Anti-Racism

Yorkshire cricket: a racist disgrace

Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) has stumbled into a self-made crisis which has been decades in the making. Azeem Rafiq (pictured), a Pakistani-born Yorkshire cricketer who played for the club in two stints from 2008 to 2018, suffered racist discrimination and bullying which left him close to suicide. YCCC reluctantly commissioned an independent report into Rafiq’s allegations but has refused to publish the final document. The club recently announced that no disciplinary action would be taken against those responsible for the bullying, which it accepts took place, adding that the regular...

Teaching history: defending the indefensible?

Last week, a youth worker in the UK named Hannah Wilkinson tweeted an image from a textbook used today in this country for A-Level history. Students were asked “To what extent do you believe the treatment of native Americans has been exaggerated?” Wilkinson asked “In what world is this is an acceptable question/exercise to ask students?” She added that she was “actually horrified.” The text came from a book called The Making of a Superpower: USA 1865-1975, published by Hodder Education. The book has been in use for some six years, though the controversial passages have been highlighted only...

Honour and learn from the Grunwick strike!

20 August 2021 was the 45th anniversary of the start of one of the most important struggles in British working-class history, the two-year strike by Grunwick film-processing workers in North West London. Below we republish an overview of the strike and its significance written by Jean Lane in 1998, with a short introduction from 2012. The kind of lessons Jean highlighted in 1998, from the strike's magnificence but also its galling defeat, were still relevant in 2012 and are relevant today. To honour this history, we are encouraging donations to the strike fund of outsourced cleaning and...

1968: Martin Luther King and the Memphis sanitation strike

On February 1, 1968, two sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, were riding on the back of a garbage truck when the compactor accidentally activated. Both men were chewed up, like garbage. The deaths led to a strike by the city’s 1,300 sanitation workers and the participation of Martin Luther King Jr., ending with his assassination. Little did the striking workers know “that their decision would challenge generations of white supremacy in Memphis and have staggering consequences for the nation”, as Michael K Honey put it in Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis...

Black History Month offer: four pamphlets for £5

To celebrate Black History Month 2021, we are running a special offer: four pamphlets on black history for £5 including postage (normally they would be about £9 including postage). The pamphlets can be purchased here. Revolution for black liberation (2013) tells the story of the hundreds of thousands of black soldiers who were central to transforming the US’s Civil War (1861-5) from a battle to preserve the status quo into a revolution against slavery – and how the betrayal of that struggle after the war shaped today’s America. Workers against slavery (2015) tells the story of mass British...

The black sheriff

The story of the election of John Archer as the first black leader of a London council (Solidarity 608) brought to mind the oddly titled film …tick…tick…tick, made in 1970 and directed by Ralph Nelson (perhaps better known for directing Soldier Blue in the same year). In the American Deep South the citizens of rural Colusa County, for the first time in their history, elect an African-American sheriff, Jim Price (Jim Brown). Many are determined that this will never happen again. Tensions rise when a white man, John Braddock, is arrested on a drink driving charge which results in the death of a...

John Archer: black pioneer of labour politics

Painting of John Archer which hangs in Liverpool Town Hall. It contains many important details about Archer. The paper is The Crisis, edited by W E B Du Bois “My election tonight marks a new era. You have made history tonight. For the first time in the history of the English nation, a man of colour has been elected as mayor of an English borough… That news will go forth to all the coloured nations of the world and they will look at Battersea, and say it is the greatest thing you have done” – John Archer, 1913 In January, Workers' Liberty published a pamphlet on Shapurji Saklatvala, the...

A balance sheet of "Corbynism"

Just over a year after Jeremy Corbyn was elected, in September 2016, the new Labour Leader addressed the Burston Strike Rally in Norfolk.

"Against this barbarism, we fight for socialism" - our statement after 9/11

Workers' Liberty published this on 14 September 2001. Against the barbarism of the New York massacre, we fight for socialism To use civilian planes, full of people, to attack buildings full of civilians, mostly ordinary workers, is a crime against humanity, whatever the supposed aims. What cause could the hijackers have been serving when they massacre thousands of workers in New York? Not "anti-imperialism" in any rational sense - whatever anyone may pretend or imagine - but only rage against the modern world. Only on the basis of a dehumanised, backward-looking world-view could they have...

How the heroines and heroes of Grunwick lost

20 August was the 45th anniversary of the start of one of the most important struggles in British working-class history, the two-year strike by Grunwick film-processing workers in North West London. This is the second of two parts of an abridged version of an article written by Jean Lane in 1998: full version with photos, links and resources here. From mid-June 1977, the Grunwick strike in north London by workers in a film-processing firm (see part one of the story here) was all over the TV. The media’s lies were extraordinary: getting in good practice for the next miners’ strike. Grunwick...

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.