Say it loud! We’re building to fight racism and fascism
We launched the new book Say it Loud! Marxism and the Fight Against Racism in Glasgow last week.
It was a fantastic meeting with almost 80 people, including 12 students from our Glasgow university Socialist Worker Student Society (SWSS).
The SWSS group has been attracting 20 to 50 students every week and the book launch really fitted with what we’ve been doing at the university.
Three of us are going on the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and Love Music Hate Racism organised trip to the Nazi extermination camp at Auschwitz next week.
We have been raising the issue of fighting racism and fascism in different forums. So far we have received support from several unions, Glasgow university students and other political and community events.
We were really encouraged that the local committees of Scottish teachers’ union, EIS, were willing to provide financial support. They have also invited us to report back from the trip and come to speak to the union’s local area committees.
We are particularly pleased that some individual teachers have taken collections in their schools and are keen for us to present talks aimed at school students on the lessons of the Holocaust and the threat of fascism today.
It’s clear you cannot passively oppose racism and fascism—you must actively fight it. And similarly, you cannot fight it alone, you must be part of a collective.
It’s no surprise then that several of the students decided to become members of the Socialist Workers Party and join UAF.
They also understood the need to encourage others to join a revolutionary party that is committed to dismantling the capitalist system that breeds such racism and fascism.
So, if there’s a book launch of Say It Loud in your area make sure you use the opportunity to build a network of anti-racists and anti-fascists. And if there isn’t set one up!
Lorna McKinnon, Glasgow
We have to fight every little cut
I was upset to find out last week that it looks like Porthcawl Museum, near Cardiff, will be forced to close. Bridgend Council is planning to sell off the building that houses it.
My Dad helped set the museum up in the 1970s and every time I visit Porthcawl I call in for a quick look around.
It’s just a small cut. It’s not headline news like job losses and the bedroom tax. But cuts also affect our cultural life and we all end up poorer as a result.
I hope there is a campaign to save the museum. I can’t do much from London, but it makes me angry. And even more determined to fight the cuts here.
Andrea Butcher, North London
Tories don’t want to help the unemployed
After three and a half years on Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), I managed to get a job.
But my first wages will not arrive until the end of November and of course my JSA has stopped.
I am eligible for £50 a week Working Tax Credits but it will take five weeks to process.
My Job Centre said that they will pay my fares to work for a month, but cannot give me anything for living costs. They referred me to a food bank.
Despite David Cameron’s rhetoric, the government has made it harder by getting rid of back to work bonuses.
It wants the unemployed to stay put so they can be free labour for his corporate buddies under his work for the dole proposal.
Keith Prince, Norfolk
We need a free press
It looks like David Cameron will appoint whoever he wants as a new press regulator.
This deeply partisan watchdog won’t protect ordinary people or defend the freedom of the press.
It is more likely to pursue whistleblowers like Edward Snowden for exposing truths the government doesn’t want heard and to hound the left wing press.
A genuinely free press only comes from pressure from below. And it takes strong unions in the media who can stand up for decent journalism.
We need a press that can hold people like Murdoch, Brooks and Coulson to account.
I can’t see that coming from a royal charter.
Wendy Spurry, Central London
No to local bus cuts
North Yorkshire county council is seeking to impose savage cuts on the local bus service in Swaledale.
This will have a dramatic effect on local workers, backpackers and visitors from overseas who lack confidence driving on Swaledale’s narrow lanes.
Residents and visitors need to make their views known.
Consultation is open till 25 November.
This can be accessed at the Dales Bus website at www.dalesbus.org or write to the public transport section at Northallerton council offices.
John Appleyard, Liversedge, Yorkshire
We don’t need more retreats
To defeat this government unions need to go all in on a dispute and build mass solidarity within the working class.
People are desperate for signs of confidence and resolve—that’s what’s needed to start the fire.
Tentative forays and retreats such as Grangemouth do the opposite.
Steve Campbell, on Facebook
Will claimants’ unions return?
Since the government stopped legal aid for welfare rights work, the range of advice work on offer is limited.
My Citizens’ Advice Bureau in Oldham still has five welfare rights workers, but funding is only for people with health problems.
That means no help for single job seekers or single parents, for instance.
I reckon people will have to return to the “old days” when there were claimants’ unions where people helped each other fight the system.
Carol Laidlaw, Oldham
Time for a new Co-op
As a socialist many years ago I joined the Co-operative bank.
It had a proud history rooted in the cooperative movement and an ethical philosophy.
Allowing US hedge fund operators to take over has opened it to capitalist vultures.
I hope that the labour cooperative, union and environmental movement can form a new bank in the spirit of the early pioneers.
Edward Davies, West Midlands
We can still save our NHS
I’m so happy that Tory health minister Jeremy Hunt lost his latest attempt to close chunks of Lewisham Hospital.
It proves that we can save our NHS because it wouldn’t have happened without the campaign by GPs and thousands of people in Lewisham who said no!
Shelley Markham, Sunderland