Anti-Racism

Against the school hijab ban demand

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 16:58
Author

Ben Tausz

In his most recent letter defending his demand for a hijab ban in schools, David Pendletone says “I … do not think that you need to have a solution [of how a ban might be enforced] to support a ban of the hijab for children in primary schools”.

This is absurd and deeply irresponsible, given the counter-productive and dangerous consequences of many (I would argue all) possible scenarios of enforcement. What it reflects is that this demand seems founded more on an insistence that ‘something must be done’, more than on serious consideration of what would genuinely be likely to improve freedom and

Trump blocked putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 note. This is why

Published on: Tue, 03/12/2019 - 15:36
Author

Sacha Ismail

I’m struck by how many (left-wing, engaged) people I know haven’t heard of 19th century slave turned anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman. Hopefully Harriet, the new film about a crucial decade of Tubman’s life, will help right that. She was one of the most remarkable of many remarkable figures in a world-altering social and political upheaval, the civil war and revolution that destroyed slavery in the US. Though not a socialist, she is firmly in our broad tradition.

Despite the dark subject matter of slavery, the makers have told Tubman’s story as a pretty easy to watch action-adventure film.

Labour dumps Kashmir policy

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 19:33
Author

Sacha Ismail

Labour chair Ian Lavery has written a letter to Indian-background voters in the UK saying that “Labour is opposed to external interference in the political affairs of any other country”.

Lavery does nod towards the right of the Kashmiri people “to have a say in their own future”, but insists that “Kashmir is a bilateral matter for India and Pakistan to resolve together”. “Labour will not take a pro-Indian or pro-Pakistan stance on Kashmir”.

Lavery’s statement is a mass of evasions — denouncing “external interference” in such a way as to rule out international solidarity, and dismissing the

Letters

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 10:39

Kelly Rogers’ interview on the Labour conference in Solidarity 520, and article in 519, sketches an impressive intervention, replete with important lessons.

One is that sticking resolutely to our politics, not selling out on the hope of a favourable compromise, can “work”, as well as being more principled. Another is that even an — unfortunately — tiny group of revolutionaries within a much larger, reformist, Labour party can have influence well beyond its size. That is, if you have clear, bold political ideas, and good, open organising.

I want to add two points.

First, the division of the

What Prevent does and doesn’t “prevent”

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 08:53
Author

Sacha Marten

It’s not just Islamists and the SWP who criticise the government’s Prevent programme. In some ways, the targeting of Islamism is just a welcome bonus for the Conservatives, since the core point is to increase the government’s ideological control over education and other areas where children are present.

Prevent was “revised” in 2011 along with the launch of two other projects, the promotion of “British Values” and the deputisation of teachers, social workers, healthcare workers and so on as immigration officials.

All three of these measures were part of an increasingly jingoistic tone forced

Prevent database revealed

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:56
Author

Zack Muddle

UK police have a secret database with details of thousands of people referred to “Prevent”, the government’s supposed “anti-radicalisation” programme, it was revealed on 6 October by the Guardian, via human rights group Liberty.

The National Police Prevent Case Management (PCM) database is accessible to all UK police forces and the home office, and contains personal details and reasons for “referral” of all those referred. People referred are not notified, and so have no (straightforward) rights to due process.

The stated aim of Prevent is to prevent “radicalisation” which is at risk of

Barking: too passive

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:45
Author

Ben Tausz

Martin Thomas’ response to the “triggering” of Margaret Hodge for reselection (Solidarity 519) is too passive.

First, as democrats who believe every Labour MP should face reselection at every election, we should welcome and support every ballot-triggering — both for MPs we want to replace and those we want to keep.

Second, Thomas writes “Replacing Hodge either way [by imposition or democratic election] would signal a move to silence or marginalise protest against antisemitism in the Labour Party.” This is an abdication of our responsibility in the battle against left-antisemitism. In this

John Mann becomes a Tsar

Published on: Wed, 18/09/2019 - 11:04
Author

Jim Denham

Labour MP John Mann is standing down as an MP to become a Tory adviser. He will take up a full-time role as the government’s “antisemitism tsar”.

Mann’s record on other issues is so bad that his elevation is likely to do more harm than good to the fight against antisemitism.

A Bassetlaw constituent of John Mann’s got it right back in 2016, writing on an internet chat forum: “[Mann] could probably be mistaken for UKIP most of the time. He’s pretty awful, though I did enjoy him shouting and swearing at Ken Livingstone a few weeks ago.”

Theresa May appointed Mann as her adviser on tackling

Convergence on the right

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 10:09
Author

Cathy Nugent

″The right has changed; it has embraced the ideas of its outliers″, argues Dave Renton at the start of The New Authoritarians, Convergence on the Right. By embracing the outliers, Renton says, Trump and others have ″radicalised″ their conservative message.

At the same time Renton says, the left has failed to reassess the shape of the new right spectrum and have been weak on challenging its central ideas. The most important of these, for Renton, is its particular form of racism, how the ″right seeks to restrict welfare benefits to members of the [invented] national community, excluding migrants

“Islamophobia”? It’s anti-Muslim racism

Published on: Wed, 17/07/2019 - 09:03
Author

Pragna Patel

Pragna Patel from Southall Black Sisters spoke to Martin Thomas from Solidarity about the controversy over the Government’s rejection of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) definition of “Islamophobia”.

We were against the idea of having a specific definition of “Islamophobia”. Racism against Muslims exists. It is pervasive and needs to be resolutely challenged. “Islamophobia” conflates legitimate criticism of religion, which groups like Southall Black Sisters have always engaged, with racism towards people of a particular minority. The use of the term “Islamophobia” makes it very easy to

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.