Gaza crisis – online resources from Coventry Socialist Party

Gaza crisis – online resources from Coventry Socialist Party

Dave Nellist speaking outside the BBC

Dave Nellist speaking outside the BBC

Millions around the world have protested against the continuing slaughter in Gaza as the crisis gathers pace. Here in Coventry there have been protests which have been well attended as people express their disgust as the death toll mounts. Socialist Party members in the city have supported the protests, as we have done across the UK and indeed the world.

In this post we provide some links to what we believe are important articles and film which express the outrage that so many are feeling, but importantly provide a socialist analysis of the situation, and a socialist way forward out of the endless nightmare for the working class and poor of the Middle East.

The Socialist Party is a member of an international organisation of socialists, the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) which is present in around 50 countries across the world. We are proud to be linked to the Socialist Struggle Movement in Israel / Palestine which has relentless campaigned against the occupation and in support of united working class struggle across the Middle East.

The following is a short film of a speech by a member of the Socialist Struggle Movement, Shay from Haifa in Israel.

The next link is an article by another member of the Socialist Struggle Movement, Shahar. This goes in to some detail about the current situation in the region, including the current mood of the Israeli population towards the war, Hamas, and the role of socialists in fighting for a solution.

The article can be accessed here

The next film is an uncut version of the recent mass demonstration in London. Click here to view

And finally, here is the PDF of the leaflet that has been mass distributed across the country. To access it click here. A new Socialist Party leaflet will be available in the next few days.

If you are disgusted by what you are seeing on the TV screens every day, and want to help us fight for a socialist solution to capitalist brutality in the Middle East, please fill in the form below.

 

 

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Hundreds March Through Coventry Against Israel’s Bombing of Gaza

Around 250 people marched though Coventry on Friday to protest against Israel’s bombing of Gaza. The protesters assembled outside the Council House and marched to the BBC radio station to protest against the media’s pro-Israel bias. The demonstration was youthful and vibrant.

Dave Nellist speaking outside the BBC

Dave Nellist speaking outside the BBC

Socialist Party members Paul Hunt from Unison, Nicky Downes from the NUT and Jane Nellist from Coventry Trades Council spoke, along with former Labour MP and Socialist councillor Dave Nellist.

Nicky Downes from the NUT speaking outside the Council House

Nicky Downes from the NUT speaking outside the Council House

This article from the Socialist Party gives more detail about the situation in Gaza. http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/18959/15-07-2014/no-more-onslaught-on-gaza

Thousands March to bring Cov City back to Coventry

At least 7,000 people, probably more, marched through Coventry today (July 12th 2014) demanding Coventry City Football Club is rightfully returned home. The march comes on the backdrop of another season where the club looks set to play their home games over 30 miles away in Northampton. As the dispute between the clubs owners, hedge fund SISU, continues with the City Council and ACL (the group that owns the RICHO Arena, which the Council is part of).

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Whilst there were mixed and varied messages from the different elements involved in organising the demo in relation to their stance on the clubs ownership by SISU. The overwhelming majority of supporters and people on the demo, were clear; they want the money grabbing parasite SISU OUT!

Football fans of from Chelsea, Leeds, Ipswich, West Brom, Middlesbrough and many more clubs were out giving their support and solidarity to the protest. Reflecting the fact that the fight to kick Big Business out of football is a fight who ever you support and for every football fan.

Thousands pack in Broadgate Square

Thousands pack into Broadgate Square

Socialist Party members were on the protest, selling a number of Reclaim the Game pamphlets.

The tragedy that has hit Coventry City FC is a perfect example of how these unaccountable profit hungry parasites such as SISU directly impact on working class communities and attack the traditions and culture of ordinary people. They must be stopped and discussions need to take place about how we can get fan and community ownership of football and sport in general.

check out the link below for Socialist Party book and Pamphlet ‘Reclaim the game’ to find out more on the struggle to reclaim football for diary working class people.

http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/ReclaimTheGame/ReclaimtheGame.htm

Dave Nellist and other members of the Socialist Party were out on the demo

Dave Nellist and other members of the Socialist Party were out on the Demo.

