Solidarity 119, 11 October 2007

An open letter to Chris Harman of the SWP

Published on: Wed, 07/11/2007 - 00:02

Sean Matgamna

To download text as pdf, click on the "attachments" below. Second attachment is an updated version, 02/11/07..

Dear comrade Harman,
I know you of old and hope, or would like to believe, that you still hold to the basic socialist ideas which you and I shared in the past.

See also: Open Letter to an IS Leader, August 2004: From the "IS Tradition" to Respect; and more on Respect.

I wrote you a first open letter in June 2004 (Solidarity 3/54) urging you to register that the Respect turn was a betrayal of all that was good about the political tradition you used to hold to.

The rift between your

Student bureaucrats move to smash democracy

Published on: Mon, 22/10/2007 - 15:21

Sofie Buckland

When the National Union of Students commissioned its “no holds barred” governance review after annual conference 2007, the left was criticized for pre-emptively declaring it an attack on democracy. The findings of the review was discussed at a national committee meeting on 9 October, and guess what? It’s a massive attack on democracy.

The main points are:

• To split the current National Executive into two. The “Board” will deal with “non-political” areas like budgets, overseeing senior staff, remuneration of senior staff and legal policies (no, we don’t understand how that’s non-political

Breaking with Islamism

Published on: Wed, 17/10/2007 - 15:13

Charlie Salmon

Review of The Islamist, by Ed Husain

“The Islamist does not flatter the people, is not courteous to the authorities or care for other people’s customs and traditions, and does not give any attention to whether people will accept him or not. Rather, he must adhere to the ideology alone.” Taqiuddin al-Nabhani,founder of Hizb ut-Tahrir

“Islam is a revolutionary doctrine and system that overthrows governments. It seeks to overturn the whole universal social order.” Abdul Ala Mawdudi, founder of Jamat-e-Islami

The publication of The Islamist earlier this year prompted both criticism and praise.

French Workers Strike Back — 18 October

Published on: Mon, 15/10/2007 - 10:00

Ed Maltby

French rail, gas, and electricity workers are striking on 18 October over pensions, privatisation and their right to strike. The new right-wing French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has bitten off more than he can chew.

So desperate is Sarkozy to prove himself to right-wing voters and his party, the UMP, he plans to destroy as quickly as possible all of the gains won by French workers since the war; gains which the French working class has been able at least partially to defend throughout the 1980s and 90s, while other European workers were suffering a series of defeats.

Sarkozy wants to break

For the Palestinians, not political Islam.

Published on: Sat, 13/10/2007 - 10:30

Sacha Ismail

About three hundred people marched through central London on Sunday 7 October as part of the “Al Quds Day” march organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission.

In fact, the IHRC has nothing to do with human rights and everything to do with rabidly right-wing political Islam. As the Awaaz/South Asia Watch group, which campaigns against all varieties of religious fundamentalist politics originating in South Asia, puts it, the IHRC is one of a number of UK Islamist organisations which “adhere to the ideology of the ‘absolute rulership of the clerics’ and ‘Islamic government’ advocated by

The shameful face of Al Quds day

Published on: Sat, 13/10/2007 - 10:28

Peter Tatchell

ON the Al Quds march, I held two placards. One with a Palestinian flag and “Free Palestine”, and the other with a photograph of a 16-year-old girl, Atefeh Rajabi Sahaaleh, who was executed in 2004 by the Iranian regime for “crimes against chastity”, having been sexually abused since childhood.

As soon as I turned up, I was subjected to a barrage of violent, threatening abuse from large sections of the crowd. Some chanted: “Tatchell is a Zionist, Tatchell is a paedophile. Get out! Get out! Get out!” On six occasions, some of the protesters tried to physically attack me and the Workers’ Liberty

Oppose boycott legal ruling

Published on: Sat, 13/10/2007 - 09:19

Cath Fletcher

The debate within UCU, the University and College Union, on whether to launch a boycott of Israeli academia has been called off after lawyers consulted by the leadership declared a boycott “illegal”. After a unanimous vote by the Strategy and Finance Committee, including members of UCU Left, union branches have been told they cannot vote on a boycott, and a planned speaker tour of Israeli and Palestinian academics has been called off, at least for this term.

Despite calls from both supporters and opponents of the boycott, the legal opinions — one reportedly given by the Liberal Democrat peer

Pakistan: more arrests

Published on: Fri, 12/10/2007 - 10:09

Repression of opposition groups, including the socialist Labour Party, Pakistan continues. At the end of September ten members, including General Secretary Farooq Tariq, were arrested, at a protest against General Pervez Musharraf filing nomination papers for a second presidential term. They have been charged under Pakistan’s anti-terrorist laws!

Musharraf has been relected as Pakistan’s President after winning all but five of the votes cast in a joint Parliamentary and Provincial Assembly election. He would have won even if opposition groups had not boycotted the election.

However Pakistan’s

US Auto Workers strike, but concede

Published on: Fri, 12/10/2007 - 10:06

Last month, for the first time in 37 years the US United Auto Workers (UAW) union launched a two-day nationwide strike against General Motors. The strike involved 73,000 production workers. It was over a two-tier wage structure, plant closures, outsourcing, forced 10-hour work days, and various classification and work rule changes.

The strike brought GM production to a halt. According the the US rank and file union magazine Labor Notes there was confusion over the union’s strategy for the strike.

The settlement the union has obtained leaves a lot to be desired, including a wage freeze for

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.