Dudley is united against the Nazis and Islamophobes
The revelations of the former Tory parliamentary candidate for Dudley North foolishly trying to negotiate with and invite the racist English Defence League (EDL) back to Dudley were truly shocking.
They stand in complete opposition to the vast majority of residents in Dudley that did not want the EDL to come and disrupt the town.
Over 100 representatives of different faith groups, trade unions and political parties in Dudley all signed the Unity Statement.
The statement called upon the EDL to keep their racist violence out of Dudley.
What is also shocking is that it has been unreported that over 300 local residents attended a Unity rally organised by Unite Against Fascism, including members of Dudley Central Mosque.
We stood together in unity and solidarity when the EDL march was wrongly allowed to shut Dudley town centre on 7 February earlier this year.
Dudley is a multicultural town that prides itself on having harmonious community relations.
This was shown when the mosque was opened to all, providing free food and drinks.
The most recent person to be given freedom of the Borough is Lenny Henry.
This symbolically shows that racist organisations such as the EDL, or ex-members of the BNP in Britain First, are not welcome in Dudley.
We believe that all faiths have a right to worship and to a place to carry that out.
Politicians should not use Dudley, nor the desire for one section of Dudley’s Muslim community to have a new place of worship, as a political football to divide us.
Cathy Bayton, President of Dudley Trades Council
Tony Barnsley, Love Music Hate Racism in Dudley
Martin Lynch, Dudley National Union of Teachers
Will Duckworth, Green Party candidate for Dudley North
Paul Singh, Dudley Sikhs Against the EDL
Bosses at B&Q lied
B&Q is to close 60 stores across Britain and Ireland, putting 3,000 jobs at risk.
During the Scottish independence referendum B&Q blackmailed voters by threatening to close stores if the Yes campaign won.
Now with a No vote B&Q made their announcement.
This shows how big business manipulated the referendum campaign.
It also highlights how the system is run in favour of the rich and powerful, who don’t care about the lives they destroy.
Ayesha Saleem, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition parliamentary candidate for Edinburgh East
How to fight oppression
There may be greater numbers of women in the boardroom, but that doesn’t mean we’re equal.
Capitalism seeks to divide male against female, black against white and gay against straight.
This is so the parasitic elite at the top of society can exploit working class people.
More women being in these powerful roles is a positive development.
But at such a high level of the capitalist class it just means they’re involved in the oppression of workers.
It doesn’t mean that women don’t experience sexism every day.
The fight for equality is a fight for liberation—liberation from the oppressive and divisive ideas that lie at the very heart of capitalism.
Holly Teal, South London
Labour should stop its attacks on migrants
As a member of the Labour Party, I want to speak out against Labour’s “immigration controls” mug.
I’ve fought in the trade union movement for migrant workers’ rights.
Immigrants and migrant workers—along with other groups such as disabled workers—have always been a handy scapegoat.
But where I live there are lots of people from all kinds of different backgrounds. There are Asians, Muslims, Somalians, Polish. They’re not going to be attracted by anti-immigration.
Some in Labour are worried about the SNP and the Greens—really we should be challenging Ukip on its racism.
I’ll still be voting Labour in the general election. But we should be talking about things like building more social housing—not attacking migrants.
Raj Gill, West London
Celebrating a year of Freedom Riders
South Yorkshire Freedom Riders celebrated one year of campaigning to win back free train travel for older people with a protest in Barnsley last week.
We lost free travel because Labour councillors passed on Tory spending cuts.
More than 100 disabled and older people were joined by trade unionists while we marched through the Barnsley Transport Interchange.
Our rally applauded the campaign’s successes—winning back free train travel for disabled people and half fares for older people.
A range of speakers from different trade unions and the Yorkshire National Pensioners Convention pledged their continued support. The president of train drivers’ union Aslef, Tosh McDonald, said they were fully behind us.
I spoke for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and we raised lots of money for my election campaign.
Dave Gibson, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition parliamentary candidate for Barnsley Central
Organise to force change
“Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one,” wrote Marx in 1867.
The litany of police cover ups—from Hillsborough to Rochdale—works in concert with the mainstream parties’ pandering to racism to shore up the One Percent.
The birth of the new society will be shaped by how much we organise our resistance to austerity and racism now.
Rhetta Moran, Manchester
Population is not a problem
Don’t believe the racist myths about “overpopulation”. We could feed and house the world many times over.
The problem is not overpopulation. The problem is capitalism and all the illogical decisions that go with it.
James Pettefar, South London
Labour makes me sick
Perhaps Labour would be better off rebranding their “immigration controls” mug as a sick bucket for all those sickened by a party that draws its inspiration from the gutter.
John Curtis, Ipswich
We need left alternative
I’m walking away from my voting habit of a lifetime—Labour.
In these dark and desperate times we’re crying out for a left wing alternative to counter the rise of the right.
Pity there’s no TUSC candidate in my constituency.
Dave Westley, Newport, South Wales
Solidarity with Palestine
Sussex University students recently voted overwhelmingly to boycott Israeli companies.
There is huge support for Palestinians amongst students. Now more students’ unions should do the same.
Abbie Manning, Sussex University