Solidarity 409, 15 June 2016

Orlando: we will not be silenced

Published on: Wed, 15/06/2016 - 13:40

Gemma Short

On Sunday 12 June, 49 people were murdered in an LGBT club in Orlando, Florida, in the largest mass shooting in US history.

At around 2am the attacker Omar Mateen entered the Pulse nightclub and opened fire; shortly after he took a number of people hostage, barricading them and himself in a bathroom. Police used an armoured vehicle to demolish the wall into the bathroom, before engaging in a gun battle in which Mateen was killed. 53 more people were injured in the attack. The victims ranged from 20 to 50 years old, and were apparently overwhelmingly from black and Latino communities.


Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 15/06/2016 - 13:33

Gemma Short, Luke Hardy, Peggy Carter, Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens and Neil Laker

Workers at Pennine Foods in Sheffield have suspended their strikes after negotiations meant bosses agreed not to implement changes to their contracts. Negotiations also got bosses to agree to all employees receiving a lump sum for their 2015 pay rise. Negotiations will continue on the contract and further strikes are not ruled out. The contract changes at Pennine Foods were in order for bosses to try to recoup some of the money from implementing the government′s new ″living wage″.

A similar fight by members of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers′ Union (BFAWU) has been going on at Samworth

Rhea Wolfson back on NEC ballot paper

Published on: Wed, 15/06/2016 - 12:55

Rhea Wolfson’s bid to be elected to Labour’s NEC is back on after she secured a nomination from her home CLP in early June.

Rhea’s nomination had been blocked the CLP where she had been living temporarily to provide end-of-life care for her father, after Jim Murphy intervened. Rhea has now been nominated by her home CLP, Almond Valley.

In a statement Rhea said: “Thank you so much to my home Constituency Labour Party, Almond Valley, for unanimously nominating me for election to the Labour Party National Executive Committee. I now have the nominations needed to go onto the ballot.

“And thank

Labour's antisemitism inquiry to report by 1 July

Published on: Wed, 15/06/2016 - 12:52

Darren Bedford

The Labour Party's internal inquiry in antisemitism closed for submissions on 10 June. It was convened at the end of April in the wake of numerous allegations of antisemitism against various Labour Party members, including Ken Livingstone, many of whom have been suspended from the party.

The inquiry is headed by Sami Chakrabarti, formerly head of the human rights organisation Liberty, with Professor David Feldman, an academic based at Birkbeck, University of London, and Baroness Royall, the leader of the Labour Group in the House of Lords, as deputy chairs. Royall also conducted a separate

Connolly, the rise of Irish labour and Home Rule

Published on: Wed, 15/06/2016 - 12:40

Michael Johnson

By January 1908, Connolly finally had an organ of his own once again, when he founded The Harp as the newspaper of the Irish Socialist Federation (ISF) in the USA.

The ISF was inspired by Connolly’s work alongside Italian workers in the Il Proletario group, which prompted him to learn Italian and organise free speech protests against police harassment of the group’s meetings. Irish-Americans did not have their own national federation. Indeed, New York Mayor George B. McClellan had declared that “There are Russian Socialists and Jewish Socialists and German Socialists. But thank God there are

For a world where diversity is normal

Published on: Wed, 15/06/2016 - 12:21

Val Graham

Val Graham reviews Autism Equality in the Workplace by Janine Booth.

Janine Booth, poet and author of Autism Equality in the Workplace, is both a worker and trade union activist. A member of the TUC Disabled Workers Committee, her handbook Autism in the Workplace was published online by the TUC in 2014.

Her radical approach to removing barriers and challenging discrimination against autistic people is developed in this book which is both practical and visionary. It needs to be. Despite the positive changes in education, including access to work experience, only a small minority (15%) of

Moscow’s fight against Trotskyism in Spain

Published on: Wed, 15/06/2016 - 12:07

Andrew Coates

Andrew Coates reviews Lions Led By Jackals, Stalinism in the International Brigades by Dale Street.

During Franco’s dictatorship “the defeated in Spain has no public right to historical memory” observed Paul Preston in The Spanish Holocaust (2012). The movement to recover these memories, beginning in the new millennium, continues to expose this past.

The defeated side in the Spanish civil war, and those who fell during and after the Caudillo’s victory in the 1939, are honoured across the world as fighters against fascism. As Preston states, Franco’s war against the “Jewish-Bolshevik-Masonic’

Sanders: Whither the “political revolution”?

Published on: Wed, 15/06/2016 - 11:43

Traven Leyshon

This is an extraordinary time as we could be at a turning point in American political life.

Sanders is receiving mass support for the message of Occupy — the 99% versus the 1%. He has used his candidacy to popularize key radical demands: $15 and a union, an end to mass incarceration, universal healthcare, free public higher education, legalizing millions of immigrants, a carbon tax, and banning fracking, to name a few, even if articulating them within a social democratic framework; impacting millions who were unfamiliar with such ideas, or had dismissed them as impossible.

Sanders says

Don’t blame migrants, blame the bosses!

Published on: Wed, 15/06/2016 - 11:29


Free movement across borders gives individual freedom, and makes cultures more diverse and richer. Migrants have rights; and migrants are a boon, not a burden.

To win democratic control against the rapacious profit-drive of the capitalist multinationals and the global financial markets requires joint action by many countries. Socialism cannot be built in one country alone. The working class, to win gains, must unite across borders. The lower the borders, the easier it is to unite.

Social levelling-up across borders is better than unchecked competition between capitalist states to offer the

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