May 25 2017

RIC-EDINBURGH STATEMENT ON THE JUNE 8TH GENERAL ELECTION

The Radical Independence Campaign- Edinburgh has produced the following statement in response to forthcoming Westminster General Election.

 

 

Theresa May’s forthcoming general election is not a normal election. It is being called in defiance of the Tories’ own 2011 Fixed Term Parliament Act. It bears a strong resemblance to a presidential-style plebiscite. But in the absence of actual presidential powers, such as those now wielded by Trump in the USA, May still wants to be able to override Westminster, Holyrood, Cardiff Bay and Stormont altogether.

To do this she needs a supine parliament of nodding-head Tories, quite happy to go meekly through the government lobbies. In return they will be able to pocket their large salaries and many ‘fringe benefits’, whilst also making big killings from second (and more) jobs, the rewards of business lobbying and by directly employing their families. Furthermore, in Scotland, David Mundell and Ruth Davidson have already shown they will do whatever May tells them.

The Tories are in the reactionary European Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists, along with Erdogan’s Turkish Justice and Development Party. May hopes to emulate Erdogan’s concentration of personal power after his recent rigged referendum. However, unlike Erdogan she doesn’t need to rewrite the UK’s constitution since it doesn’t exist in a written form. Instead she wants full control of the Crown’s armoury of anti-democratic powers. Thus armed, May hopes to cement the British ruling class behind her hard Brexit. In the face of ongoing global economic and political crises, she seeks to ensure that the ever-rising costs are borne by others, so ‘our’ rulers can continue to live in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

To counter any remaining ruling class opposition to Brexit, May is offering them a mouth-watering deal. There may still be some “bespoke” EU deals for the City and selected corporations. However, to compensate for other possible losses, the Tories are preparing the ground for a major attack on workers’ pay, conditions and remaining trade union rights. They want to step up austerity, which falls most severely on women’s shoulders, and ensure remaining welfare benefits are fully subjected to punitive sanctions administered by ruthless private companies. More than 2 million workers from the EU are to be subjected to the draconian legislation, already in place for other migrants, so that British firms have access to a highly segmented workforce, divided by pay, conditions and residency rights, with the illegal lowest tier subjected to super-exploitation and to act as scapegoats. Civil rights will be further eroded. There is to be an increased militarisation of policing and state surveillance is to be stepped up. Our environment will continue to be sacrificed to corporate profits, as May’s support for fracking in England shows. New trade deals are to be signed with Trump to open up the NHS to full privatisation. The UK is to sign up fully to all US wars for the benefit of the British arms industry, thus bringing untold misery across this planet.

Scotland is in the frontline of May’s attacks. The British ruling class wants finally to see off Scotland’s attempted democratic revolution of 2014, where 97% of people registered to vote and 85% actually did so. This level of political engagement is without precedent in UK politics. Furthermore, this and the massive surge in support for Scottish independence, from 30% in 2012 to 45% in 2014, was done in defiance of the UK state, the EU bureaucrats, the US State Department and the British media, including the BBC. Open political, social and cultural meetings and events across the length and breadth of Scotland, supplemented by new independent media sources, massively contributed to this.

This why the real purpose behind the Unionists’ shrill ‘No to IndyRef2’ is to shut down this mass participation, so that things can return to normal – politics run by self-serving careerists, subservient to the British establishment and corporate power. This is one reason why Tories, Labour and Lib-Dems all cynically tried to hijack the recent Scottish local council elections to deny the Scottish people the right to hold the referendum agreed by Holyrood on March 27th, on the basis of prior election commitments.

