Solidarity 551, 10 June 2020

Hong Kong defies ban on Tiananmen commemorations

On 4 June, the 31st anniversary of Tiananmen was remembered in a very different way here in Hong Kong. The Government had refused the organisers permission to hold the annual event in Victoria Park, insisting that no more than eight people can gather together because of the virus. The organisers responded by defying the ban and still gathered in their thousands in Victoria Park. They also for the first time initiated dozens of other gatherings in different parts of the city. In the past few years, some radical protestors have drifted away from the 4 June commemorations and criticised the...

Iraq: class struggle in the pandemic

We were in the middle of the uprising in Iraq, the “October uprising”, when the Covid-19 pandemic began to spread... A lockdown, which meant staying home and not going to work... a wave of lay-offs or private sector workers. And some workers in the public sector did not receive their wages, specifically in the health sector, or their wages were delayed, and some civil servants of a certain age were forced into retirement... All these factors led to an economic crisis... People who rely on daily wages... had two options... to die of hunger or coronavirus. This situation caused people to have a...

Cut the roots of racism

The Office of National Statistics compile statistics on the number of Hate Crimes reported each year. They have more than doubled since 2012 to 103,000 in 2018-19. Of those, nearly 79,000 were race hate crimes. Between April 2018 and March 2019 the police made 376,000 stop and searches In England and Wales, a rate of 7 per 1,000 people. The rate for white people, however was 4 per 1,000 and for Black people 38 per 1,000.

Telling porkies: Labour, Momentum and the police

Momentum rightly reacted to the global George Floyd protests with support. They released a video “Spot The Difference”, outlining racism in the British criminal justice system. Nothing in their reaction has acknowledged the failures of the Labour left on policing since 2017. Under the left’s leadership Labour adopted a generally “pro-police” line, including vocal campaigns to increase police numbers. In 2017 Labour’s manifesto promised 10,000 more police officers and 500 more border guards. In 2019 the party promised to top the Tories’ police recruitment by 2,000. In the intervening two years...

Momentum election 16-30 June: who's standing?

On 9 June, 52 candidates had nominated for the 24 elected places on Momentum’s National Coordinating Group (see all candidates on the Momentum site here). The number will rise as both the slate backed by Jon Trickett and Ian Lavery, Momentum Renewal, and the limited-reform slate Forward Momentum, are planning to stand full lists, and not all their candidates have yet appeared on the Momentum website. Voting is 16-30 June, Three candidates that backed the Momentum Internationalists platform in the Forward Momentum primaries — Abbie Clark, Nadia Whittome and Ana Oppenheim — were elected to the...

A class-struggle platform in Momentum

• Join Momentum here. • For all the National Coordinating Group manifestos in full, see here. For more on who's standing, what they stand for and who we're backing, see here. From Ruth Cashman’s Momentum NCG manifesto I signed up to the Momentum Internationalists platform, for democracy, class struggle and internationalism. See momentuminternationalists.org/what-we-stand-for for the full programme. Capitalism by its nature produces crises, and capitalists by their nature will seek to make the working class pay for them. In the Covid-19 fallout, capitalists are driving for wage cuts, job losses...

Internationalist pledges for Momentum

Labour for a Socialist Europe is working on short pledges for Momentum National Coordinating Group candidates to sign up to — on free movement and migrants’ rights, extending the Brexit transition period, and fighting nationalism on the left. See labourforasocialisteurope.org for more

US army on streets against protesters: 1932 version

The broadcast media in the United States are bound by no rules of impartiality and in many respects reflect the views of one or the other of the two dominant capitalist parties. The notorious Fox News promotes the right-wing Trump agenda, spiced up with far-right conspiracy theories. On the other side, CNN and MSNBC do actual serious reporting, but are not immune from ideological myths. Those liberal news outlets now promote the idea that Trump’s threat to use the military against the American people is an aberration such as never happened before in American history, and that the US military...

Workers' control in schools

The National Education Union has issued guidance to reps on how to escalate in schools where the joint union safety checklist is not being met, up to workers using their individual rights under health and safety law not to work where they see a serious and imminent danger. This can be applied to win safety in schools even where there is no wider opening. One London school used the escalation letter after 1 June, sending it at 10pm on Wednesday, signed by 20 of the 23 NEU members. Reps met the head at 8am Thursday. He apologised, said he would immediately address their concerns, and asked the...

Say her name

The murder of George Floyd has sparked a global movement against racism and police brutality. The discussion of racist violence and police repression have again shone a spotlight on how dangerous it is to be a black man in America. But by viewing the criminal justice system as the frontline of structural racism and men as the primary participants, we risk ignoring the violence which is a day to day reality for black women. Black women’s interaction with the state, through law enforcement, is marked by violence. Black women are murdered by the police. They are assaulted and injured by the...

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