Solidarity and anti-Zionism

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

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“Wen wir nicht verprügeln, den erschiessen wir”

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In England vergeht kaum ein Tag, an dem man nicht der Glanzzeit des Punk gedenkt. Die Sex Pistols sind nicht erst mit Danny Boyles Olympia-Eröffnungsvideo Teil des Britishness- Konsensus geworden. Auf BBC wird man mit Punk-Retrospektiven geradezu bombardiert. Kein Wunder – war die frühe Londoner Punkszene doch die Schule derer, die heute in den britischen Medien-, Design- und Modeindustrien die Fäden ziehen.

Dem betont proletarischen und rowdyhaften kleinen Bruder des Punk wurde kein solches Schicksal zuteil: An Oi! erinnert man sich nur selten und mit Naserümpfen. Das untrennbar mit dem Skinhead- und Hooligan- Milieu verbundene Subgenre, das um 1980 von Bands wie Angelic Upstarts und The 4-Skins eingeläutet wurde, galt als reaktionäres Sammelbecken, in dem sich vorwiegend Schläger, Sexisten und Rassisten tummelten… Continue reading

BNP: Out of the woodwork

Published in Weekly Worker 956

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As descriptions of the June 1 British National Party demonstration and the anti-fascist counter-protest in Westminster, phrases such as ‘good clean fun’, ‘solid Saturday afternoon entertainment’, and ‘decent spectacle’ spring to mind. Following years of infighting, financial troubles, and near-absence from the public eye, the whites-only outfit was attempting to test the waters in the wake of Woolwich – and we were curious to find out just how many followers it could still mobilise. Continue reading

Kernel of truth

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Jack Conrad regrets in the CPGB podcast on ‘SWP rebellion and feminism’ that he has “not heard of any feminist movement raising radical demands for working class women”. If that is true, how thorough was his research? There exist socialist and Marxists feminisms, to name but two schools which speak of class almost incessantly. Even the post-Marxist cultural studies variety cannot do without taking into account ‘class’ – or whatever it thinks constitutes class – as a key analytic component. Continue reading

Official optimism gone mad

published in Weekly Worker, 25th November 2011

“I think today’s turnout is amazing,” announced Lindsey German to the assembled anti-war protesters in her trademark style. It was a case of official optimism gone mad: not only was the turnout at the November 20 Stop the War Coalition demo the poorest in years, but Lindsey’s blatant reversal of the truth was screamingly obvious to anyone who was there and had eyes to see. You can take the girl out of the SWP … -Read more>

Uncritical Stalinists?

This poster was plastered on the walls of Manchester University by a group called Communist Students last week, inviting to a “debate and discussion on Stalinism, what it is, and why we oppose it”. What does it say in huge letters? “Stalinism is anti-communism”. A clear enough statement, right? -Read more>

The readers’ letter Socialist Worker won’t publish

Following an incident at the SWP’s Marxism 2010 festival (reported here) Claire Fisher and myself sent a readers’ letter to the SWP paper, Socialist Worker.
We had the faint hope that honesty and solidarity would prevail over apparatchik attitudes and our letter would get printed.

Initially, one Socialist Worker journalist expressed (feigned?) interest in our concern when speaking to an SWP member and friend of mine in private. But he never replied to any of my messages, and our letter remained unpublished. Here it is for your information and enjoyment. -Read more>