30 on 29 July, concluding at 4:29am hours on 1 August.

100 Wood Street Unite Voices of the World Cleaners’ strike

Cleaners have won an important victory by securing the London living wage. But the battle continues for reinstatement of activists and union recognition. Go to https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/43118/Victory+for+cleaners%2C+but+the+battle+goes+on

Rush messages of support to: petros@uvwunion.org.uk and join the picket line every morning from 8.30am at 100 Wood Street, London EC2V 7AN. There is a demonstration in support of the strike on Wednesday at 5pm at the picket line.

Scotrail strikes over driver only operation

The RMT members’ strikes continue against the extension of Driver Only Operation and Driver Controlled operation. Next strike is Sunday 31 July, 12 midnight for 24 hours


Yorkshire says no to fracking, York, 30 July

Following the decision by North Yorkshire County Council to approve a fracking application at Kirby Misperton despite overwhelming local opposition, campaigners are applying for judicial review.

To demonstrate the strength of the opposition to fracking, a demonstration has been called on 30 July in York. Please come in support if you can. The event is family friendly, so feel free to bring friends and family!

Assemble at 12 noon by Clifford's Tower (the Eye of York), YO1 9SA, setting off at 12.30pm and heading to York Minster (South side, by Constantine's Statue) for a rally. At 1pm, at York Minster,

The Campaign against Climate Change is putting on transport to the demo from London. To book a space contact Claire on Claire@campaigncc.org


International Socialism Day School: Sat 15 Oct

The journal is holding a one day conference on Marxism and Nature on Saturday 15 October. Speakers include Canadian ecosocialist and author Ian Angus, Ted Benton, Martin Empson and Suzanne Jeffery.

The size of the demonstrations last year over climate change and the popularity of books like Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything shows that there is an audience for radical ideas on these topics.

The event is an opportunity to develop an understanding of Marx’s contributions to understanding ecology and the environment and debate and discuss their relevance today.

Book now at http://isj.org.uk/day-school-marxism-and-nature/ , call 0207 840 5640 or email isj@swp.org.uk. Facebook event www.facebook.com/events/1623539377970404/