Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2415

Our school students’ solidarity with Gaza made me proud

I was very proud of how a group of students in my secondary school responded to Israel’s attack on Gaza.

Some Year 10 students decided to organise a collection for people in Gaza and publicise it around the school.

They stuck up posters they had made to advertise the collection. Then they wandered around during break times and at lunchtime collecting money.

It had nothing to do with adults—they did it completely off their own bat.

It’s fairly unprecedented. Normally if people have ideas about raising money, they would bring it to the school council or other official channels.

It shows how, for a layer of young people, Palestine is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the world.

Palestine is becoming what South Africa was to an older generation, and what Vietnam was to a generation before that.

The mood of solidarity with Gaza is there among teachers too.

It isn’t normal to walk into staff rooms or classrooms and hear people having open political conversations. But this is what has been happening.

People who don’t normally go on demonstrations were talking about joining protests.

It has been the most open discussion about a political issue that I’ve seen in a long time.

I was also proud that, a week after term ended, the Palestinian flag was flying over my local town hall in Tower Hamlets.

We need to do all we can to support the Palestinians.

TeacherEast London

Let’s applaud Moeen Ali 

England cricketer Moeen Ali should be applauded for wearing wristbands saying “Free Palestine” and “Save Gaza” during the third test match against India. 

Instead, the International Cricket Council has banned him from repeating this small act of solidarity. 

It says this breaks its rule against players displaying “political, religious or racial” symbols. 

The following day all England players wore “Help for Heroes” logos on their shirts. The government uses this charity to exploit sympathy for injured troops to boost support for wars.

Andy StoneEast London

Profit, not Islam, is the real threat to schools

It amazes me that we have been led to believe there is an organised plot to take over schools on the basis of an anonymous letter (Socialist Worker, 2 August).

The amount of media that covered this as a credible story suggests the level of Islamophobia in society has reached alarming heights.

Grammar schools regularly carry out gender segregation—should we remove those head teachers too? Schools and governors were targeted for no reason other than being Muslim.

I suspect the people wishing to take over schools are not Islamic extremists, but academy chains with business interests.

Stop the racist witch hunt in Birmingham schools. We Muslims have a right to our religion.

Iftikhar AhmadLondon School of Islamics Trust

HSBC says Muslims are a ‘risk’

HSBC has decided to close the accounts of three Muslim organisations in Britain. They include north London’s Finsbury Park mosque.

In 2012 HSBC paid £1.1 billion to avoid prosecution in the US for laundering money for the states of Iran and Syria, and Mexican drug barons.

Its explanation that the Muslim accounts now fall “outside of our risk appetite” doesn’t ring true.

Neither does its insistence that the decision is “absolutely not based on race or religion”.

HSBC has long declared itself to be “the world’s local bank”. It needs to add “unless you’re a Muslim”.

Sasha SimicEast London

Pregnant or not, we still have rights

A local authority is trying to show that the mother of a child born with foetal alcohol syndrome committed a crime by drinking when pregnant.

It is trying to use the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 to do this.

If it succeeds, it would mean a woman’s rights are put on hold while she is incubating a foetus.

This is about reinforcing the ideology of the family. 

It sends the message that a woman’s role is primarily reproducer of children. The attack will hit working class women hardest.

Local authorities should provide support services to women with dependency problems, not criminalise them.

Julie WebsterNottingham

Sun melts gas firm’s profits

Amid the horror of Gaza a good news story jumped out. British Gas has made less profits because of the hot weather.

Another reason to celebrate when the sun comes out!

Bev RawlingsLeeds

The real Game is selling us stuff

I recently spent over half an hour queuing to get into Glasgow Green for a Commonwealth Games “free event”.

That was just for a security check where we had to empty our pockets and bags to ensure no contrabrand Irn Bru was sneaked in.

I got the sense this event was nothing more than a chance for the Games’ sponsors to sell crap to tourists.

John McAuleyGlasgow

Ofsted head suits Tories

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Tories have put an academy boss in charge of Ofsted.

This government has no shame.

Natasha HillHalifax

Identity was vital for Eleanor Marx

Sarah Ensor’s otherwise excellent review of the new biography of Eleanor Marx (Socialist Worker, 19 July) missed a vital part of Eleanor’s life.

Eleanor insisted on asserting her Jewish identity. She was determined to remind the growing working class movement of the Jewish origins of her father, Karl Marx.

John RoseEast London

A Scots song for Salmond

What price a national anthem for an independent Scotland?

The impoverished nation predicted by Better Together could never afford royalties for “Flower of Scotland”.

Perhaps it’s time for Alex Salmond to announce “Scots Wha Hae” as Plan B?

John Eoin DouglasEdinburgh

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

Tue 5 Aug 2014, 19:21 BST
Issue No. 2415
Share this article

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.