J10 in Coventry – report and pictures

J1o in Coventry – report and pictures

Picket at Central Library

Picket at Central Library

This is a brief report of the fantastic action against austerity taken by the trade unions today.

Fuller analysis to come.

Across the country over 1.5 million public sector workers took action today against pay cuts, attacks on pensions and in defence of public services.

6 unions took action in the city, Unison, Unite, GMB, FBU, NUT and PCS and the day had more than a passing resemblance to that historic day of strike action on 30th November, 2011 when we took action over our pensions.

Picket at Fullwood Close

Picket at Fullwood Close

Picket lines were mounted at workplaces around the city, coming together with a rally of around 500 people in Broadgate Square and then a loud, vibrant march around the city centre. This was a real show of unity between the unions, and shows the potential for co-ordinated action. Today needs to be the spring board for future action. It would be nothing less than a crime if this opportunity was squandered as was the case in the aftermath of N30, 2011, as leaders of the larger trade unions allowed the unity between our unions to be destroyed.

Picket of Spire House

Picket of Spire House

The rally heard from some excellent speakers from all the unions involved who highlighted the dire situation facing workers and their families.

There was an international dimension to proceedings, which was very important given that workers in all countries face similar problems – of the 1 per cent trying to make the 99 per cent pay for the crisis of capitalism. Therefore it was a massive boost to hear Ginger Jentzen from the $15now campaign and Socialist Alternative in the USA. Ginger explained to loud cheers and applause how the campaign in Seattle had won $15 per hour minimum wage, taking 100,000 workers outs of poverty.

Ginger Jentzen address the rally

Ginger Jentzen addresses the rally

The sun shone brightly on the action today. Many reports from picket lines explained how in a good number of cases the action was supported even more than during the pensions strike, and it re-stated the importance of picketing with some success in persuading fellow workers not to cross the line.

A section of the march

A section of the march

Today could be a start towards further action. It is critical the days in September that have been ‘pencilled in’ for further action are seriously committed to and built for. Socialist Party members in the trade unions will be putting forward the idea of building towards more co-ordinated action, including a 24 hour general strike. We have to build the biggest possible pressure in the trade unions for further action, the unions have the power, time to use it!

Unison members from John Gulson Primary School

Unison members from John Gulson Primary School

 

PCS picket line

PCS picket line

Coventry – hear a speaker from the USA on Wednesday, support the strikes on Thursday!

Coventry – hear a speaker from the USA on Wednesday, support the strikes on Thursday!

Ginger speaking at NSSN

Ginger speaking at NSSN conference

There are two big events in Coventry this week.

On Wednesday we are pleased to welcome Ginger Jentzen, an activist from $15now and Socialist Alternative in the USA who will be speaking at a meeting hosted by the National Shop Stewards Network in Coventry. This will be a fantastic opportunity to hear a leading organiser of the successful and growing campaign in the States.

Here are the details;

Wednesday 9th July

6.30-8pm

Central Methodist Hall, Coventry City Centre

The Facebook event page can be accessed by clicking here

Support the strikes on 10th July!

On Thursday 6 public sector unions – Unison, Unite, GMB, NUT, FBU and PCS will take strike against pay and pension cuts, and in defence of public services. The unions have called a public rally after the picket lines; please support the pickets and the rally!

Click on the picture below for full details.

Strike rally

Strike rally

Dave Nellist responds to Michael Gove on union ballots

Tories plan further anti-union laws – Dave Nellist responds

Dave Nellist

Dave Nellist of the Socialist Party and TUSC

Michael Gove has followed Boris Johnson and other right-wing Tories to demand tighter new rules for strike ballots, which they believe would put an end to virtually all public sector strikes.

The Daily Mail reports – see here – if the Tories win the 2015 General Election that a strike could only take place if it was supported by a majority of the entire membership of the union in the sector concerned voting Yes in a postal ballot.

