Solidarity 446, 23 August 2017

DOO strikes need driver support


Gemma Short

RMT train guards fighting Driver-Only Operation (DOO) struck again, on Southern and Northern rail on 1 and 4 September and on Merseyrail on 1, 3 and 4 September.

Meetings between RMT and train operators have produced nothing, and Arriva Rail North (who run the Northern network) said they only wanted to discuss the ″terms of surrender″ by the union!

Despite train drivers’ union Aslef not being in dispute at Merseyrail or Northern, all Merseyrail drivers continue to respect RMT picket lines and some are doing the same at Northern.

Against Trump, against Kim — solidarity with North Korean workers!


Michael Elms

Tensions on the Korean peninsula are increasing, confronting millions of innocent people with the threat of nuclear war. The tensions spring from a combination of the ramping up of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, and US President Donald Trump’s “Wall Street” approach to international diplomacy.

Industrial news in brief


Jim Denham, Simon Nelson, Brenda Allen and Ollie Moore

Birmingham refuse workers have forced the Labour council to back down on plans to cut jobs and pay. The dispute has been suspended after seven weeks of discontinuous action, a day before Unite was to have balloted to extend the action to Christmas.

In talks at ACAS, the council agreed to withdraw the threat to leading hands’ jobs and pay: in response Unite has agreed to discuss the possibility of a move from four-day to five-day working and other potential cost savings.

The left’s ideology of “antizionism”


Dale Street

Dale Street reviews Contemporary Left Antisemitism by Dave Hirsh (Routledge).

This is the third book on the theme of left antisemitism to have been published in less than twelve months. It follows Dave Rich’s The Left’s Jewish Problem – Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism (published in September 2016) and Antisemitism and the Left – On the Return of the Jewish Question by Bob Fine and Phil Spencer (published in February 2017).

The partition of India and the Indian bourgeoisie


Colin De Silva

In August 1947, when  Britain left India, the country was partitioned, creating independent Dominions of India and Pakistan (now Pakistan and Bangladesh). In the process the provinces of Bengal and Punjab were also split. This article from 1947, by Ceylonese (Sri Lankan) Trotskyist Colin De Silva, discusses the stance on partition by the main bourgeois political groups in India — the Congress Party and the Muslim League. A terrible rupture and violence followed partition when 10-12 million people were displaced along religious lines.

How to fight fascism: the Battle of Lewisham, 1977


Dan Katz

Forty years ago, on 13 August 1977, 500 members of the fascist National Front (NF) — protected by 5,000 police — attempted to march in Lewisham, south east London. The NF was looking for publicity in an area where they had some considerable pockets of support.

Trump and Charlottesville


Dan Katz

After hundreds of far right activists marched on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville on 12 August US President, Donald Trump, condemned both sides. In other words he placed Nazi sympathisers who chanted antisemitic slogans on the same moral level as the anti-racist black and white youth who rallied against them.

Defend freedom of movement



With the Tories in disarray on how to conduct Brexit negotiations with their increasingly frustrated European Union counterparts, the labour movement debate about how to approach Brexit is also hotting up. A welcome recent development is the launch of the Labour Campaign for Free Movement (LCFM) on 4 August with the prominent support of Labour MPs Clive Lewis and David Lammy.

Newcastle abuse and lessons from Rotherham


Charlotte Zalens

On Friday 11 August the Sun newspaper published an article by Labour MP Sarah Champion under the headline ″British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls … and it’s time we faced up to it″.

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