Solidarity 589, 21 April 2021

Publish your May Day greetings in Solidarity

Solidarity 590, dated 28 April, will carry May Day greetings from union branches, committees, campaigns, etc. To publish your May Day message, email awl@workersliberty.org ÂŁ5 for a 1-16th page ad (1/4 column, 8cm tall by 6.2cm wide), ÂŁ10 for 1-8th (half a column, or two quarter-columns), and ÂŁ20 for a quarter (two half-columns). Pay here.

Workers’ inquiries: knowledge for power

A swirl of billions, and a trickle of pennies. A great effort of science to control Covid, with wildly uneven vaccine supplies and patents and production gripped by profiteering billionaires. Huge subsidies for some in the pandemic, while others lose jobs or have to try to self-isolate with no or little pay and in crowded housing. Where are the billions going? Who’s left with pennies? We need to know. We need to inquire. The Safe and Equal campaign, which Workers’ Liberty supports, recently exposed the fact that workers in the virus Test Centres had no right to isolation pay at all, or only...

Minneapolis: awaiting the verdict

As we go to press on the evening of 20 April, thousands of National Guard soldiers have been deployed in Minneapolis in preparation for the jury’s verdict in the trial of police officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd – and large numbers in major cities across the US. The police and the National Guard are on the back foot, but protesters may well face repression, particularly if expressing outrage at an acquittal or semi-acquittal. In a country where police killings have run at a hundred a month since Floyd’s death, it is not to be ruled out that police may kill an African...

Support the strikers in Myanmar!

Solidarity asks all our readers to back the statement signed by John McDonnell MP, TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes, ACDU president Yaseen Aslam, and others; to put motions of solidarity through their union branches (same link, above); and to promote the fundraiser organised by the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and supported by Myanmar’s unions here.

6 May: Vote Labour, push for a fighting policy

The English and Welsh local elections on 6 May have featured a lack of discussion about policies and politics. The virtual destruction of local government is continuing at speed; but there is little mention of it in the election campaign, let alone real debate. The vote is mainly being treated as a national referendum on the parties’ popularity, but with little discussion of their national policies on local government or anything else. At a national level, the Labour leadership has offered no theme other than a limp appeal to present 6 May as a chance to “send a message” to the Tories on NHS...

Xinjiang: the UN report that wasn’t

Even by the standards of the Morning Star — a publication whose coverage of anything to do with China is now little more than Beijing propaganda — Kate Woolford’s article on 13 April was an extraordinary exercise in dissembling whataboutery. Woolford is, apparently, a member of the Southampton Young Communist League and social media editor of Challenge, the Young Communist League magazine. Her article is entitled “Xinjiang: staying afloat in a wave of disinformation” and claims to be an examination of “what is really going on in north-east China.” In fact, the article contains no new...

A reply on the "Anti-Monopoly Alliance"

I am grateful to Jim Denham for his response (Solidarity 587) to my letter (Solidarity 586). I thought I had made it clear — certainly Britain’s Road to Socialism (BRS) does — that the “popular, democratic, anti-monopoly alliance” is primarily about transforming and uniting the broadly defined working class into a force for overthrowing capitalism and replacing it with the political rule of the working class i.e. socialism. The references to smaller capitalist and intermediate strata (not the same thing) are fairly few and frankly marginal and I would agree with most of what Jim says in his...

Women's Fightback: A new women's movement?

Thousands of women defied police bans to attend Reclaim These Streets protests after the murder of Sarah Everard. Every newspaper covered the social media explosion of collective grief and rage, women sharing stories of everyday harassment. Will this be the birth of a new women’s movement in Britain? These protests are the latest in a decade of bursts of feminist activity internationally, often in response to an outrage or attack. SlutWalk grew into a transnational protest calling for an end to victim-blaming on sexual assault. The women’s marches that took place the weekend of Trump’s...

Kyrgyzstan: One step forward, two steps back

The workers of Kyrgyzstan have had very little experience of trade unionism. Under tsarist rule, unions were generally not tolerated. The Bolshevik revolution allowed unions to exist — on paper. But they were quickly turned into a “transmission belt” to pass on orders from the ruling Communist Party to the working class. With the impending collapse of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan declared independence in August 1991. This should have ensured, finally, a measure of democracy. And this would have meant free and independent trade unions, as had been created in other post-Communist states, most...

Meeting the crises to come

A 2020 report from the US Commission on Commodity Futures Trading found: “A sudden revision of market perceptions about climate risk could lead to a disorderly repricing of assets, which could in turn have cascading effects on portfolios and balance sheets and therefore systemic implications for financial stability.” In short, economic shocks will be an early impact of climate change and will start as people begin to grasp the reality of climate change and the bleak view of the future. Consider the effect of sea level rise on world property markets. A lot of coastal settlements will flood with...

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