May 05 2016

HILLSBOROUGH – THE CROWN IN THE DOCK

The inquest into the Hillsborough Disaster finally made its ruling on 26th April. It took 27 years, following a prolonged establishment and police cover up, to finally get the verdict that 96 Liverpool supporters were “unlawfully killed”.  We are posting the article below by Steve Freeman and Phil Vellender of the RSA. It was first published in  Chartist, before the inquest reported, and highlights some of the deeper issues raised. 

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HILLSBOROUGH – THE CROWN IN THE DOCK

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On the 15 April 1989 ninety six men, women and children died at the FA Cup Semi-final at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield. The truth about this tragedy was concealed by the Crown for twenty three years. Yet at the same time we have to pay tribute to the tenacious struggle of ordinary people campaigning against such a shocking injustice.
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May 05 2016

WHAT’S BEHIND THE RIGHT’S ACCUSATIONS OF ‘ANTI-SEMITISM’

 

The British ruling class has been upset by a number of events beyond its control. The huge surge in those demanding Scottish independence and those who voted for Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party have opened up politics beyond of the safe Conservative/Lib-Dem/New Labour pro-imperial, pro-Israel and pro-neoliberal consensus. This is the context in which  the ‘antisemitism’ smears directed against a number of people either on the Left or from a Muslim background are being pushed by the Conservatives, Labour Right and various Zionist organisations. These are being used in an attempt to close down political opposition to austerity, privatisation, war in the Middle East and the continued repression of Palestinians. This is an issue of much wider concern than Labour Party members. We are posting four articles, one a letter to The National, written by Sarah Glynn of RISE, two from Tony Greenstein. and one from Moshe Machover,  both socialists, anti-Zionists and antiracists. Tony has a blog dedicated to these ideas (http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk) (also see http://freespeechonisrael.org.uk/). Moshe has recently spoken at the London Communist Forum and the Republican Socialist Alliance meeting in London.

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1. A LETTER FROM SARAH GLYNN TO THE NATIONAL

CONTRARY to the impression given in much of the media, many British Jews are extremely concerned at the on-going political manipulation of charges of anti-Semitism. This is a blatant and cynical attempt to tarnish Jeremy Corbyn and bring Labour back into the neo-liberal fold, and is part of an alarming growth in political exploitation of the “race card” more generally.
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May 02 2016

SUPPORT THE JUNIOR DOCTORS

 SUPPORT THE JUNIOR DOCTORS

NO COMPROMISES, NO BACKDOOR DEALS

DEFEND THE NHS

 

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For months, the junior doctors of the National Health Service have stood firm in the face of an onslaught from the Conservative government in Westminster. Socialized medicine works and, indeed, it is extremely popular. With a national health service, access to medical care is free and available to all. Everyone has the right to see a doctor when sick and for periodic preventative check-ups. Yet years of underfunding have taken their toll. Doctors are overworked and stressed out. It can take several months to get an appointment to see a consultant. There are also too few nurses and support staff, so those providing care are harried and unable to give the careful attention patients need.
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Sep 22 2015

THE REFUGEE CRISIS – AN OUTCOME OF CAPITALIST BARBARISM

THE REFUGEE CRISIS – AN OUTCOME OF CAPITALIST BARBARISM

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In response to the current refugee storm a Palestinian activist remarked that, if pictures of dead children changed anything, Palestine would long have been free.

The bitterness is understandable. However it would be wrong to write off the response to the refugee crisis as light-headed liberalism. Rather it is better understood as the potential to, as Marx said, transform from quantity to quality and become a broad opposition to the crimes of imperialism.

The capitalist powers have been exhibiting an increasing barbarism. Mass penury is imposed on their own populations. The wars they direct and provoke grow increasingly bloody. As refugees flee devastation they slander and criminalise them, applying a policy called “pushing the rope” – making conditions at holding centres so hellish that new refugees will not come. It is bare months since they withdrew rescue services from the central area of the Mediterranean, leaving thousands to drown. They constantly refer to migrants, because refugees are meant to be offered refuge and dismiss “economic migrants,”  as if fleeing starvation was bad and only war can be advanced as a legitimate reason for flight.
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Sep 04 2015

LET THEM IN

The world has been alerted to the horror of the current refugee crisis by the photograph of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year old Syrian Kurd from Kohane, on the beach at Bodrum in Turkey, drowned after trying to make it with is family across to the Greek islands. In 1972, another photo of a young girl, this time from Vietnam suffering from napalm burns inflicted after a US airstrike, caused similar outrage, and contributed to the turn of public opinion against that war.

