Solidarity 477, 29 August 2018

Issues at Labour conference

Published on: Wed, 29/08/2018 - 13:25

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.

Currently over a dozen — but likely many more by the September deadline — have submitted anti-Brexit motions that call

Glasgow Labour backs direct action against Serco

Published on: Wed, 29/08/2018 - 13:23

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.

Around 5,000 asylum-seekers are accommodated in Glasgow, the only local authority in Scotland to accept asylum-seekers

UN report condemns Myanmar military

Published on: Wed, 29/08/2018 - 13:22

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.

A further report is expected on 18 September. The latest attacks

US prison strikes spread

Published on: Wed, 29/08/2018 - 13:19

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.


The 19-day strike which started on 21 August, the anniversary of the death of Black Panther George Jackson in San Quentin prison in 1971, started in response to a riot in Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina in which seven prisoners were killed.


A press release circulated by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee said the riot, and the deaths, could have been avoided ″had the

What does #StandUp, stand for?

Published on: Wed, 29/08/2018 - 09:14

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.

That’s greater than the total membership of Die Linke itself. But what people have signed up to remains as unclear as is the level of commitment expressed in clicking a box to receive a

Anti-IHRA lobby is defence of left antisemitism

Published on: Wed, 29/08/2018 - 09:11

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.

The meeting agreed a statement, of which the only part to suggest any kind of democratic reform is a call for

Do we need a new ANL?

Published on: Wed, 29/08/2018 - 09:08

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.

• The SWP who run UAF are in a bad way and are now incapable of putting large numbers onto the streets (and if

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

Published on: Wed, 29/08/2018 - 09:05


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.

In response to increasing belligerence from hard-line Tory Brexiters on the one hand, and a Treasury report which said a “no deal Brexit” would cost the UK an extra £80 billion in borrowing, Theresa May said “no-deal” would not be the end of the world.

The need for Labour to

US workers should oppose Trump trade deals

Published on: Wed, 29/08/2018 - 09:01

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.

Canada has clashed with the USA in recent months over tariffs on dairy, aluminium, and steel. Trump has threatened to impose further tariffs on trade with Canada, opening the prospect for a US-Mexico-only deal that definitively excludes them. The Mexican government insists it wants the agreement to

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