Socialist Worker

LETTERS - the state will facilitate the far right threat in the US

Issue No. 2617

An anti-fascist banner at the Portland protest earlier this month

An anti-fascist banner at the Portland protest earlier this month (Pic: CrimethInc/Twitter)

Police attacked an anti-fascist demonstration in downtown Portland, Oregon, on 4 August.

The day started positively with a rally at City Hall.

Fascists and racists mobilised on the city’s waterfront in support of Nazi Joey Gibson, a prospective Republican candidate.

PopMob—a coalition of trade unionists, socialists and community groups—rallied over 1,000 people to oppose them.

Speakers warned about the dangers of the far right and the importance of opposing them on the streets.

There was a great deal of criticism aimed at local Democrat politicians who had told people to stay at home. The rally closed with a call to march to the waterfront where Antifa were lining up to face the fascist rally.

The crowds swelled to over 2,000 people. The fascists had a only managed a few hundred.

The police lines all faced the anti-fascists. They were intent on allowing the Nazis a free hand.

The standoff continued for around two hours until the police called for a dispersal of both demonstrations. The fascists seemed to be leaving and the crowd cheered.

It was at this point, with some of our demonstration leaving, that the police attacked. They used stun grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas to clear the way for the fascists to march through the city to waiting buses.

Several anti-fascists were injured and four were arrested.

On Sunday the Council of American Islamic relations and the Democratic Socialists of America released a joint statement demanding the police be held accountable for their actions.

It has become clear to people that neither the liberal establishment nor the state will protect people from the dangers of fascism.

Sean Cumming, Portland, US

Challenging anti-Corbyn propaganda

We are in the middle of the most effective domestic propaganda exercise of our lifetimes.

The sheer enormity of the lies being successfully perpetrated is truly astonishing. The Labour Party’s most anti-racist leader ever has been relentlessly portrayed as a racist and antisemite.

The central motive behind this operation is absolutely clear—to prevent a Labour prime minister sympathetic to the Palestinian cause ever taking office.

We absolutely have to insist this is what it is all about.

Many of those involved in attacking Corbyn don’t for a minute believe the propaganda they are helping spread. They see it as a way of weakening the left in the Labour Party.

If they cannot bring Corbyn and his supporters down, they at least hope to deal them serious damage.

There is a massive coordinated effort involved in disseminating the falsehoods.

What is astonishing is that there has been no serious attempt by any section of the mainstream media to actually investigate the campaign being mounted against Corbyn.

Instead they have repeated and amplified the lies with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

And what is most criminal is that this propaganda operation is being waged at the very time that the far right and fascists are on the rise across Europe.

John Newsinger, Brighton

Crisis centre should not have to rely on charity

Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis announced that it had to turn away women who needed its help last week. The decision came after a donation from a charity was withdrawn.

This funding gap has meant a member of staff being sacked. This put extra stress on staff and stretched their resources to breaking point.

Fortunately, other donations have been made to help plug the gap.

However, it raises a point—why should such a vital service be reliant on precarious charitable donations?

The centre has reported a huge increase in the number of women and girls contacting it for help over the last few years, including asylum seekers, refugees and disabled people.

Such centres should be fully supported by government, not forced to rely on handouts from charities. End austerity and get rid of the Tories now.

Charlotte Ahmed, Glasgow

Trade Bills are not in the interests of the many

Recently two trade bills were passed in the House of Commons which will have far reaching implications for all of us.

The first was Ceta, a trade deal between Canada and the EU. The second was Liam Fox’s Trade Bill.

In Ceta, every type of service is up for tender unless otherwise stated. This includes the NHS.

Ceta also sets up an Investor Court Settlement.

This allows a corporation to sue a government if it passes any laws the corporation thinks may reduce the corporation’s profits. Some 76 percent of people in Britain want the railways back in public hands. Under Ceta this would be very unlikely to happen.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas tabled an amendment to the Trade Bill stating that no trade agreement should be signed without a sustainability impact being presented to parliament.

One stipulation of the amendment was that there should be consultation of all those affected.

This should be a bare minimum but it was voted down by a majority of about 30.

Perhaps Socialist Worker readers should ask MPs why they did not support this amendment, as this will affect all our lives.

Phil Fletcher, St Albans

Vote Labour to get change

Neoliberalism and a great fall in living standards have caused an increase in racism and the growth of right wing groups.

Austerity will not be beaten until Labour forms a government.

Every day stolen by the Tories is a massive loss for a better future for the many in Britain.

The Tories are more damaging today than they were in 1979.

A Labour government under Corbyn is the only chance to save our NHS.

Dejan V Spasic, Exeter

The Daily Mail is a sexist rag

One of the many outrages from the right wing Daily Mail rag is its latest attack on women.

It rubbished a survey of 2,000 women which found a majority viewed the term “housewife” as an “embarassing relic”.

Calling women housewives is a loaded term. It’s a good thing the majority don’t identify with it.

Megan Downey, By email

Northampton cuts hypocrisy

Someone’s had their fingers in the pies (Socialist Worker online,, 10 August).

Few councils have said they’ll reduce salaries or expenses. It’s always ordinary people first hit.

Paddy Hanrahan, On Facebook

Solidarity with Bookmarks

I brought them some solidarity biscuits in today on my way to the protest at the BBC (Socialist Worker online,

Wayne Avrili, On Facebook

The far right have shown their commitment to “freedom of speech.”

Mark Goodyear, On Facebook

Gammon, begone!

Let all the refugees in and deport the gammon!

Ellen, On Twitter

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