Today it is Cameron’s UK government which stands exposed in its utter callousness towards the refugee crisis. Yet, British imperial involvement in the Middle East has contributed to the exodus of many of the refugees fleeing the consequences of successive UK government’s (both Labour and Conservative) military interventions.

Below we are posting an article by Mary McGregor (RCN), from the current issue, no.24, of Emancipation & Liberation, which makes the simple humanitarian call – “Let them in.”

LET THEM IN 

A young Vietnamese girl suffering USAF inflicted napalm burns in 1972

A young Vietnamese girl suffering USAF inflicted napalm burns in 1972

The drowning of 3 year old Kurdish Syrian refugee, Aylan Kurdi found on a Turkish beach

The drowning of 3 year old Kurdish Syrian refugee, Aylan Kurdi found on a Turkish beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this article I intend not to use the following terms: migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. The media and establishment have successfully imbued each of these terms with negative connotations. They are conflated, misrepresented and fed into the narrative that is seeking to portray anyone trying to come to this country as people to be reviled and feared.
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Jun 29 2015

THOUSANDS MARCH IN BELFAST FOR GAY MARRIAGE

The impact last month’s successful gay marriage referendum in the 26 Counties has spilled over into the 6 Counties, with 10,000 attending a demonstration in Belfast. The fact that the ‘South’ can act as a beacon for the ‘North’ highlights the reactionary nature of the local UK state set-up, which is a barrier to progress in these islands. This article was first posted on the Socialist Democracy (Ireland) blog.

 

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Gay marriage march in Belfast on June 12th

 

On Saturday, 13th June, over ten thousand people gathered in Belfast city to show their support for marriage equality.  This demonstration, which was organised by Amnesty International, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and the Rainbow Project, saw people marching from the Arts College to the City Hall where they were addressed by a number of speakers.
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Jun 05 2015

LBGT RIGHTS IN IRELAND – A BEACON OF LIBERATION FOR US ALL

Following the inspiring referendum vote in support of gay marriage in Ireland, E&L is posting the article below from Socialist Democracy (Ireland).

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Celebrating victory in the streets of Dublin

 

The 22nd of May was a truly historic day. The population of the Irish state, long seen as a bastion of Catholic conservatism, voted in an overwhelming majority to amend the constitution to support LBGT marriage.
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Jun 02 2015

WHAT DO WE MEAN WHEN WE TALK ABOUT GALLIPOLI

E&L is posting this  article, written by New Zealander, Rory MacKinnon, about the tragic Gallipoli Campaign  launched just over a century ago on 25th April, 1915.

 

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Today I will be speaking primarily about the New Zealand perspective rather than the Australian or Turkish one, because it’s the history I’m most familiar with. I won’t be trying to convince anyone that the soldiers at Gallipoli were bad people, or challenging their reputation for carrying out impossible orders in nightmarish conditions, and I won’t be arguing that what they saw and did should be forgotten.

I will be talking about the suffering and damage that the campaign wreaked on New Zealand’s people, so massively out of proportion with any perceived reward, and I’ll talk a little about how people look for meaning in such a crisis and how political institutions turned a betrayal of the public’s trust to their advantage.
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May 29 2015

SPIRIT OF REVOLT

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Document Film Festival

Spirit of Revolt – Archives of Dissent

Scottish Peace Network

and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

 

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May 28 2015

SUPPORT THE STRUGGLE FOR MEANINGFUL SELF-DETERMINATION IN A SCOTTISH DEMOCRATIC AND SECULAR REPUBLIC

At our RCN aggregate held in Dundee on May 23rd, we re-examined our  platform for working in the campaign for Scottish self-determination. Some of these issues have already arisen within the Radical Independence Campaign, particularly in RIC-Edinburgh (see http://radicalindyedinburgh.blogspot.co.uk/), the three RIC national conferences, and Trade Unionists for Independence (East Coast) (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/10/24/after-september-18th-bring-real-democracy-into-our-trade-unions/).  Now that there are plans for a Scottish Left Project (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/03/23/the-scottish-left-project/), there will also need to be further discussion over such issues.

Some will oppose, whilst others will want to amend some of these demands. There will be other issues that people will want to raise. The RCN welcomes such debates. It is vital that we create democratic forums where issues can be discussed.

 

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SUPPORT THE STRUGGLE FOR MEANINGFUL SELF-DETERMINATION

IN A SCOTTISH DEMOCRATIC AND SECULAR REPUBLIC

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The SNP currently only supports the ending of Westminster control over law making in Scotland, and continues to support the wider UK and the British monarchy. We call for:

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