Solidarity 425, 9 December 2016

Momentum: for unity!

Author

Simon Nelson

After the Momentum national committee on Saturday 3 December voted that Momentum should have a decision-making delegate conference — the big controversial decision! — figures on the fringes of Momentum, and some within it, have launched a social-media and mass-media outcry against Workers’ Liberty and Solidarity.

This outcry should be resisted with an insistence on unity, a focus on positive campaigning, and a refusal to let the mass media or the Labour machine’s notorious Compliance Unit split us.

Can Labour resist the anti-migrant pressure?

Author

Sacha Ismail

How will the left-wing leadership of the Labour Party respond to the growth of right-wing, anti-immigrant populism in many countries and to increasingly vocal calls for Labour to concede to an anti-migrant agenda? The picture is confused.

Aleppo doomsday

Author

Simon Nelson

With the aid of Russian military jets and intelligence units, Syrian armed forces tightened their grip over eastern Aleppo in early December. The fall of the whole city to Assad’s regime is now increasingly likely. Many more civilians are dying, and thousands are fleeing the city.

Industrial news in brief

Author

Ollie Moore, Gerry Bates, Dale Street, Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

Members of the train drivers’ union Aslef on Southern began an overtime ban on 6 December, and are preparing to strike alongside RMT guards later in the month. The guards’ latest strikes began on 6 December and will continue until 8 December, with Aslef due to participate in further strikes on 13-14 and 16 December.

When we reassessed the Stalinist states

Author

Simon Nelson

In 1988, the Socialist Organiser Alliance, a forerunner of Workers’ Liberty, at its annual conference, officially dropped the “degenerated and deformed workers’ states” description of the USSR and similar systems which we had inherited from “Orthodox Trotskyism”. It categorised these states as exploitative class systems not superior to capitalism.

Remembering those Stalinism killed

Author

Dale Street

The Russian human rights organisation “Memorial” has published an online database of 39,950 members of the special police force (NKVD) which carried out Stalin’s mass purges of the late 1930s at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives.

Dare to hope and fight

Author

Sean Matgamna

Are we nothing higher than a modern commercially-conducted and regulated rendition of animals, amongst them primitive humankind, spending an entire lifetime browsing and grubbing for food?

That is the “shop until you drop” ethos which this society glorifies and depends on for dynamism. Leavened maybe with a bit of religious uplift, a half-tongue-in-cheek consultation with a horoscope to see what “the stars” are going to do to you? The small bacchanalia of a pop festival once a year or so?

Swimming against the stream

Author

Todd Hamer

“One of the most outstanding features of Bolshevism has been its severe, exacting, even quarrelsome attitude towards the question of doctrine.” — Leon Trotsky

According to the common sense, the far left is a place where rows over obscure points of dogma lead to endless arguments, fractures and splits. How else to explain the dozens of tiny grouplets claiming to hold the holy grail of revolutionary wisdom? But seen from close quarters, the opposite is the case.

Justice for Seeta

On 31 March 2015, whilst on a family trip to India, Seeta (Saini) Kaur – a 33 year old British national of Indian origin and the mother of four young children – died in highly suspicious circumstances at the home of her husband and in-laws.

It is suspected that Seeta was the victim of an honour killing, but the UK police have failed to investigate. Southall Black Sisters launched a campaign for justice for the victims of such suspected honour killings on 7 December. The campaign has been named after Seeta.

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