Solidarity 483, 24 October 2018

Trump calls for aid cuts as caravan moves through Mexico

Published on: Wed, 24/10/2018 - 12:18

Gemma Short

A ″migrant caravan″, which has since 12 October been making its way from Honduras to the USA, has swelled to around 7,000 people as it starts to make its way through Mexico.

The caravan is usually a yearly event, although there have been two this year. Known as Viacrucis del Migrante (“Migrant’s Way of the Cross”) the caravan has previously been organised or supported by Pueblo Sin Fronteras (People without Borders) but this one has not been directly organised by them and has had a more organic formation.

At the start, migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, who are fleeing

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 24/10/2018 - 12:04

Ann Field

GMB and Unison picket lines covered Glasgow on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 October in a two-day strike by City Council employees.

A lunchtime demonstration on the first day of the strike also saw four thousand people march through Glasgow to a rally in front of the City Chambers.

It was the biggest strike for equal pay in British history. The target was years of pay discrimination against City Council women employees, resulting from the Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR) which was introduced and defended by successive Labour administrations

The then Labour-controlled Council rejected

Due process and a fair hearing

Published on: Wed, 24/10/2018 - 11:44

Keith Road

There is now a single unified “left” slate for the expanded Labour Party National Constitutional Committee.

With the backing of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, Momentum and several smaller organisations, this slate will probably receive many Labour Party nominations and the majority of the delegate votes.

The opposing slates from Labour First and Open Labour are yet to write anything publicly on what they see as their role on the NCC.

The united left candidates have co-signed an article for the Labour Hub website. Some of what they have to say is promising if vague. Other questions

Labour Against Racism and Fascism launched

Published on: Wed, 24/10/2018 - 11:38

Ruth Cashman, personal capacity

On Monday 15 October I attended a meeting on behalf of my union branch, Lambeth Unison, to discuss the setting up a local Labour Against Racism and Fascism network.

The meeting was attended by Secretaries and BAME Forum members from 14 South London local Labour Parties, as well as union reps.

The meeting was initiated by activists in Dulwich and West Norwood CLP who had been alarmed by the rise of new far-right street movements in the UK, led by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA), and coalescing around the #FreeTommy movement.

The new far right movement had organised #FreeTommy

Creativity in the face of cruelty and oppression

Published on: Wed, 24/10/2018 - 11:30

Matt Kinsella

Shortlisted for the 2018 Booker Prize, Washington Black is the story of George Washington Black, a child slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados.

The book continues the theme of author Esi Edugyan’s previous novel, Half Blood Blues, which features Hiero, a black musician sent to Sachsenhausen. Both stories centre on how human creativity persists in the face of cruelty and oppression.

In Washington Black, Wash is brutalised by the horrors of plantation life, intensified after the late slave rebellions in Barbados, Jamaica and Demerara, and carries a reminder of this violence after being badly

Bolshevism and NGO politics, in history and today

Published on: Wed, 24/10/2018 - 11:16

Martin Thomas

Martin Thomas discusses In Defence of Bolshevism and some other modes of politics.

This book, by way of polemics and discussions from different eras, explains what “Bolshevism” means in the field of left-wing political organising. Another way of summing it up would be: the opposite of 38 Degrees.

38 Degrees is a left-wing movement which sees itself as exceptionally progressive, democratic, and attuned to “people power”. It declares that its “campaigns are chosen and led by our three million members”. Its leaders would, I guess, consider “Bolshevism” to be old-fashioned and too hierarchical.

French Trotskyists debate Israel-Palestine

Published on: Wed, 24/10/2018 - 11:11

A debate is ongoing in the pages of French revolutionary journal Convergences Révolutionnaires, on the topic of Israel and Palestine. Convergences is the publication of the Étincelle group, with whom Workers’ Liberty has longstanding links.

An article by Pierre Hélelou and Gil Lannou, Israël-Palestine : une nouvelle donne [Israel-Palestine: a new situation], points out reasonably enough that the “embryonic Palestinian state, whether in the West Bank or Gaza, has been unable to live up to any of its promises and limits itself now to being a mere security apparatus, politically and financially

Brexit impasse. Answer: United Ireland

Published on: Wed, 24/10/2018 - 11:09


The Tory government promises that it can find a fudge to solve the Irish border riddle, or at least to push it a safe distance into the future. Somehow they think they can combine: • Northern Ireland being sufficiently integrated into the EU Single Market and Customs Union to allow the Border within Ireland to remain almost invisible • Britain being sufficiently outside the EU Single Market and Customs Union to satisfy Tory nationalists • no economic barrier between the Northern Ireland which is “almost in” the EU and a Britain which is definitely out. How long, and how well, they can fudge,

Letters: In defence of ‘cis’; Making things up since 1930

Published on: Wed, 24/10/2018 - 10:51

The use of the term cisgender (hereafter cis) has been a matter of some discussion within the Workers’ Liberty. There has been some discussion suggesting that the term has become a term used by trans people or other advocates of trans rights to invalidate and silence those that disagree with their view.

Before addressing this argument, it is important to first define what it exactly we mean by cis, particularly given the deficiency of some attempted definitions.

Some argue that cis people are those who feel “at ease” or “comfortable” with their socially assigned gender, whilst others argue

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