However, May wants to go even further. The Tories, having played Labour for fools in Better Together during IndyRef 1, now want to finish them off as a major electoral party. May will also undermine the existing devolution arrangements in Scotland and Northern Ireland and take whatever harsh measures are needed to deal with the consequences. To achieve this, May will fall back on the Crown’s Supreme Court ruling that she, with supine Westminster backing, can override any devolved assembly powers. Cameron’s, Miliband’s and Clegg’s pretended liberal unionism is to be buried by May’s very real reactionary unionism. UKIP’s and the DUP’s politics have been mainstreamed by May’s Tories. Sadly Jeremy Corbyn, loyal to British Labour and Westminster above all else, just can not see this.

The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) has members in the SNP, Greens, socialist organisations, Labour supporters of Scottish independence, and a majority in no party at all. Therefore, as in the 2015 Westminster and the 2016 Holyrood elections (when RIC-Edinburgh held hustings), we will not be making specific voting recommendations for the June 4th general election.

Nevertheless, we call on RIC supporters to recognise May’s attempt to turn this election into a personal plebiscite to centralise UK state power in her hands, to be wielded on behalf of her big business backers. A prime target is the democratic right of the Scottish people to exercise our right to self-determination. Brexit is to be used to reinforce all the most reactionary features of Britishness. Instead of a Brexit fiasco we need an Ex-Brit (or break-up the UK) strategy to help us break free from the UK. In RIC’s spirit of internationalism from below, this involves the people of Northern Ireland, Wales and England too. Therefore, we call for the rejection of all Unionist candidates.

We also recognise that the Tories want to use the UK’s profoundly anti-democratic powers to mount a major attack on the overwhelming majority. We will continue to work in and with trade unions, community organisations and all those campaigns we have supported to prepare both a defence against the planned attacks and to create a new society based on RIC’s 5 Principles:-

1)         For a social alternative to austerity and privatisation

2)         Green and environmentally sustainable

3)         A modern republic for real democracy

4)         Committed to equality and opposition to discrimination on grounds of       gender, race, disability, sexuality or age

5)         Internationalist and opposed to war, NATO and Trident

We remain adamant that Another Scotland, Another Europe and Another World are Possible.

RIC-EDINBURGH, 25.05.17

________

also see:-

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2017/04/06/radical-independence-campaign-statement-defend-democracy/

or

https://radical.scot/radical-yes/

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May 13 2017

MASS STRIKES AND OCCUPATIONS BY UKRAINIAN MINERS

These three articles were first posted on the Ukraine Solidarity Committee website at:-

https://ukrainesolidaritycampaign.org/

1.URGENT APPEAL FOR SOLIDARITY

Miners’ Rally in solidarity with the occupation at Kriyvyi Rih

Ukrainian miners are engaged mass action in the city of Kryvyi Rih with strikes, occupations and a hunger strike of 400 miners underground in the “Yubileynaya” (Jubilee) mine of EVRAZ Sukha Balka JSC in Kryvyi Rih.

The” ArcelorMittal “workers seized the plant, and the” Evraz Sukha Balka “family of miners blocked access roads to the mines. Around the plant “AMKR” a rally was held of 1500 workers. Then they  occupied four floors of management builidng.  The workers are demanding a €1,000 (equivalent) pay rise immediately.  They also demand improvements in health care, no cuts in holidays, and indexation of wages, taking into account inflation in the country.

The Independent Miners Union of Ukraine (NGPU) are calling for urgent international solidarity in their struggle with the oligarchs who own the mining companies.

The oligarchs of the main companies, JSC “KZRK” (owners include by Rinat Akhmetov and Igor Kolomoisky) and JSC “Evraz Sukha Balka” (owners include by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich), all pay low taxes and hoard money offshore.  The employers are now trying to break the strike by force, blocking supplies of even fresh water to the miners occupying the mine. EVRAZ are refusing to negotiate with the Independent Miners Union (NGPU) and who are demanding an increase in wages.

Send letters of protest and organise demonstrations at EVRAZ:

http://www.evraz.com/about/contacts/

http://corporate.arcelormittal.com/site-services/contact-us

Ukraine Solidarity Campaign appeals to the labour movement to support the miners struggle.

