Solidarity 525, 20 November 2019

The socialist left in the Labour campaign

Published on: Thu, 21/11/2019 - 00:34


The Tory campaign for this general election has more money, but the Labour campaign has more people.

Tens of thousands of Labour volunteers are taking to the streets and the phone-banks.

As socialist internationalists, we are with those volunteers. The labour movement is our movement, and we want it to win in this election against the Tories and Lib Dems.

We also have more to do than adding our numbers to the general labour movement mobilisation. We have political tasks.

The road to socialism, in our view, fundamentally goes through working-class organisation and struggle in the workplaces and

Lebanon’s revolt against oligarchic sects

Published on: Thu, 21/11/2019 - 00:21

Joey Ayoub, a Lebanese writer and participant in the protests, talked on the phone with Daniel Randall from Solidarity. This is what he had to say.

The movement started on 17 October, hence it’s being called “The 17 October Revolution”.

That day was very much a straw that broke the camel’s back; the consequences of some natural disasters, such as wildfires on 14 October, had piled social misery on a number of disastrous policies, and led to a widespread revolt.

More and more people have taken to the streets. The momentum has built up, and the movement now targets the entire political system.


Sanders and Warren: What’s the difference?

Published on: Thu, 21/11/2019 - 00:17

Eric Lee

American politics has made a sharp turn to the left in recent years – a turn that few anticipated, but that underpins much of what is going on in the Democratic primary now underway.

The two leading progressive candidates, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, together represent a clear majority of Democratic voters. The party’s “moderate” wing thought it had a winner in Joe Biden, but the implosion of his campaign has led to a search for viable alternatives to the two Democratic senators from New England.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is emerging as the hope of that wing of the party as all the other

Building wider climate action for 29 November

Published on: Thu, 21/11/2019 - 00:14

Misha Zubrowski

The next global youth climate strike is planned for Friday 29 November. In dozens of towns and cities across the UK, from hundreds of schools, and in hundreds of cities around the world, millions of school students and young people will be taking a stand against climate change.

It will be the first international climate strike since 20 September. There have been multiple strikes over the last year. On 20 September there was a call for workers to join students, and in several workplaces they did.

This was an important step towards the workplace environmental activism which we need. We need to

Lessons from Cambridge

Published on: Thu, 21/11/2019 - 00:08

A Cambridge UCU member

Our advice to other workers, based on our experience in the 20 September climate strike, is:

1. Begin with a very low-stakes, but highly visible, action. In our case, this was simply a group photo in front of a banner during what would otherwise be most people’s lunch break, taking advantage of the 20 minute walkout that the TUC had backed.

2. Go into workplaces and ask if you can put up posters/leave leaflets. This is perhaps easier on the site we targeted as we had several university departments, a vet surgery, and a construction site all in close proximity.

3. If your union officially backs

Doorstep comments

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 23:27


The printed paper carries an abridged version

Best campaigning moment so far yesterday. We were handing this out on a stall in Edinburgh. A woman took one, read it as she walked away. Turned around, came back and asked more about it. She told me she worked in a nearby fast food place. She is now a Labour voter and will be telling her fellow workers which party they should vote for!

- Katrina Faccenda, Edinburgh

Definitely some persuading to do over Brexit. Leavers see Labour as having obstructed it; remainers see it as having failed to oppose it clearly enough. Suggests a strategy of uniting

Use the election to campaign on climate!

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 23:19

Misha Zubrowski

Climate change is a more prominent topic than ever before in this year’s general election.

According one polls, 27% of voters cited the environment as one of three top issues — behind Brexit and health, and on par with crime and the economy. Another poll found that 21% list environment and pollution, unprompted, when asked about the top issues “facing Britain” today – up from just 2% in 2012. Climate change is a particular concern for younger people, and another survey found that 70% of 18-24 year olds report that it will be “a factor when they cast their vote.”

Youth climate strikes and

Fight social-imperialism! Pass me my pay-off!

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 23:19

Jim Denham

The Morning Star has a problem: its political masters of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) have stated that they advocate a Labour vote in every constituency – “including Derby North, despite the outrageous suspension of excellent sitting MP Chris Williamson”, to quote the CPB’s London district secretary Steve Johnson.

So what to do about the “excellent” comrade Williamson? After all, he’s an avid Brexiteer, sees complaints of antisemitism as all a plot by the Jewish Labour Movement, the Israeli embassy and the “Zionists”, supports Assad, and loves conspiracy theorists like Vanessa Beeley.

Letter: The “strategist-dilettantes”

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 23:19

Stuart Jordan

Bernie Sanders’s poll ratings will be important in convincing those who argue that we should support the candidate most likely to beat Trump (see Eric Lee’s article Can Sanders win? ).

But Sanders’s success will also require winning over the “anyone but Trump” tendency to more principled socialist politics.

The “anyone but X” tendency is a longstanding feature of left politics the world over. The argument that we should pick policies and personnel solely because they appear most likely to defeat the right is a corrosive force in working-class politics, and in recent years has been electorally

Help us raise £25,000

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 23:19

Thanks this week to Ian Townson, £1,000, Linda and Harold Youd £50, and John Cunningham, £20. Their contributions bring our fund-drive total to £15,460.93.

We have another £9,539.07 to raise to reach our £25,000 target. Less than £10,000 to go!

Three comrades from Sheffield tell us they’re planning a sponsored bike ride. Since October’s sponsored bike ride, by a single rider, raised £1,250, we should have a good chance of raising several thousands from that.

We’ve already spent a lot of money on buying leaflets for the general election campaign from Labour for a Socialist Europe — and now

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