Solidarity 477, 29 August 2018

Issues at Labour conference


Simon Nelson

Labour’s 2018 conference will take place in Liverpool starting on 22 September. Brexit and the issue of left antisemitism will be the biggest and most divisive issues.

The 2017 conference was dominated by pro-Corbyn delegates, many of them at their first conference; 2018 is set to be the same. One would hope that after another year of left leadership there will be less sycophancy for Corbyn and more critical thinking from delegates.

There is welcome evidence of such a shift.

Glasgow Labour backs direct action against Serco


Ann Field

Over 50 Labour Party politicians and office-bearers in and around Glasgow have put their names to a statement backing “direct action” to prevent Serco implementing its policy of changing the locks on asylum-seeker accommodation.

The statement was initiated by Labour Party members active in the campaigning triggered by Serco’s announcement in late July that it would be evicting asylum-seekers deemed no longer eligible for support by changing the locks on their accommodation.

UN report condemns Myanmar military


Darren Bedford

A United Nations report into the ongoing ethnic cleansing being carried out by Myanmar’s military against its Rohingya Muslim minority has concluded that senior military figures should be investigated for genocide and crimes against humanity.

The report calls for the case to be referred to the International Criminal Court. It also refers to “severe, systemic, and institutionalised oppression” meted out to Rohingya people “from birth to death” by the Myanmar state. Among the documented crimes are torture, rape, and enslavement.

US prison strikes spread


Gemma Short

Strikes by inmates in US prisons are spreading across the country. Inmates are protesting against forced labour, low wages, prison conditions, and deaths in custody.


What does #StandUp, stand for?


Dale Street

#StandUp, the new “broad movement” initiated by Sahra Wagenknecht and Oskar Lafontaine (both leading members of the German Die Linke — The Left — party), will have its public launch on 4 September.

To date, #StandUp has existed only as a webpage, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and an e-mail address list. But, boast Wagenknecht and Lafontaine, some 85,000 people have already signed up to the initiative.

Anti-IHRA lobby is defence of left antisemitism


Keith Road

The decision by an “emergency meeting” hosted by Camden Momentum to call a lobby of Labour’s National Executive on 4 September, to oppose the adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism, is toxic.

Momentum activists have linked their opposition to the IHRA definition to the lack of internal democracy in Momentum.

But justifiable anger about the way Momentum builds and then promotes its slates for the National Executive is being used to promote the worst views of left antisemites.

Do we need a new ANL?


Dan Katz

My conclusions from attending a protest against a “Free Tommy Robinson” rally in London on 14 July were as follows:

• There were two anti-Robinson marches but combined they were still outnumbered by the right-wing mobilisation.

The Unite Against Fascism (UAF) marchers probably had an average age of over 50 and they were overwhelmingly middle class. The march was not stewarded. The Antifa march was younger and had a (purely verbal) stated intention of physically stopping the right.

60% chance of no-deal Brexit? We say “No Brexit”!



Liam Fox, the international trade secretary in charge of negotiating with the WTO, has said it is a 60% probability there the UK will leave the EU without a deal.

According to the Sunday Times (4 August) Fox put the chances of a no deal departure at “60-40”, squarely blaming the “intransigence” of the European Commission.

US workers should oppose Trump trade deals


Darren Bedford

US President Donald Trump has hailed a “really good” trade deal with neighbour Mexico — it could be a precursor to a comprehensive relaunch of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which Trump had previously criticised.

Negotiations with the other Nafta partner, Canada, are ongoing.

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