 

 2. MINEWORKERS’ PROTESTS CONTINUE IN KRYVYI RIH

Miners rally outside occupied HQ of mine owners

In Kryvyi Rih miners from the Public joint stock company Kryvyi Rih Irone-Ore Combine (KZRK), PJSC  ‘Evraz Sukha Balka’ and PJSC  ‘ArcelorMittal-Kriviy Rih’ are fighting for raising salaries. Nearly 300 miners of two mines of PJSC ‘Evraz Sukha Balka’ are protesting inside mine. The workers of PJSC  ‘ArcelorMittal-Kriviy Rih’ held a protest today morning.

According to head of the Independent Trade Unions of Ukraine (NPGU) Mykhailo Volynets, a lot of protesters of two mines of ‘Evraz Sukha Balka’ were staying underground more than a day.

‘The miners of mines ‘Juvileyna’ and ‘Frunze’ of PJSC ‘Evraz Sukha Balka’ are protesting underground and demanding raising wage. Yesterday evening the representatives of administration came to miners and propose to raise wages only by 12% from 1st May.  But miners agree only with wage increasing by at least 20% from 1st May and further a gradual increasing of 30% by August.  For now people stay at a depth of 1343 m without food. As I was informed, the administration doesn’t allow the delivery of food them’ – said Mykhailo Volynets.

The Head of the Kryvyi Rih branch organization of the NPGU Yuri Samoilov informed, that today morning peaceful protestі were held for support of the miners JSC ‘KZRK’ and ‘Evraz Sukha Balka’. At the same time the workers of the mine building unit of JSC ‘Evraz Sukha Balka’ showed their solidarity with the miners and blocked access roads to the enterprise.

Workers and trade unions of PJSC ‘ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih’ at 8 am also held a peaceful protest near the enterprise building. It was attended by over a thousand employees. The protesters expressed their demands: to rise wages; to stop the dismissals of employees and transferring employees on an outsourcing; to renew the programs for provision of housing for employees etc. Also they expressed their support for miners JSC ‘KZRK’ and ‘Evraz Sukha Balka’. Then the protesters went to the office of PJSC ‘ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih’. Workers demanded meeting with enterprise’s management. If the management refuses to meet with the protesters, some of them are ready to start hunger strike.

As it was informed before, miners from four mines of the KZRK, protested underground and demanded to raise salariesю Today the negotiation between  representatives of workers and the KZRK management continues.

More news on KVPU’s site:

http://kvpu.org.ua/en/news/4/2159-workersprotestscontinueinkryvyirih 

Olesia Briazgunova, Information department  the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU)

 

3. IN KRIYVYI RIH MINERS FROM DIFFERNT ENTERPRISES FIGHT TO RISING WAGES

Striking miners form Kryvyi Rih

On 4 May in Kryvyi Rih miners from the Kryvyi Rih Iron Ore Combine (KZRK) have started the protest underground. The Head of the Independent trade Union of Miners of Ukraine  (NPGU) Mykhailo Volynets  said that the workers from night shift of mines  “Rodina”, “Guardiiska”, “Ternovskaya” and 10 miners from mine “Oktyabrskaya” didn’t rise to the surface. 

During 5th May the miners from four mines of the Kryvyi Rih IronOre Combine (KZRK), who protested underground, rose to the surface. The initiative group of miners and representatives of Primary trade union organization of the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine (NPGU) began negotiations with representatives of the administration of the KZRK.

Miners of KZRK require salary increase of at least 50%. The head of the women’s committee of city organization NPGU Elena Maslova said that finally constructive dialogue had begun.

“All suggestions and comments were placed on record. For now the protocol of negotiations included two major issues. Firstly, we made agreement that the administration wouldn’t make pressure on the initiators and participants of the protest. Secondly, we agreed to start the detailed discussions on salary increases as soon as possible’.

