Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2482

Stand with Palestine - don't cooperate with the Co-op

Members of Nottingham Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) were disgusted to learn that the Co-op—of all banks—is closing all PSC accounts after to reviewing its “risk appetite”.

Apparently Palestinian human rights are too “risky” for the Co-operative bank.

The bank has closed the accounts of 20 organisations working for justice for Palestinians, including a number of Palestine Solidarity Campaign branches.

Many of us opened our accounts with the Co-op because it markets itself as an ethical alternative.

The Co-op’s “ethical policy” proclaims that it acts with “honesty and transparency”.

It adds that the Co-op treats its “customers fairly” and believes in “promoting human rights and equality”. But the question is does the Co-op care about the human rights of Palestinians?

Palestinians suffer incursions on their human rights day in, day out at the hands of an occupying military force that continues to violate international law.

Just last week Israeli soldiers shot at least 12 Palestinians in protests in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli forces continue to demolish the family homes of Palestinians who have attacked soliders or settlers.

And earlier this month they teargassed a Palestinian school in the West Bank city of Hebron.

It seems the Co-op has turned its back on human rights. This is what happens when a hedge fund takes over your bank.

The PSC is therefore asking people both to complain and remove their own accounts from the Co-op as a result.

A number of us would also like to see protests outside Co-op banks, highlighting their moves towards unethical banking policies. Please join us.

Richard Buckwell, Nottingham PSC

We're defying state racism in Marseille

We called a protest in Marseille, southern France, last week as part of a weekend of solidarity with migrants.

It was called well before the attacks in Paris on 13 November.

But while we were shocked by those events, we decided collectively to push on with the demonstration despite the state of emergency.

It’s important not to accept the warmongers’ reaction, and to defend our civil liberties.

Throughout the migrants’ struggles we have always defended the right to freedom of movement and the right to settle.

But racist attacks have been increasing in recent weeks.

And it seems that the state of emergency is also becoming a pretext to criminalise struggles.

There was an increase in the identity checks carried out in the central districts of the city, meaning more undocumented migrants were sent to detention centres.

There were several hundred of us who marched on the Saturday night and we will stay mobilised, along with migrant support groups in other French cities.

Soutien Migrants 13 activists, Marseille, France

Cash for the cops is one cut I'd like to see

Council workers, health workers and welfare claimants all took a hammering in George Osborne’s autumn statement last week.

But one group of people who seem to have escaped the axe are the police.

Osborne used his surprise £27 billion “windfall” to announce there would be no cuts to the police budget.

Some on the left and in the Labour Party argued police cuts threaten our safety. But the coppers aren’t on our side.

These are the people who attacked the student protest in London last month. And they’re the ones spying on and harrassing Muslims.

Some of the money saved in the police budget is going to go on firearms.

So that’s more cash to the people who shot Mark Duggan and Jean Charles de Menezes.

That doesn’t make me feel any safer.

Alice Clark, Cardiff

Left must crush Isis

What does Alex Callinicos mean when he says “in the West, we can’t defeat Isis”? (Socialist Worker, 21 November). The Paris murderers were from Europe. Does he mean that socialists should not confront sectarian killers in the West?

Make no mistake the bigoted ideas behind Isis have a footing here in Britain.

Callinicos quotes that in Syria Isis offers “humiliated and enraged young men a way to defend their dignity, family, and tribe”. You could have said something similar about the Nazis. In the 1920s and 1930s, they gave a humiliated nation a feeling of superiority.

The ideology of Isis should be confronted by socialists and crushed.

Even if Western imperialism stopped today, it does not follow that Isis would stop their murderous attacks on Europeans. Or that peace would break out in the Levant.

It may be that Western adventures left behind the vacuum in which Isis could take hold.

But the main cause of the bloodshed is not the West. The West if anything is a bit player.

Isis is an offshoot of Saudi Arabian imperial machinations. Saudi Arabia aims to slow the rise of Iran as the regional hegemonic power and sponsor of murderous Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

The situation in Syria is a heartrending mess. Not one that will improve if the world walks away and leaves it in the hands of sectarian butchers.

Farid Abdi, Bradford

Poor show from Amazon

Amazon has an unsavoury attitude to its workers.

So why is Socialist Worker reviewing programmes on Amazon Prime (The Man in the High Castle, 21 November)?

Maurice Whyte, by email

Bombs make things worse

Your front page headline last week is exactly what I’ve been saying (Don’t bomb Syria, 28 November).

I know it’s a very complicated issue, with so many things I’m sure I’m unaware of.

But bombing Isis is going to make things worse.

And they get what they want when we bomb them. So frustrating.

Jess, on Twitter

I weep for the Labour Party

Labour MPs are behaving badly, refusing to back their democratically elected leader Jeremy Corbyn.

I weep for my party!

Liz Gardiner, on Twitter

Kick out the Blairite MPs

Those MPs in the Parliamentary Labour Party who do not represent the core beliefs of the Labour membership need to be replaced.

It is the Blairite,red-tied Tories who make Labour unelectable.

Kevin Hughes, on Twitter

Always where the struggle is

In February 1970 a Socialist Worker front page led on an unofficial strike of clothing workers in Leeds. Women became flying pickets and closed 50 factories.

The price of Socialist Worker back then was 4d in old money. Last week we sold photocopies of that front page and raised £25 for the Socialist Worker appeal.

Our paper has always been an indispensable tool to advance the struggle.

Penny Krantz, Manchester

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Article information

Tue 1 Dec 2015, 17:32 GMT
Issue No. 2482
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