Video: Where now for the US left? Lois Weiner on George Floyd protests, Biden, more

Lois Weiner on "Where now for the US left?", during the movement against police brutality, racism, and more, sparked by the murder of George Floyd; in Covid-19 crisis; and in the wake of Sanders' withdrawal from the Democratic Party primaries in lieu of Biden; and more. Introductory speach from a Workers' Liberty meeting of the same name.

Fighting police abuse and racism

The murder of George Floyd, which was the equivalent of a public lynching, is tragically nothing new. Police brutality against black people has always been there. This time, however, it’s been caught on video. It was a slow, terrifying and painful death for Floyd. The amount of times he clearly said “I can’t breathe.…” and was ignored. Unconscionable that anyone could ignore that, let alone carry on causing it. The subsequent killing of Tony McDade further compounded the lack of care from the police to the BAME community. Trust has been broken repeatedly and people have had enough. The...

USA: the unions and the cops

Certain small US unions which are traditionally on the left, like the ILWU and the United Electrical Workers, have taken very strong positions — and in the case of the ILWU actually shut down the West coast ports. On the East coast the ILA docks union did nine minutes of silence, in agreement with employers. The Amalgamated Transit Union, which has a large black membership, has also taken a strong stance, and many of its locals have organised action, including refusing to cooperate with police. The national AFL-CIO has had a number of requests from affiliates to kick out the police unions that...

Racism: what Labour should do

We don’t know to what extent the Black Lives Matter protests will continue; but for sure Labour and union activists need, to a far greater extent, to join them and engage with the mainly young people taking part.

Anti-racist resources

This page brings together various anti-racist resources to learn about anti-racist movements, and arm yourself with ideas to beat back racism: readings and pamphlets, video and audio.

British workers and American slavery

• This story is told in more detail in the pamphlet Workers against slavery: the US Civil War, the First International and the British working class • For a shorter version of the following article, see the PDF of Solidarity issue 554 In the 1860s, through a four year, 600,000-death civil war, slavery in the United States was destroyed. The defeat of revolutionary movements unleashed by the war, above all movements of the ex-slaves, created the system of white supremacy and racial segregation which endured till the 1960s and whose legacy shapes the US today. Solidarity has told this story...

Organise to make the future safe and equal for all

The great wave of street protests after the killing of George Floyd on 25 May still continues, but the pace looks like slowing. Activists will be thinking about how they can continue their efforts over the months and years needed to win and consolidate change. That this killing has generated so broad a protest must be partly because a pandemic which has hit the worst-off hardest everywhere, and a wave of job cuts which has done similar, especially in the USA, are in everyone's minds.

Specific demands in the fight against racism

Dan Katz's debate piece (Solidarity 522, 17 June) is self-contradictory and unclear. It says Workers Liberty's programme to tackle racism combines the "specific demands against racist activity by the police, state bodies, and racist groups, and in opposition to racist government policy, with the idea of a united workers' movement which fights for basic, fundamental rights". But, like the editorial in Solidarity the week before, it offers no specific anti-racist demands. It says, "In order to win the trust of black workers, white people in the unions and Labour Party must be seen to take up...

"Not my business, is it?" (Diary of an engineering apprentice)

This week's "Diary of an Engineer" tells a disturbing story about the racism which still needs to be dealt with in sections of our class, the working class. A conversation from the fitter's office on my first week back on normal shifts. There are five people in the small cabin. J: So he (S) texted me — "J, do you know this kid up your way? The really dark one?" I say "Well you have to give me a bit more to go on there pal, like what does his face look like? Have you got a photo?" He sent me this photo of this kid, laid out on the ground J shows D the picture on his phone, who whistles and...

Stop this deportation!

A vulnerable 21-year old Black autistic man named Osime Brown was jailed in 2018 and informed he will be deported upon his release to Jamaica. Osime is currently serving a five year prison sentence in Stoken prison for the theft of a mobile phone. A witness for the defence stated in court that Osime did not take part in the street robbery that was carried out in front of him by several youths, and said that in fact he had tried to stop them from taking the phone from the victim. It has since been found that Osime was convicted under "joint enterprise", a discredited legal rule that has...

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