Solidarity 440, 31 May 2017

Tel Aviv: tens of thousands march against occupation and for two states

Published on: Wed, 31/05/2017 - 11:29

Gerry Bates

On Saturday 27 May, between 15,000 and 20,000 Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square to mark the anniversary of the Six Day war the subsequent Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The demonstration called for an end to the occupation and for “two states for two people”. In proportion to population, the turnout was equivalent to 140,000 in Britain.

Opposition leader and Labour Party head Isaac Herzog was booed as he came on stage. He, claimed Trump was “determined to bring peace between us and the Palestinians…who understands what his predecessors understood.” That

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 31/05/2017 - 11:24

Dale Street and Gemma Short

After one-week strikes in Glasgow and London, PCS members in the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Cardiff office are on strike 29 May — 2 June. 5-9 June, coinciding with the general election, PCS members will be on strike in the EHRC’s Manchester office.

The successive one-week strikes are part of an ongoing campaign against redundancies imposed by the EHRC. The campaign, involving a succession of targeted strikes, has been underway since October of last year. Employees with disabilities, older and ethnic-minority employees, and trade union activists are disproportionately

There’s an election, let’s witch-hunt the left!

Published on: Wed, 31/05/2017 - 11:12

Sacha Ismail

The biggest national decision-making gathering of Momentum that has taken place so far was the Momentum Youth and Students (MYS) conference held last summer. The 200 Momentum members who took part elected a national committee pretty evenly split between supporters of what is now the “leadership faction” around Jon Lansman and the more radical, democracy-minded left.

In November 2016, the MYS committee voted to support the national meeting to campaign for democracy in Momentum by a majority of one. Since then the “leadership” people on the committee have pursued two tracks. The first has been

SNP smear opponents

Published on: Wed, 31/05/2017 - 11:05

Dale Street

When the SNP government’s record on the NHS was criticised by a nurse during the Scottish party leaders’ debate a fortnight ago, the response from the SNP and their followers was to vilify the nurse.

SNP MSP Jeane Freeman and SNP (ex-)MP Joanna Cherry led the charge, falsely claiming that the nurse was the wife of a Tory councillor. Once unleashed by Freeman and Cherry, the allegation was then taken up by other SNP parliamentarians and by SNP cybernats. In fact, they ratcheted up the smear campaign to the level of a frenzy, claiming that the nurse had been a BBC “plant” and that she was not

Brazil’s crisis of hegemony

Published on: Wed, 31/05/2017 - 10:59

Alfredo Saad-Filho and Armando Boito

Brazil seems stuck in a permanent political crisis. After three years of agony, President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers’ Party (PT) was impeached last August. Now her traitorous vice president Michel Temer’s administration is disintegrating under a cloud of scandal, not to mention its mind-boggling incompetence.

Four common illusions prevent us from clearly understanding why this political instability has only intensified under Temer: that Brazil has a unified right wing; that capital acts together; that the bourgeoisie controls the state and the political process; and that social conflicts

The Russian revolution and the British left

Published on: Wed, 31/05/2017 - 10:46

Chris Mathews

It is February 1917. A large crowd are gathered to hear socialists and pacifists denounce the war. As the speeches start the snow begins fall... The hundreds who assembled that snowy night, looking like a scene out of Dr Zhivago, were not in Petrograd 1917 but in Waterfoot, Rossendale. The rally held that snowy evening was to support the candidature of Albert Taylor, a local anti-war trade union leader and member of the British Socialist Party (BSP) in a parliamentary by-election; the campaign on his behalf (he had been imprisoned at the request of the Liberal party agent) was a coalition of

War and the revolution

Published on: Wed, 31/05/2017 - 10:27

Leon Trotsky

Continuing a series of extracts from Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution, this explains how the Provisional Government worked to keep Russia in the First World War.

On 23 March [1917] the United States entered the war. On that day Petrograd was burying the victims of the February revolution. Twenty-five days later — during which time the soviets had gained much experience and self-confidence — occurred the 1 May celebration (1 May according to the Western calendar, 18 April Russian calendar).

All the cities of Russia were drowned in meetings and demonstrations. Not only the

Youth vote can beat Tories

Published on: Wed, 31/05/2017 - 10:20


“If 38% of voters genuinely go for pro-IRA anti-nuclear pro-mass-nationalisation Corbyn, UK voters are no longer mature enough for democracy.”

The Twitter comment from Andrew Lilico of the right-wing Institute of Economic Affairs sums up how a section of the British ruling class views even the outside chance of a Corbyn victory on 8 June.

For a whole era after Neil Kinnock quelled Labour’s rank and file revolt of the early 1980s, Labour was a “safe pair of hands” for the ruling class. Tony Blair set out to identify Labour as “unequivocally pro-business”, and on that, anyway, he succeeded.

Religious practices should not be banned

Published on: Wed, 31/05/2017 - 10:10

An Indian socialist presents a view different from Solidarity’s on an attempt to get the Supreme Court to rule unconstitutional the practice of triple talaq (where a Muslim man can divorce his wife in minutes by saying the word talaq three times).

In India, banning has become the response to anything that goes against the state. But the practices of nikah halala [women entering second marriages as a precondition for remarrying a first partner] and triple talaq should never be considered for banning because they are derived from religious laws which have roots stretching back 1,400 years.


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