Solidarity 553, 24 June 2020

Hong Kong: The Empire Strikes Back

A music teacher in Hong Kong has been sacked by her school, because she allowed one of her students to perform the song Glory to Hong Kong as part of an assessment task at school. Lau Ka-tung, a social worker, was accused of hindering officers from proceeding by standing in front of a cordon and using his body to strike a policeman's shield. He was sentenced to a year in jail, the first social worker to receive a jail sentence resulting from last year's protests. The defence applied for bail as they planned to file an appeal against the sentence, but the application was denied and he was sent...

Organise to make the future safe and equal for all

The great wave of street protests after the killing of George Floyd on 25 May still continues, but the pace looks like slowing. Activists will be thinking about how they can continue their efforts over the months and years needed to win and consolidate change. That this killing has generated so broad a protest must be partly because a pandemic which has hit the worst-off hardest everywhere, and a wave of job cuts which has done similar, especially in the USA, are in everyone's minds.

Bomber Bolton cashes in

Things haven't been turning out well lately for Donald Trump in the run up to the US presidential election in November. A pandemic that has claimed over 120,000 lives and is plateauing rather than declining. Major demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality. An economy where unemployment rates have surpassed even those of the Great Depression of the 1930s. On top of it all comes another book about chaos in the Trump White House. This time it's not second hand stuff from a liberal journalist, but a damning first hand account from right-wing maverick John Bolton. For several...

Momentum poll: vote internationalist!

The Momentum National Coordinating Group elections close at noon on 30 June. If you haven't yet, please vote for and promote the candidates who have backed Momentum Internationalists' socialist platform — Ruth Cashman and Ana Oppenheim in London, Abbie Clark in the Midlands, Kas Witana in the North, and Nadia Whittome in the Office Holders section. Ana, Abbie and Nadia are on the Forward Momentum slate. (All NCG candidates at bit.ly/mmcandidates.) The results are out on Wednesday 1 July. In the contest between the two main slates, conservative-left and Stalinist Momentum Renewal and limited...

Recovery: green or fossil fuel?

Governments "have a unique opportunity today to boost economic growth, create millions of new jobs and put global greenhouse gas emissions into structural decline", so claims the Sustainable Recovery Plan (SRP), released on 18 June by the International Energy Agency and the International Monetary Fund. Recognising that current decisions about investments and recovery will "shape economic and energy infrastructure for decades to come", the plan outlines possible "actions" over the next three years across "electricity, transport, industry, buildings, fuels and emerging low-carbon technologies"...

Release Assange!

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is due to appear in court again on 29 June. At the previous hearing, on 1 June, his doctors said he was too ill even to go to a video-link room in Belmarsh prison, where he is being held. The actual hearing on the USA's attempt to extradite him will be on 7 September. Once in the USA, he risks jail sentences of up to 175 years for publishing official US documents. Whatever we think of Assange on other counts, the extradition must be opposed. Demand he's released, allowed proper medical treatment and a return to Australia!

Antisemitism report due soon

On 15 June LabourList speculated at length about the pending publication of the report of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on allegations of Labour Party antisemitism. The EHRC enquiry was launched in May 2019, to investigate whether the Labour Party (or its employees or agents) had unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they were Jewish. It was triggered by a complaint made by the Campaign Against Antisemitism, with additional substantial submissions lodged by the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Against Antisemitism. Earlier press coverage...

Scientists say: "1 metre? Not yet"

Boris Johnson announced on 23 June that he plans to let pubs and cafés reopen from 4 July with only one metre covid-distancing. The Independent SAGE group of dissident scientists said on 18 June that "until there is evidence that infections have dropped to much fewer than 1,000 cases a day [the current 7-day average is 1,205, falling slowly] [one-metre] is not safe in indoor spaces particularly in restaurants, bars, or workplaces..." The official SAGE scientists in late May blocked government plan to reduce the virus risk rating from 4 to 3, and got that move delayed to 19 June. One of them...

Continue fight on Brexit

On 30 June the current legal deadline to apply for an extension to Brexit will pass. We have suffered a defeat. But rules can be changed, and we should continue the struggle to prevent a No Deal or hard Brexit in the midst of the fall out from the pandemic. 150 people attended a meeting on 18 June called by Labour for a Socialist Europe and Another Europe is Possible to debate the issue on 18 June. L4SE will be launching more campaigning soon. • More at labourforasocialisteurope.org • Write to your MP through the AEIP website: bit.ly/aeip-mp • Sign the petition on the Parliament website: bit...

Abolish the police? Overthrow capitalism!

The slogan-title of Alex Vitale's book is The End of Policing. His detailed conclusion in the text, though, is that "policing needs to be reformed", with "a larger vision that questions the basic role of police in society". DeRay Mckesson and others, prominent in the Black Lives Matter movement, have circulated both a range of police reforms, and a narrower focus on curbing police powers. In the second exposition, some of the demands advocated in the first exposition are criticised as worthless, notably police body cameras and better training. In June 1917, when Lenin advocated revising the...

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