An item in the 8th August issue of The Independent cites Jerzy Byzczynski – or ‘George’ Byczynski, as he appears to call himself at the moment – calling upon Polish workers in the UK to donate “Polish blood” instead of participating in a planned migrant workers’ strike. Your journalist lauds this as a “protest of a more positive kind”.
Byczynski is the chair of Patriae Fidelis (“loyal to the fatherland”), a UK based front organisation for the National Movement, which is a coalition of Polish far right and neo-fascist groups such as the All-Polish Youth and National-Radical Camp (ONR). Although Patriae Fidelis often presents itself as an innocuous support group for Poles living in the UK, a slogan on its website gives you an inkling as to which way the wind blows: “I am Polish, therefore I have Polish duties” – a quotation from Roman Dmowski, chief ideologue of the pre-war National-Democratic Party, which was violently hostile towards Jews and the workers’ movement.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Jerzy Byczynski and his latest front group, the British Poles Initiative, are no fans of strike action and would rather donate some “Polish blood”. Polish migrant workers should ignore Byczynski’s scab call and go ahead with the migrant strike, which will hopefully be joined by workers of other nationalities.
Update as of 11 August 2015: The Independent did not print my letter. Instead, it ran another article in support of the “Polish blood” campaign, once again favourably citing Jerzy Byczynski (Patriae Fidelis) as offering a “positive alternative” to the migrant strike. It is not as if nobody warned The Independent now.
Also on board: Joanna Dabrowskia, chair of the Conservative Friends of Poland. Plus Ella Vine, self-proclaimed ‘community leader’ and chair of the Labour Friends of Poland: in an article for Progress, the organisation that represents the pro-business Blairite faction of the Labour Party, she came out in support of Byczynski’s “Polish blood” campaign.
Evidently, any alliance will do if it helps to suppress workers’ self-activity…
Where would we be if intersectionalists did not provide us with the occasional amusing distraction? Last week, the Occupy Goldsmiths network committed a major faux-pas – it used ironyin its public relations material: in reference to alarmist Daily Mail headlines, it referred to a forthcoming film screening and activist event as “a summer of thuggery”. Continue reading
Shocking, but not unusual news reached us as some 1400 refugees in transition drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in just one week. And the Sun’s Katie Hopkins, never shy to urinate over heaps of corpses, including the unburied, gave the British public that article. Meanwhile, the left reacted in predictable fashion. For the National Union of Journalists’ badly eviscerated NUJ ‘Left’ grouping, the tragedy provided yet another opportunity to lament insufficient press regulation – if it were up to the NUJ, some members continue to fantasise, the Murdoch press could not print such bile with impunity Continue reading
As is always the case in the run-up to general elections, many comrades will have developed a sudden interest in the Labour Party left during the past months. They might have noted the emergence of the unambiguously named the Socialist Campaign For A Labour Victory. Or rather, its ‘re-emergence’ for the first time since 1979. Today it’s being promoted mainly by the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, with signatories including Labour left stalwarts such as John McDonnell and Hull’s ‘Red Labour’ councillors, Gill Kennett and Dean Kirk. Continue reading
A leftwing book presentation in Leipzig was attacked by ‘antifa’ activists earlier this month. I spoke to the main speaker at the meeting, Susann Witt-Stahl
As long-standing Weekly Worker readers will remember, the ‘anti-Germans’ represent something like the historical low point in the long and overwhelmingly sorry saga of anti-fascism.1Initially formed from a number of scurrilous sects that grew out of the German radical left, the pro-imperialist ‘anti-Germans’ endeavour to “deny the German left the right to exist”, as one of their more striking slogans reads. Whether it is anti-war protests or social struggles, virtually any resistance against the operations of the bourgeoisie faces allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ from a movement whose understanding of fascism and ‘totalitarianism’ owes more to Hayek’s Road to serfdom than it does to Marxist analysis. Continue reading
Published in Weekly Worker 1020.
Saturday July 19 saw tens of thousands marching from Whitehall to the Israeli embassy in Kensington to protest against the Zionist regime’s latest series of atrocities in the Gaza strip. Organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and, as can be expected, scantily covered by the BBC, the march was attended by virtually all organisations within the British left, several Muslim associations, and a variety of anti-Zionist Jewish groups. With the exception of Left Unity and the soul-searching International Socialist Network, most left groups had newspapers and other such literature on offer. Continue reading
Published in Weekly Worker, 161 Crew and NYC Antifa.
Migrant workers have class interests, not Polish interests.
It was one of those typical London neighbourhood events, where crusties and punks rub shoulders with local working class families. On June 21, a free techno, punk and reggae open-air festival in Tottenham’s Markfield Park, dedicated to the ‘international language of music’, offered residents of the north London borough a chance to enjoy the heat wave together. But the fun ended abruptly when up to 40 football hooligan types crashed the party, pelting bottles, throwing rocks and shooting flares at unsuspecting visitors. A young man was stabbed – fortunately, his injuries were superficial. Continue reading