Thursday, June 14, 2018

Defending Palestinian rights in London!

By New Worker correspondent

Every year for the last 30 years people have marched on Al-Quds Day around the world in support of Palestine. And on Sunday London comrades joined thousands of other supporters of the Palestinian cause in a march in support of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian Arabs. They easily outnumbered the handful of Zionists and fascists who attempted to disrupt the march that began outside the Saudi Arabian embassy and then proceeded through central London marching toward No 10 Downing St, the office and home of the prime minister.

Racist Rage in Whitehall

by New Worker correspondent

 Police arrested five fascists in central London on Saturday after violence broke out during a protest against the jailing of former  English Defence League (EDL ) leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon who calls himself 'Tommy Robinson’ in public. Robinson was jailed last month after he used social media to broadcast details of a trial that was subject to blanket reporting restrictions. Reporting restrictions are imposed on all court proceedings in Britain and are intended to avoid media reports that could influence the jury.
Thousands of racists and neo-nazis turned up for the rally and march that soon turned to violence when Chelsea and Millwall football gangs tried to attack Stand Up To Racism and Unite Against Fascism supporters mobilised to counter the fascist demonstration. They charged at officers in Whitehall before staging running battles with the police.
Bottles, sticks and cones were hurled at police officers and vehicles were attacked. At one point the police were outnumbered and forced to flee the scene in a hail of flying projectiles, pursued by the racist mob. Another bunch of fascists tried to force their way into Downing Street but were held at bay by the police.
At least two journalists were attacked by Robinson supporters. One was viciously kicked to the ground by a group of fascists. Police made a number of arrests including one person for possession of an offensive weapon and two for assault on a police officer.  The Metropolitan Police are now looking at CCTV footage of the Robinson demo.
One of those who spoke at the demonstration calling for the release of ‘Robinson’ was Dutch far-right leader, the Islamophobic Geert Wilders. Another was Filip Dewinter, a leading member of the Vlaams Belang party in Belgium. He is seen by many as an apologist for Belgium’s nazi collaborators during the Second World War.
Dewinter screamed “we are all Tommy Robinson” and claimed that the former EDL leader’s arrest was an attack on “everyone who is fighting mass immigration and Islamisation”. He claimed that the elite in Europe is already “submitting to Islam and imposing sharia law”.
They were joined by a number of notable far-right activists including the Holocaust denier Nicholas Kollerstrom and Luke Nash-Jones from Make Britain Great Again. 
The fascist degenerates blocked off a major road near Trafalgar Square in central London, chanting "Free Tommy Robinson" and hurling smoke bombs at police. They also for a time manage to hijack an open-topped tourist sight-seeing bus, holding up Union Jacks and placards
"During the protest there were scenes of violence which saw bottles, metal barriers and other objects thrown at officers," police said. "Five officers have reported injuries, which are not serious."
Two arrests were for assaulting a police officer, one for possessing an offensive weapon, one for possession of a flare and the other for criminal damage to a bus.
Robinson was already subject to a suspended sentence for a contempt charge related to a separate case when he was arrested last month, and had been warned by a judge he would face prison if he committed further offences.
Appearing in court under his real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, he pleaded guilty and was given 10 months in jail for contempt of court, and another three months for breaching his previous sentence.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Unions march for higher wage