On 5th May Primary trade union of NPGU of mine ‘Evraz Sukha Balka’ appealed to the administration of enterprise and demanded  to increase salary to $ 1,000. Today they informed the Head of NPGU Mykhailo Volynets that today afternoon the miners of first shift were going to stay in mine and protest.

“The representatives of enterprise hesitate with constructive measures to raise wages. In the same time they are trying to find activists from Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine, who are guilty of these situation”- said Mykhailo Volynets.

On 6th May 10 miners of a night shift from mine “Artema-1 of enterprise ‘ArcelorMittal-Kriviy Rig’ also refused to rise to the surface. They demanded rising salaries. Miners finished their protest after negotiations with representatives of ‘ArcelorMittal-Kriviy Rig’. Miners were promised that on May 11 the problem of raising wages will be solved. But trade union prepares protest:-

“Requirements of miners of Krivyi Rih are fair. In Ukraine the price of products and utilities has increased. At the same time wages of miners of Krivyi Rih are still low. NPGU support Krivyi Rih miners. Also we appreciate the support of international organizations, which helps miners and trade unionists to fight for decent salaries”, said Mykhailo Volynets.

 

___________

also see:-

MINERS STAND TOGETHER STATEMENT BY THE NUM

URGENT APPEAL FOR SOLIDARITY FROM THE RAILWAY WORKERS OF UKRAINE

 

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Apr 07 2017

THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND

Steve Freeman of the Republican Socialist Alliance and the Left Unity Party draws on the revolutionary democratic political tradition in England, linking the Levellers, the Chartists and the Suffragettes. He outlines its strengths compared with the social democratic and economist political tradition of Labour and most of the British Left sects. Steve argues that Socialists should be championing the revolutionary democratic tradition today.

THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND

“Westminster? It’s old, defunct, a waste of time. I hate the place” – Mhairi Black MP *

Westminster does not look or work any better from the inside or the outside. In May 1991 Tony Benn MP proposed fundamental reform. He introduced the Commonwealth of Britain Bill in the House of Commons, intended to make Britain a federal republic. The current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP seconded the Bill. The Bill’s first hurdle on the parliamentary road to a republic was to get permission from the Queen to submit it to the Commons. Then there has to be majorities in the Commons, Lords and then finally with the royal assent the Bill becomes law.
Continue reading “THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND”

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Apr 06 2017

EDINBURGH PEOPLE’S FESTIVAL TO COMMEMORATE ITALIAN PHILSOPHER AND ANTI-FASCIST, ANTONIO GRAMSCI

 

The Edinburgh People’s Festival has secured funding for a major conference commemorating the life and work of the influential Italian philosopher and anti-fascist Antonio Gramsci.
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Mar 29 2017

BEING ANTI-TRUMP ISN’T ENOUGH

David Broder, now a member of the editorial board of Historical Materialism, contibruted the Global Commune* events  organised in Edinburgh by the RCN in 2010.  David now lives in Italy and has written the following article about how socialists should relate to Trump, after the dismal experience of the Left’s response  in Italy to the rise and fall of Silvio Berlusconi. We would like to thank David and Bhaskar Sunkhara, editor of  the US magazine, Jacobin, for permission to  post this article, which is can also be found in the current issue 24 of Jacobin.

 

Berlusconi and Trump drink to a Left-free future

BEING ANTI-TRUMP ISN’T ENOUGH

Just months after the left seemed poised for a historic breakthrough, a shock national vote brought a dangerous reactionary to power. Smashing open the old party of the Right, the billionaire tycoon’s populism surfed a wave of anger against the corrupt elite that had long controlled the political center. Making government the stage for a permanent public performance, this curiously wealthy popular champion radically reshaped the country’s political life.
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Jan 27 2017

FROM RUSSIAN SOCIALISTS TO AMERICAN COMRADES

In the spirit of genuine internationalism Emancipation & Liberation is posting this appeal from Russian socialist to American comrades, first posted at:- http://anticapitalist.ru

