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LETTERS – homophobic attacks show the need for militant resistance

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Issue 2659
Workers at London Pride in 2017
Workers at London Pride in 2017 (Pic: Socialist Worker)

After reading your timely article on increases in LGBT+ attacks, I googled Pride in London (PiL) to find out how I might raise my voice against these atrocities.

Shockingly, the three “top stories” concerned best design products celebrating Pride—featuring trainers, clothing, a shaving set and “love seat”. There was a gin bottle with a rainbow label, and a pop-up merchandise shop by retail billionaire Mary Portas, which claims to mark 50 years since the Stonewall uprising.

What planet do these people live on? Perhaps PiL executives travel by cab, live in gated communities and use private healthcare.

Not so the rest of us.

Although they rely on our support, commericalised Prides are still riding on the crest of the gay marriage wave.

They have nothing effective to offer millions of working class LGBT+ people facing direct threats in our daily lives, austerity and the rise of the far right.

We should insist that this year’s Prides be massive, furious expressions of defiance and outrage against bigotry and any rollback of LGBT+ rights.

They should be open displays of anti-fascist resistance.

Instead of pushing rainbow trainers, sponsors’ cash should pay for huge posters on hoardings displaying a rainbow fist against oppression.

Groups such as Stand Up To Racism, Unite Against Fascism, LGBT Against Islamophobia, SEEDS and Lesbians and Gays Suport the Migrants should be invited to lead the parades.

I also think it’s time we took the initiative at grassroots level.

We could start by having an open statement for everyone to sign defending LGBT+ lives and calling for respect and unity.

This statement can be posted up in every school, college, shop, workplace, bus, train, GP surgery, hospital and library.

We need to bring respect and unity out onto the streets every day of the year—starting with this year’s Pride marches.

Nicola Field, South London

Sacked for being an anti-racist

The victimisation of Dave Muritu is an example of the insidious impact of Prevent in the workplace.

I was also bullied and victimised from my workplace after committing two acts that were abhorrent to the logic of Prevent.

My first was to distribute official trade union anti-racist literature to union members.

I was told, “This is a tolerant school and your action stops staff with different views from expressing them.”

I asked, “You are banning me from distributing anti-racist materials so that racists can express their views?”

The head replied, “Yes.”

I was then disciplined for telling a workmate that I believed that Prevent was racist. Apparently this “brought the school into disrepute”.

The “British values” imposed in many workplaces and schools are part of Prevent.

Tolerance is deemed a British value—essentially British, white and Christian. This implies that all other national groups, cultures and religions are intolerant.

Intolerance is “extreme” and therefore “extremist,” and extremists are “terrorists”. The conclusion is that to challenge Prevent is to potentially lend support to “terrorism”.

Prevent is increasingly being used to silence anti-racists and activists.

The importance of supporting Dave Muritu and challenging Prevent is paramount.

Chris Ayton, East London

Protesters can win in Hong Kong

The resistance to extradition to China has brought protests back to the centre in Hong Kong and China.

An important difference between the 2014 Umbrella Movement and the present campaign is that the former directed all its fire at Beijing.

This time, the rulers of Hong Kong can reverse the bill. In 22 years, there has not been a single extradition to China from Hong Kong and there is no “loophole” that needs closing.

One million protesters is one sixth of Hong Kong’s residents.

There is every chance that the extradition bill can be defeated.

Lawrence Wong, South London

How we pushed Brexit Party back in Blackburn

The potential power of an alliance between unions and community groups was illustrated during the European elections.

Blackburn Trades Union Council launched an anti-racist campaign. 

There followed a series of Stand Up To Racism events. Local councillors and some Asian activist groups organised the hanging of posters and banners at road junctions and a social media blitz.

Teams explained the importance of an anti-racist vote.

The Brexit Party received 31 percent and Labour 22 percent across the North West. But in Blackburn & Darwen Labour took 44 percent with the Brexit Party on 26 percent.

The Brexit Party is far from immune to mass anti-racist campaigning.

Asif Mahmoud, Adnan Hussain, John Murphy, Vikki Dougdale, Blackburn 

Call for action on the climate

The union reps at the TUC should lobby the Labour Party to get climate change in the educational system (We should strike to save the planet, 12 June).

And get the young reps out speaking to the kids at schools on the importance of the unions.

Paddy Hanrahan, On Facebook

Tories cosy up to the rich

Inequality in this country is one of the highest in the developed world.

But never mind that, the Tory leadership candidates propose to pamper the prosperous and persecute the poor.

Brian Eggleston, On Facebook

More and more like Trumpland every day—the Tory Holy Grail.

Jill Chapman, On Facebook

It’s the class system we should attack. Social cleansing going on everywhere.

No social houses getting built anywhere.

Rob the fuckers.

Paul Kersey, On Facebook

Old and lonely after cutbacks

The Tories seek to blame the BBC for cuts to free TV licences for over-75s.

But they are also looking at cutting the winter fuel allowance for pensioners and raising the eligibility age of the English bus pass from 65 to 70.

None of this helps the loneliness and isolation of people. 

John Appleyard, West Yorkshire

Victims of fire need a Palace

Grenfell Tower, now a burnt-out wreck, was in North Kensington—working class, neglected, overcrowded. The so-called “Royal Borough” ignores the poor.

The tragic inhabitants of Grenfell Tower should be rehoused in Kensington Palace, which currently contains the stuck-up royal parasites of the House of Windsor.

Zekria Ibrahimi, West London




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