Dave Nellist, who was an opposition member of Parliament 30 years ago when Tories Margaret Thatcher and Norman Tebbit first introduced postal ballot requirements, comments:

“There isn’t actually a legal right to strike in this country. There are tighter and tighter rules which define whether a strike can lead to employers suing unions whose members take strike action, or not. The current law on postal ballots already makes it hard for unions to conduct a legal ballot, and if all those rules are not complied with employers can sue a union. The proposal of Michael Gove is to set a bigger trap to make it harder for unions to remain immune to that legal action.

At the moment what is required in a ballot for industrial action is a simple majority of those voting. That’s the same principle, as Paul EmberyFBU London secretary, has said, as is required in virtually all votes from elections, through company shareholder meetings, to the X Factor Grand Finale.

It’s not a question of union strike ballots lacking a ‘democratic mandate’. There are few politicians who could pass Michael Gove’s test of only being legitimate if they receive over 50% of those eligible to vote – including Michael Gove himself.

Boris Johnson was elected as London Mayor in 2008 on 19% of those eligible to vote and some Tory Police Commissioners won their elections in 2012 on votes as little as 7% of those eligible to vote! The Tory Party itself in the 2010 election got less than 25% of the 45 million people eligible to vote. Yet they want to impose on trade unions a higher threshold than applies to themselves in elections to public office.

Trade Unionists always want a maximum turnout and a maximum yes vote for any action. And we had much higher turnouts and votes when decisions were made either at mass meetings at workplaces or by ballots issued and collected at workplaces.

The Tories in the 1980s brought in postal ballots to break up the solidarity of workers discussing at work whether an issue demanded strike action (always a last resort) and whether a particular form of strike action could win. They wanted workers atomised, making the decision individually at home, where the influence of the Tory press and mass media could weigh down on workers and their families.

The Tories brought in (and Labour never reversed!) a raft of requirements (to do with nominated addresses, time of ballots, class of worker who could be involved in the balloting, rules on questions, statements warning of breach of contract, separate ballots for separate workplaces and so on) all designed to make it easier to trip up unions.

And employers have been quick to go to court on the tiniest technical detail (including one famous case when, despite a turnout of 78% and a yes vote of 87%, train drivers’ union ASLEF was taken to court, and employers initially won an injunction, because ballot papers had been given to 2 drivers who it turned out were not entitled to vote!).

TUSC is currently arranging trade union delegations to Labour Party prospective parliamentary candidates to see whether any of them are serious about reversing the austerity agenda.

On the issue of trade union rights we will be asking them whether they support the provisions in the Labour MP John McDonnell’s ‘Trade Union Rights and Freedom Bill’, on reintroducing protections for participating in industrial action, unfair dismissal, complaints to employment tribunals, automatic reinstatement, agency labour in industrial disputes, definition of a trade dispute to include associated employers etc (and on other union issues such as the reinstatement of facility time and check off rights removed by the Con Dem coalition).

The nature of their replies on that, as well as on other issues including restoration of public services and benefits, the immediate introduction of a Living Wage, the lifting of the public sector pay cap, and renationalisation (for example of rail and Royal Mail), which are all policies widely supported the trade union movement, will help decide whether local TUSC groups add those constituencies to the list of possible challenges in the 2015 general election.

On Thursday, July 10, 1½ million workers, possibly the biggest number involved in industrial action since 1926, will be sacrificing a day’s wage to make a stand against years of pay freezes; of pensions costing more, paying out less, and arriving years later; and of hundreds of thousands of jobs gone, and many more to come as all politicians seem to accept that austerity in the next Parliament will be sharper than even what we have had so far.

Those on strike will represent millions more who feel the same anger towards the Con Dem government, and who will take heart by those standing up on July 10.

As the prison officers have shown (whose right to strike has been completely removed) when that anger boils over and action is taken it will take more than a new rule from Michael Gove to stop working people challenging austerity.”

Dave Nellist

National Chair, TUSC