Solidarity 446, 23 August 2017

DOO strikes need driver support

Published on: Thu, 21/09/2017 - 12:15

Gemma Short

RMT train guards fighting Driver-Only Operation (DOO) struck again, on Southern and Northern rail on 1 and 4 September and on Merseyrail on 1, 3 and 4 September.

Meetings between RMT and train operators have produced nothing, and Arriva Rail North (who run the Northern network) said they only wanted to discuss the ″terms of surrender″ by the union!

Despite train drivers’ union Aslef not being in dispute at Merseyrail or Northern, all Merseyrail drivers continue to respect RMT picket lines and some are doing the same at Northern.

RMT pickets on Southern at Brighton were harassed by police and

Against Trump, against Kim — solidarity with North Korean workers!

Published on: Wed, 23/08/2017 - 12:34

Michael Elms

Tensions on the Korean peninsula are increasing, confronting millions of innocent people with the threat of nuclear war. The tensions spring from a combination of the ramping up of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, and US President Donald Trump’s “Wall Street” approach to international diplomacy.

Andrew Gamble sums up Trump’s diplomatic style: “Trump’s experience was as a reality TV host… He approaches relations with other leaders with an eye on how it’s going to play with his base and how he can make himself look good. He uses bluff and does outrageous things partly in the belief that

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 23/08/2017 - 12:28

Jim Denham, Simon Nelson, Brenda Allen and Ollie Moore

Birmingham refuse workers have forced the Labour council to back down on plans to cut jobs and pay. The dispute has been suspended after seven weeks of discontinuous action, a day before Unite was to have balloted to extend the action to Christmas.

In talks at ACAS, the council agreed to withdraw the threat to leading hands’ jobs and pay: in response Unite has agreed to discuss the possibility of a move from four-day to five-day working and other potential cost savings.

Clearly, such changes can only be accepted following a full, democratic discussion and vote by the workers who will be

The left’s ideology of “antizionism”

Published on: Wed, 23/08/2017 - 12:10

Dale Street

Dale Street reviews Contemporary Left Antisemitism by Dave Hirsh (Routledge).

This is the third book on the theme of left antisemitism to have been published in less than twelve months. It follows Dave Rich’s The Left’s Jewish Problem – Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism (published in September 2016) and Antisemitism and the Left – On the Return of the Jewish Question by Bob Fine and Phil Spencer (published in February 2017).

Different aspects of left antisemitism and how it manifests itself today are covered in different chapters of Hirsh’s book: The “Livingstone Formulation”; the

The partition of India and the Indian bourgeoisie

Published on: Wed, 23/08/2017 - 11:42

Colin De Silva

In August 1947, when  Britain left India, the country was partitioned, creating independent Dominions of India and Pakistan (now Pakistan and Bangladesh). In the process the provinces of Bengal and Punjab were also split. This article from 1947, by Ceylonese (Sri Lankan) Trotskyist Colin De Silva, discusses the stance on partition by the main bourgeois political groups in India — the Congress Party and the Muslim League. A terrible rupture and violence followed partition when 10-12 million people were displaced along religious lines.

The present political situation in India is governed by two

How to fight fascism: the Battle of Lewisham, 1977

Published on: Wed, 23/08/2017 - 11:33

Dan Katz

Forty years ago, on 13 August 1977, 500 members of the fascist National Front (NF) — protected by 5,000 police — attempted to march in Lewisham, south east London. The NF was looking for publicity in an area where they had some considerable pockets of support.

The fascists were met by thousands of anti-fascist protesters — trade unionists, the far left, anarchists and large numbers of black youth — who fought running battles to stop them. Chanting “The workers, united, will never be defeated!” the anti-fascists confronted the NF as they assembled off Clifton Rise, New Cross. Local people

Trump and Charlottesville

Published on: Wed, 23/08/2017 - 11:29

Dan Katz

After hundreds of far right activists marched on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville on 12 August US President, Donald Trump, condemned both sides. In other words he placed Nazi sympathisers who chanted antisemitic slogans on the same moral level as the anti-racist black and white youth who rallied against them.

The anti-fascists faced extreme violence from the far-right, including one murder, of Heather Heyer, mowed down by a racist who rammed a car into a group of protesters. Trump’s remarks were met with outrage, and even some Republican politicians openly protested.


Defend freedom of movement

Published on: Wed, 23/08/2017 - 11:16


With the Tories in disarray on how to conduct Brexit negotiations with their increasingly frustrated European Union counterparts, the labour movement debate about how to approach Brexit is also hotting up. A welcome recent development is the launch of the Labour Campaign for Free Movement (LCFM) on 4 August with the prominent support of Labour MPs Clive Lewis and David Lammy.

More than 2,000 people from across the labour movement have now signed the founding statement, which aims to reshape the immigration debate in the Labour Party and wider working-class communities. At the moment, the

Newcastle abuse and lessons from Rotherham

Published on: Wed, 23/08/2017 - 11:04

Charlotte Zalens

On Friday 11 August the Sun newspaper published an article by Labour MP Sarah Champion under the headline ″British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls … and it’s time we faced up to it″.

The article is incredibly confused and naive (at one point Champion suggest that despite being the director of a children′s hospice until becoming an MP in 2012, she only heard the abbreviation CSE for Child Sexual Exploitation a few months after becoming an MP). Champion talks of British Pakistani men, but also references recent events in Newcastle where most of the men convicted were not

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