Solidarity 112, 18 May 2007

Iraq — troops out now? The debate in AWL

The Alliance for Workers’ Liberty has been discussing the question of the troops in Iraq since the end of the last year. The debate will continue at our conference on 19-20 May. Here, two contributions to the debate (note: the second is not a reply to the first).

“Troops out”

Debate: what went wrong in the '70s

Martin Thomas replies to Sheila Cohen

For Tom Unterrainer, click here
For Martin Thomas, click here
For Sheila Cohen, click here

In Solidarity 3/111, Sheila Cohen defines the key fault of the left in the high days of industrial struggle as “failure to build a network out of the militancy and activism of the upsurge period that could have consciously worked out strategies based on two simple but crucial principles — class independence and rank and file membership involvement”.

1917: an anti-Jewish pogrom in London

By Sylvia Pankhurst

The following account by Sylvia Pankhurst is of a police-sponsored pogrom against Jewish immigrants in London’s East End is taken from an issue of Women’s Dreadnought from 26 May 1917.

The great Whitechapel and Commercial Roads run through the heart of the London Jewish and immigrant quarter. Russians, Romanians, Armenians, peoples of all oppressed nationalities live here, Jews forming the majority, for Jews, the people who have no country, are always most cruelly oppressed by tyrannical Governments.

Protest at the G8 summit!

“The credibility of the G8 is at stake,” warned Blairite charitymonger Bono on 15 May, in response to claims that the world's richest governments will use next month's G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, to renege on promises they made on aid at the 2005 summit in Edinburgh.

Blair: Thirteen years of “Labour” serving the rich — a chronology

Over the 13 years since Tony Blair was elected leader of the Labour Party, the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty has, in our publications, analysed, explained and agitated against the politics of New Labour.

John Smith dies

(Socialist Organiser, 19 May 1994)

Many commentators have pointed to the “modernity” of John Smith’s leadership. In fact, John Smith’s political career and beliefs places him in a tradition of middle-class progressivism which dates back to the aftermath of World War One.

Italian left: the end of an era

By Cath Fletcher

The Rifondazione project has failed, and the Italian left now needs to rebuild. More than a year on from the narrow victory of Romano Prodi’s coalition L’Unione, which includes the Rifondazione majority, both major left currents in the party are looking to alternatives. The trade unions, meanwhile, have announced public sector strikes for early June as negotiations over a new national contract falter.

Shelter and the housing crisis

By Stuart Jordan

As you take the escalator out of Euston underground in London, the new hi-tech video advertisements display a load of badly-clothed children pressing on the screens, trying to get out.

The advert then switches to plain red background with the familiar Shelter logo and the caption “These kids need a home. Text ‘Houses’ to join Shelter’s online petition.”

Street battles and splits in Gaza

By Dan Katz

On Monday 14 May Palestinian Interior Minister Hani Qawasmi resigned putting the recently-formed “national unity” government under pressure. Gunmen fought street battles and two dozen fighters were killed.

Building solidarity without borders

By Mick Duncan, No Sweat secretary

THE media has recently had a field day reporting how a number of councils, led by Tory flagship Westminster, have been putting pressure on the government over immigration. The local authorities in question claim that official statistics underestimate the number of migrant workers in the UK, and say that will have to make cuts in services unless something gives.

Fight civil service cuts!

By a PCS member

THE 1st May “Labour Day” strike by PCS, the largest civil service union, saw action by 200,000 civil and public servants disrupt the administration of Britain - a bitter farewell to Tony Blair and a “enough is enough” message to Gordon Brown.

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