 TENS OF thousands of trade union activists, peace and social justice campaigners marched through London last Saturday from the Embankment to a massive rally in Hyde Park to demand better pay and conditions for workers throughout the country in what has been described as the biggest London march for many years. It was organised by the TUC.
The workers were demanding a minimum wage rise to £10 an hour, a ban on zero-hours contracts and higher funding for the NHS, education and other public services.
Workers involved in current disputes including those at restaurant chains TGI Fridays and McDonald’s joined the march, along with railway workers striking to keep guards on trains, nurses, ambulance crews, postmen, teachers, civil servants and cleaners.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said before the march started that workers have had enough of low pay, poor quality jobs and constant cuts to public services.
She added: “There is a new mood in the country. People have been very patient but they are now demanding a new deal.”
Just before the march, the TUC published a new report it had commissioned that showed that workers are suffering the longest squeeze on wages in modern history.
It found workers were suffering the biggest relative real wage loss since the Napoleonic Wars. Even after the Great Depression and the Second World War, real wages recovered more quickly – in 10 years and seven years respectively.
A decade on from the financial crisis, real wages are worth £24 a week less than in 2008 and are not forecast to return to pre-crash levels until 2025, said the union organisation.
The TUC said the current stretch of wage stagnation was the worst for 200 years. By 2025 the average worker will have lost out by around £18,500 in real earnings, it was estimated.
Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, said it was the most important demonstration for 50 years. He said: “This is the start of a serious challenge for a new deal for all workers.
“The world of work has become a pressurised environment, based on a flexible labour market and bogus self-employment.”
Marchers arrived in Hyde Park just as it started to rain but that dampened no spirits. They gave a rapturous welcome to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who addressed the growing crowd.
He pledged that a Labour government will give workers “more power” to fight for higher pay. “Our whole movement exists to challenge the powerful and stand up for the powerless,” he said.
“We want to see workers across whole sectors, not just individual employers, get to bargain together to get the best deal for the workforce in their industry.
“Why should bar staff and waiters not be able to organise and support each other like London bus drivers can? It's time for a fundamental shift in power in our country – from the few to the many.”
Corbyn won huge applause from the crowds when he pledged the next Labour government would launch a ministry to guarantee workers' rights.
He promised to "take rail mail and water back into public ownership" and warned tax dodgers that a "Labour government is coming after you. We will tax properly".
He added: "This demonstration today is about workers’ rights, it is about collective endeavour but above all, it's a declaration that we're around to campaign as long as it takes, to bring about that social justice and that decency in society."

Remembering the Soviet victory against the Nazis

 by New Worker 
Andy Brooks with  James Taylor and Dermot Hudson

 MILLIONS of Russians took to the streets last week to celebrate Victory Day and the surrender of Nazi Germany on 9th May 1945. A massive military parade through Red Square in Moscow paid tribute to the millions of Soviet soldiers and citizens who died in the struggle to defeat the Nazis in the Second World War while other commemorations took place throughout the Russian Federation and much of the former Soviet Union.
            In London communists began the day by joining veterans, diplomats and local dignitaries at the ceremony that’s held every year at the Soviet War Memorial in the shadow of the Imperial War Museum in south London. Many then went on to Trafalgar square to join the “Immortal Regiment” parade called by the Russian community in Britain to honour those that fell in the fight against fascism.
            Hundreds of people, including many from London’s Russian community, gathered around the Memorial in the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park in Southwark on Wednesday 9th May to mark the 73rd anniversary of the Red Army’s victory over the Nazi hordes in 1945.
            Banners flying high, British and Soviet war veterans marched to the monument to start the ceremony that was opened by Charlie Smith, the Mayor of Southwark, and addressed by Philip Matthews from the Soviet Memorial Trust Fund and Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko.
This was followed by the laying of floral tributes by Southwark councillors, diplomats from the countries of the former Soviet Union, British and Soviet veterans and friendship associations. Officials from the Marx Memorial Library and communist movements that included a New Communist Party delegation led by NCP general secretary, Andy Brooks, placed their wreaths and flowers at the memorial which was unveiled on 9th May 1999.
The Soviet War Memorial is a bronze statue of a semi-abstract figure holding a bell that will forever remain silent. The memorial stone that commemorates the 27 million Soviet citizens and servicemen and women who died in the Second World War is inscribed with the words “We Shall Remember Them” in English and Russian. These words were solemnly repeated by all at the close of the ceremony that ended with the {Last Post} and two minutes silence to remember those who gave their lives in the struggle for freedom during the Second World War.
Finally the event ended with the traditional invitation from the Russian ambassador to join him in a toast to victory at the nearby marquees where vodka, wine and Russian food awaited them.