Solidarity 057, 2 September 2004

What is the Muslim Association of Britain?

Published on: Thu, 15/03/2007 - 20:24

Sacha Ismail

Since September 2002, Stop the War Coalition protests have been co-sponsored by an organisation called the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB). More recently, the SWP-sponsored Respect electoral coalition has worked closely with the MAB, with former MAB President Anas Altikriti heading Respect’s Yorkshire and Humberside slate for the European elections in June 2004.

The leaders of the STWC and Respect, and in particular the Socialist Workers’ Party, have gone to great lengths to portray the MAB as representative of all people of Muslim faith or even background in Britain. This is very far from

European Social Forum

Published on: Sun, 05/09/2004 - 21:41

14-17 October, London

Join Workers' Liberty and No Sweat activities and meetings at the ESF. Tel 020 7207 3997 for Workers' Liberty details. Tel 07719 283132 for No Sweat details.
Friday 15 October: all day: ESF plenaries, seminars and workshops at Alexandra Palace, N22
6pm–late: No Sweat meeting in Palms Bar, ULU, Malet Street, London W1, followed by social, details:

Saturday 16 October: all day: ESF plenaries, seminars and workshops at Alexandra Palace, N22
lunchtime: No Sweat "streets of shame" protest vicinity Oxford Street
all day and evening: "Schnews at 10"

Oppose slave labour scheme for asylum-seekers!

Published on: Sun, 05/09/2004 - 21:40

Back in June, and at the last moment, David Blunkett inserted a clause into the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act.

The clause makes accommodation for a failed asylum seeker conditional on she or he undertaking "community service".

There are many "failed asylum seekers" in the system — many of them have indeed come from dangerous countries, but still have not got asylum, because they have fallen foul of bureaucratic regulations.

Normally they are deported. Sometimes they can't be because they are stateless, or ill, or the country of return is too dangerous.


Industrial news in brief

Published on: Sun, 05/09/2004 - 21:36
  • Wembley steel workers sacked
  • Met Uni lecturers strike
  • Swansea council strike set to escalate
  • Fire pay dispute settled

Wembley steel workers sacked

Steel construction workers on the Wembley Stadium project picketed the site on Monday 23 August after they were sacked. 200 of them, members of unions GMB and Amicus, were sacked on Friday 20 August by their employers Hollandia-Fast Track. The companies say they sacked the workers for taking unofficial action in a dispute about working hours and breaks.

The dispute arose when the workforce was transferred to Hollandia-Fast Track in July from its

At the end of the tunnel?

Published on: Sun, 05/09/2004 - 21:34

Tony Byrne recommends a new pamphlet about the privatisation of London Underground

The fight against Tube privatisation lasted for almost five years. It started with a demonstration on 13 February 1998 to mark John Prescott’s official announcement of the Labour government’s plans for privatising London Underground’s (LU) infrastructure, under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme. An official RMT circular accepting defeat signalled the end of the dispute on 20 December 2002.
Ultimately it was an unequal struggle: the labour movement failed to rally to the aid of tube workers. Nor was the

The Two Souls of the Comintern part 2

Published on: Sun, 05/09/2004 - 21:31

Communism and philistinism

This is the second part of an obituary article of James Patrick Cannon, one of the founders of the international Trotskyist movement.

It was first published at the beginning of 1975 in Permanent Revolution, a magazine of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty tendency. We reprint it here to mark the 30th anniversary of Cannon’s death. The AWL has criticisms of Cannon’s political career (see Solidarity 3/57) but honours and respects the great contribution he made to the struggle against capitalism and Stalinism. The article contrasts Cannon’s political life with that of

The right-wing IRA of the 50s

Published on: Sun, 05/09/2004 - 21:29

Thomas Carolan continues his series about the history of Irish Republicanism

The Irish Free State changed its name to “The Republic of Ireland” in April 1949, 27 years after it was founded at the end of a two and a half year war of independence against the occupying forces of the British Crown. Simultaneously the 26 County state withdrew from the Commonwealth.
The Free State, the “maximum concession” which Britain had been prepared to make to insurgent nationalist Ireland, had given Dominion status within the British Commonwealth to 26 Irish counties. The King of England would remain King of

Letter: Multiculturalism is bad

Published on: Sun, 05/09/2004 - 21:28

from Paul Flewers
Annie O’Keefe’s review of Darcus Howe’s depressing programme on growing hostility between non-white people in Britain (Solidarity, 13 August) fails to indicate a factor that has helped to exacerbate hostility both between white and non-white people and amongst non-white groups.

The old official idea of racial equality has largely been superseded by “multiculturalism”, an ideology that views humanity as being divided amongst discrete “cultural” groups, with a heavy implication that such divisions are immutable factors. Of course, the term “culture” is really a synonym for race

Socialists and Muslims: Holier than thou?

Published on: Sun, 05/09/2004 - 21:26

My letter is inspired by Cathy Nugent’s review (Solidarity 3/56) of the novel Maps for Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam.

“I hope the Russians love their children too.”
Song lyric by Sting

“You give me 20 minutes or an hour — a special programme to dissect the Koran — and I will show you that we have a monster in our midst.”
Nick Griffin, BNP leader on “Newsnight”, 14 July 2004

“…some Christians justified the persecution and mass murder of Jews by claiming that Jews wanted to take over the world. But these fascist fantasies were based on deliberate lies, such as the notorious fake book The

No hero of ours

Published on: Sun, 05/09/2004 - 21:21

Paul Hampton reviews Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution by Mike Gonzales (Bookmarks, £8.99)

Is there no end to the opportunism of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP)? After decades using the slogan “Neither Washington nor Moscow” they are now publishing books trying to breath life into old Stalinists.
This book is published to coincide with a new film, The Motorcycle Diaries, based on the early life of Ernesto Che Guevara. But it also reflects a new political stance for the SWP. At their “Marxism” summer school this year, banners of Guevara adorned the walls of the auditoria.
Guevara was a

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