For equality, against bigotry

New "sardine" movement in Italy

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:29
Author

Hugh Edwards

In the past few weeks, as if from nowhere, a new movement, calling itself “the sardines”, has filled the squares of Italy, originating from Emilia Romagna’s capital city, Bologna.

25,000 came out in Milan on Sunday 1 December, and there will be a mass national demo of all groups and organisational conference in Rome on 15 December.

Drawing in thousands of the young, and often very young, the dynamic of the mobilisation is focused against the reactionary racist extremism of Matteo Salvini and his party, La Lega nationale.

According to some of the comments of the liberal bourgeois media, this is

The Morning Star's Mirvis mystery

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:15
Author

Jim Denham

Chief Rabbi Ephraim is certainly a small-c conservative on both political and theological matters. He congratulated Boris Johnson on becoming Prime Minister (though in fact religious leaders routinely offer congratulations and promises of prayer to all incoming prime ministers).

Whether or not Mirvis is a Tory is not the issue. His attack on Labour over antisemitism addressed a real problem.

Even the Morning Star, in a rambling and not entirely coherent editorial (27 November) noted that a 2018 poll conducted for the Jewish Chronicle “said more than 85 per cent of British Jews think Jeremy

A mess on antisemitism

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 17:55
Author

Sacha Ismail

On ITV’s This Morning, 3 December, Jeremy Corbyn finally apologised for antisemitism in the Labour Party, after a week in which he had resisted calls to do so following Orthodox chief rabbi’s Ephraim Mirvis’s statements.

Politically, the delay signals uncertainty at best.

Worse, in the 26 November interview with Andrew Neil where he first refused to apologise, Corbyn was asked repeatedly whether the phrase “Rothschild Zionists run Israel and world governments”, tweeted by a Labour council candidate in Liverpool, is antisemitic. (Apparently the tweeter remains a candidate, for now, after his

XR condemns Hallam on Holocaust

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 17:51
Author

Sacha Ismail

Extinction Rebellion bigwig Roger Hallam has been widely condemned, including by much of XR, for comments belittling the significance of the Holocaust.

Speaking to German newspaper Die Zeit. Hallam said: “The fact of the matter is, millions of people have been killed in vicious circumstances on a regular basis throughout history… [The Holocaust was] almost a normal event... just another fuckery in human history”.

We don’t know Hallam’s motivation or underlying political prejudice here. But to put the Holocaust in the context of other mass killings in history does not require talking about it

To defeat salafi-jihadism, rebuild hope

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 17:43
Author

Colin Foster

Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were killed by Usman Khan on 30 November on London Bridge in an attack which has been claimed by Al Qaida as its own.

About the similar but larger massacre, in Manchester, in the run-up to the 2017 election, we wrote:

“Cults of death run through the history of fascism. The Spanish Falangists (part of Franco’s forces) had the slogan Viva la Muerte, Long Live Death.

“For the death cult to reach the pitch of suicide attacks on randomly chosen civilians... (world-wide, more often what the Islamists see as the wrong sort of Muslims than non-Muslims) requires a

Liz Truss and antisemitism

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 17:40
Author

Todd Hamer and Daniel Randall

In remarks of 27 November, Trade Secretary Liz Truss described the well-evidenced plans to discuss selling the National Health Service to US health firms as a “conspiracy theory”, which she linked to antisemitism.

Her remarks harm the struggle against that bigotry, and show a callous disregard for the real threats faced by Jewish people, including from genuine antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Leaked government documents, which the government had tried to keep secret, confirm what Donald Trump and Woody Johnson said publicly in June – that the NHS and drug pricing are on the table in post

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

Transphobia and antisemitism

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 16:20
Author

Natalia Cassidy

In Solidarity 498, in March of this year, I wrote a review of an article by Joni Alizah Cohen in which she drew upon Moishe Postone’s work on the basis of the extreme Nazi iteration of antisemitism and compared this to the way the Nazis themselves as well as the contemporary fascistic far-right rationalise their hatred of transgender people.

She argues that there is a common basis in what she terms abstractions. Jews represent “abstract” financial capital as opposed to the “concrete” industrial capital, whilst the trans woman represents the embodiment of the “abstract” gender vs the “concrete”

1919 - The fight for working women's rights

Published on: Sun, 14/04/2019 - 20:59
Author

Janine Booth

1918 had ended with British women voting in a general election for the first time ever. But it was only those aged 30 or over and who met a property qualification who could vote.

That general election saw the first woman elected, but the successful candidate, Constance Markiewicz (pictured), refused to take her seat in the British Parliament that she and her Sinn Fein colleagues did not recognise as legitimate. Instead, Constance became Minister of Labour in the Dail Eireann, the first female Cabinet minister in Europe.

The Labour Party pushed for extension of women’s rights, and in March

How not to criticise religion

Published on: Tue, 14/08/2018 - 16:57
Author

Daniel Randall

Tory politician Boris Johnson has provoked a scandal by writing, in a Daily Telegraph article opposing Denmark's ban on Islamic face veils, that women who wear them“look like bank robbers” and “letter boxes”. There have been calls from within his own party for disciplinary action to be taken against him, with many arguing (fairly, on the evidence) that his comments are expressive of a deep seam of anti-Muslim bigotry in the Tory party. Others have defended Johnson with claims that he was simply defending “liberal values”, and that the right to criticise religion and religious practise must be

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