 

FROM RUSSIAN SOCIALISTS TO AMERICAN COMMUNISTS

To our Comrades in the United States of America,

As leftists from Russia, we support the struggle of progressive forces against the growing chauvinism and neoliberalism in the Unites States in the face of the Donald Trump administration. Every day, the Russia Media insists that Trump is Russia’s main ally—or, in fact, an ally of Putin’s regime. However, the Putin regime is based on the power of big capital and bureaucracy, and it is in actuality working against its own people. Any
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Jan 03 2017

GRASSROOTS UNITE LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE ATTACKS COYNE’S AND McCLUSKEY’s CAPITULATION TO ANTI-MIGRANT POLITICS

Ian Allinson, the grassroots socialist candidate for Unite General Secretary, argues that McCluskey’s fudge on free movement stops him effectively defending members from the damage caused by Coyne’s attack on workers’ rights to free movement and equal treatment.

Gerard Coyne, the right-wing candidate in this election, is all over the press this morning (Independent, Daily Mail) demanding that “taking back control” of borders is a red line in Brexit negotiations, and that this is more important than trade arrangements.
Continue reading “GRASSROOTS UNITE LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE ATTACKS COYNE’S AND McCLUSKEY’s CAPITULATION TO ANTI-MIGRANT POLITICS”

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Jan 03 2017

THE STRUGGLE FOR ABORTION RIGHTS IN IRELAND

There is a major campaign going on in Ireland to overturn the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution which bans abortion.We are posting an article from John McAnulty of Socialist Democracy (Ireland) which exams this campaign. It was first posted at: http://socialistdemocracy.org/RecentArticles/RecentTheStruggleForAbortionRightsInIreland.html

 

THE STRUGGLE FOR ABORTION RIGHTS IN IRELAND

Justified and burning anger hobbled by reformism

 On 25th November thousands of activists demonstrated in Dublin calling for the abolition of the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution – a section that asserts equal rights to life between the mother and foetus (the wording refers to the “unborn” which assumes that that life begins at conception). The demonstration was in part was a celebration of the decision by ICTU, the Irish trade union congress, to support the call to repeal the 8th.    In tribute to recent mobilisations by Polish women, many wore black – the main symbol for the Polish demonstrations.
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Dec 09 2016

BEFORE AND AFTER THE ‘RETURN OF THE BRUTE’

 

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As the official celebrations and the unofficial commemorations of the centenary of the First World War continue, many personal accounts, poems and novels written about this period have been published or republished. One novel, not yet republished, is Return of the Brute, written by Liam O’Flaherty. David Trotter, in The Cambridge Companion to The Literature of the First World War, argues that, unlike most British war novels, it was written by an author of proletarian origin. Whilst O’Flaherty was Irish, Trotter is right in considering  Return of the Brute to be a British war novel. It is based upon the author’s experiences fighting in the British army on the western front.  The novel “intended to do justice to the brute’s point of view” [1], where the “brute” stands for working-class soldiers. If so, the “brute” refers to atomised, alienated and demoralised workers, brutalised by life on the western front.
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Dec 08 2016

DEBATES AND DISCUSSIONS ON THE EMANCIPATION & LIBERATION BLOG ABOUT THE EU AND MIGRATION

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Our Emancipation & Liberation blog has posted articles about the EU and Migration since it was set up. The earlier postings covered  the Republican Communist Network’s involvement, when it was a platform in the Scottish Socialist Party. The first debate was in 2002 over whether the SSP should back joining the euro in the event of a referendum over the issue. The majority in the SSP was anti-euro, although there was a small pro-euro minority. The RCN formed another minority, which was for a campaign of active abstention.
Continue reading “DEBATES AND DISCUSSIONS ON THE EMANCIPATION & LIBERATION BLOG ABOUT THE EU AND MIGRATION”

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