Solidarity 476, 8 August 2018

Thousands march against Nation State Law

Published on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 12:08

Ira Berkovic

Tens of thousands of people, perhaps as many as 100,000, demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday 4 August to protest against the new “Nation State Law”, which opens the door to legally-sanctioned racism against non-Jews.

The law relegates Arabic from the status of official language, and asserts that “the right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people”. Israel’s Arab minority, which makes up around 20% of the population, has formal legal equality, but faces frequent discrimination, which many fear the new law will intensify.

The Tel Aviv

Cleaners organise and strike

Published on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 12:04

Gemma Short

Cleaners at the Ministry of Justice and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council (RBKC) will strike on 7, 8 and 9 August over pay and unfair working conditions.

The cleaners at the Ministry of Justice are contracted by outsourced cleaning company OCS, and those at RBKC are employed by Amey.

Cleaning workers at Health Care America (HCA) locations in London will also strike later in August. HCA is the biggest private healthcare company in the world and has sites in London including at the Shard, Guy′s Cancer Centre, and Harley Street Clinic. It′s cleaning is outsourced to Compass.

All of

PCS pay ballot falls short

Published on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 11:55

By PCS Independent Left

Civil Service union PCS’s national ballot for strike action over pay failed to meet the 50 percent turnout threshold imposed by the Trade Union Act. This despite the most intensive period of activity in the union’s recent history. What do we learn from this? And what comes next?

Despite the tangible sense of disappointment felt by all activists, we can be proud. The result wasn’t what we wanted, but the commitment and effort of everyone who leafleted, who canvassed members in the workplace and who gave up their own time is not in doubt.

The activist training schools that ran ahead of the

Nottingham shows the campaign against Brexit can only be left wing

Published on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 11:45

Will Sefton

On Monday 30 July, 130 people gathered in Nottingham to hear left wing anti-Brexit speakers make the case for Labour to oppose Brexit.

Speakers included Manuel Cortes, General Secretary of the TSSA rail union as well as local migrant workers and anti-racist campaigners.
The organisers had held stalls in the town, advertised at the local Pride and other festivals and covered social media. The meeting surprised even them. It was five times larger than a similar event that was had held only three months earlier. 

This shows that there has a been significant increase in anti-Brexit feeling

“It’s good to follow a polemic in real time”

Published on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 11:35

Rob Marsden spoke to Solidarity

Q. Tell us a bit about your websites, Splits and Fusions and Red Mole Rising.

A. Red Mole Rising came first, and it is now a nearly complete archive of the press of the Fourth International in Britain, that is, of the group best known as the IMG, from 1950s into the 2000s. It has complete runs of International, Black Dwarf, Red Mole, Socialist Challenge, Socialist Action, etc., and lots of magazines and pamphlets.

I’ve worked with loads of people on that. Some of The Week is up there, and I’m intending to do the rest of The Week some time soon.
Splits and Fusions is a much broader and more

Should we reverse history?

Published on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 11:29

Sean Matgamna

Sean Matgamna replies to Ashok Kumar's "National rights and the decolonial gaze". More debate on the Right of Return here.

Sometimes a person will have to do odd things for socialism.

Trotsky recorded that when women induced the soldiers not to fire at the crowds at the outset of the February Revolution, they had to get at them by first crawling under the belly of Cossack horses. What Trotsky referred to so summarily loses much of its meaning in the minds of modern people who have no experience of horses.

Your horse has a very small brain — the size of a chestnut, perhaps. A horse is

National rights and the decolonial gaze

Published on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 11:25

Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar replies to Sean Matgamna’s article “Changing the culture of the left” (Solidarity 469). For Sean's reply click here. More debate on the Right of Return here.

Sean Matgamna attracts our gaze as he conjectures on “the whole truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.

Alice in Wonderland, a fabled figure of fiction, is a subject of his piece (Solidarity 469) and as we know, when luncheoning with the Mad Hatter, she divined that what we call truth might not be all that it seems. Conman Bolshevism is indubitably one amidst a multitude of truth subjects.

“Hostility to the

Latin America, violence, and capitalism

Published on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 11:18

Pablo Velasco

Marielle Franco, the Brazilian socialist feminist and LGBT activist, was brutally gunned down in Rio de Janeiro in March this year.

Franco was a member of the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), a revolutionary split from the Workers’ Party (PT). She was an outspoken critic of police brutality and the Brazilian president’s use of the army to intervene in the favelas of the city.

Franco’s death has been attributed to gangs, but many suspect it was an extra-judicial killing by militias closely linked to the state.

Some 17 of the world’s 50 most violent cities are in Brazil, while Rio has 10

REVIEW: An honest opponent of “pseudo-anti-imperialism”

Published on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 11:13

Paul Hampton

Rohini Hensman’s book is a welcome intervention into debates on the international socialist left.

Above all it is a damning indictment of the state of those broad sections of the left, especially in Britain, who have embraced a negative, anti-Western, anti-US, “pseudo-anti-imperialism” — a politics that is also effectively pro-imperialist (of Russia, China, Iran), anti-democratic, anti-liberatory and ultimately anti-working class.

The central locus of the book is the conflict in Syria, where much of the left has been utterly wretched. But Hensman probes deeper, criticising the Russian and

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