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Letters – Trump demos showed we can win against the racists

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Issue 2614
Protesting against Trump at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire
Protesting against Trump at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Oxfordshire saw a fantastic outpouring of anger against Donald Trump’s visit to the UK.

Over 3,000 people protested against Trump being feted by Theresa May and Britain’s elite at Blenheim Palace on the day of his arrival.

Protesters were spread out on opposite sides of the road with traffic running through the middle so May’s dinner guests arrived to angry chants of “Shame on you.”

Protesting cyclists helped slow down the cars so guests crawled past protesters.

After three hours we finished with a march around Woodstock town centre.

On Friday we protested at Chequers and then went on to join the brilliant protest in London. Hundreds more made their own way direct to the march.

The protests against Trump showed we can build mass mobilisations against racism.

This is essential because we face a rising problem with racism, the far right and fascists in Britain.

In the build-up to and during the Trump protests we argued for people to come to the London protest against the racists who are supporting the Nazi Tommy Robinson, and won an important minority to do so.

But we need more.

Racism is a growing problem. Earlier this month a 35 year old man was racially abused and then punched in the head three times and knocked to the ground in an Oxford park.

The victim was left with a broken nose and suspected fractured cheek bone.

Oxford Stand Up To Racism held a vigil against the attack.

We need those who mobilised against Trump to join us in challenging racism wherever it raises its head.

If we succeed in getting the people who protested against Trump to fight racism consistently on the scale we saw last week we would smash the confidence of bigots, the far right and the fascists to bits.

Julie Simmons


Hodge and the Nazis

It’s sickening to hear right wing Labour MP Margaret Hodge take credit for beating the fascist British National Party in Barking, east London in 2010.

It wasn’t down to her —it was the work of hundreds of activists in Unite Against Fascism (UAF) leafleting, petitioning, canvassing and organising events which defeated the Nazis.

Hodge acknowledged UAF’s role at the time, but turned out to have a short memory. She also seems to have forgotten how much she had fed the monster by banging on about immigration.

If anyone needs to question their anti-racist credentials, it’s the right wingers like her who legitimised the BNP’s lies.

Dave Sewell

South London

Hypocrisy on Israeli state

On the same day that Margaret Hodge levelled false accusations against Jeremy Corbyn of antisemitism for dropping criticism of the state of Israel as an example of antisemitism as part of Labour’s code of conduct, Israel proved itself that it is a racist endeavour.

Two bills are going through the Israeli parliament. One is to legally segregate Jewish and Arab areas. The second is to stop organisations critical of the Israeli Defence Force from entering schools.

I don’t believe Hodge is naive. I think she is a liar.

John Curtis


Racism that wrecks lives and boosts Nazis

On my way to an appeal against the deportation of Mustafa, a young Afghani ex-student, I picked up the City A.M. newspaper.

The editorial, concerned with potential weaknesses of a post-Brexit economy, stated, “A huge increase in the number of working-age people would help, but political realities prevent this coming from migration.”

In court the Home Office representative argued that the young man, who has no family left alive, should return to a country the Foreign Office has just designated “in conflict” again.

While the political need to whip up racism trumps everything else, the tragedy of sending young people like Mustafa back to areas of acute danger continues.

The government wrecks lives, and the far right builds on the back of state racism.

Miriam Scharf

East London

Woodcock should face a by-election

I’m delighted that Barrow MP John Woodcock has left Labour.

Woodcock has been a consistent opponent of Jeremy Corbyn, frequently damning him for not supporting nuclear weapons. He said that Labour was “fucked” under Corbyn’s leadership.

Now Woodcock says he is prepared to vote with the Conservatives “if required”.

He has been sitting as an independent since having the Labour whip withdrawn in April pending investigation of an allegation of sexual harassment towards a former staff member.

Woodcock’s resignation means the investigation cannot be concluded.

He has also been a special friend of the Turkish autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Woodcock visited Turkey and was hosted by a pro-government propaganda company.

Even more chillingly, he met the fascist MHP party.

If Woodcock had any decency he would now resign and allow a by-election to take place.

Let’s see how popular he really is.

Sally Barnes


Drive out the Labour right

Some Labour MPs are threatening to sit as independents, a process that has been started by John Woodcock.

Others would undoubtedly be open to Tory Anna Soubry’s call for a “government of national unity”.

I’m glad when these right wingers reveal themselves as traitors. It means they can be replaced by Jeremy Corbyn supporters.

My bigger worry is the ones who stay—and who will undermine a Corbyn government.

Susan Palmer

West London

New health minister stinks

The minister for health and social care after Jeremy Hunt’s departure is Matt Hancock.

In 2015, he received a £5,000 donation from Gurdev Dadral, director of a private nursing agency supplying agency workers to compensate for NHS understaffing.

It’s small beer compared to the nine donations (worth £32,000) that he has received from Neil Record, chair of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). IEA spokespeople have called for NHS privatisation.

John Murphy


Don’t forget Irish victory

I was pleased to read the article about the 1918 Isle of Man general strike recently (Socialist Worker, 11 July).

But I was startled to see it described as “the only successful general strike waged to date in the islands of Great Britain and Ireland”.

What about the general strike in Ireland on 23 April 1918, which succeeded in stopping the British state from conscripting Irishmen into the First World War?

Lin Clark


A tale of two referendums

You oppose a second referendum on Brexit, but are keen to have another one on Scottish independence. You can’t have it both ways.

Linda McCarthy

North London

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