Fight the Tories, build the resistance
The general election campaign is now well under way. Both Labour and the Tories have released their manifestos - see SW reports on each here and here respectively. While the Tories clearly want to play it safe and avoid any disasters like that of the “Dementia tax” of 2017 while sticking to Johnson’s main message of “Get Brexit done”, the Labour manifesto in many ways goes beyond what it pledged in 2017 and is more radical. This is exactly what is needed from Labour. Corbyn called it their “manifesto for hope”. As SW outlines “He pitched the manifesto as a challenge to “the bankers, billionaires and the establishment,” and “the tax dodgers, the bad bosses, the big polluters and the dodgy landlords.”
As SW outlines ‘New promises that go towards tackling the climate crises are tied to Labour’s promise to greatly improve life for ordinary people—a “Green Industrial Revolution”.
‘These include a million new climate jobs, and retraining workers in polluting industries for new, unionised jobs on “equivalent” terms and conditions.
‘But, as predicted, the manifesto didn’t commit to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030—the bare minimum target to avert climate catastrophe.
‘It only says vaguely that Labour will “achieve the substantial majority of our emissions reductions by 2030” and will “put the UK on track for a net-zero-carbon energy system within the 2030s”.
And unfortunately there are other concessions to the right, for example over freedom of movement. But on the whole it is more combative than in 2017. We need more of this class anger if Labour is going to leap forward.
The potential for this could be seen on the protests that greeted Johnson when he arrived at the BBC studios in Salford for the election debate with Corbyn last Tuesday evening, and again in Sheffield on Friday night for the Leaders Debate and then Telford yesterday for the Tories’ Manifesto launch where he was greeted with protests led by Stand Up To Racism and others and where SW and other left and campaign placards dominated. Wherever Johnson and the Tories try and go they should be greeted by protests – comrades in the Black Country had to move quickly to help organise the protest in Telford at less than 24 hours notice. All of the protests have been taken up in the media – including Sky news - and Robert Peston tweeted out about the one in Telford.
In contrast to these protests against Johnson there were mass crowds in Sheffield to support Corbyn as he arrived on Friday. Phil from Sheffield reported “thousands of mainly students and young people were chanting “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” and “Boris Johnson we know you – sexist, racist homophobe too”. SUTR banner and placards were received very well. Corbyn went down a storm as he addressed the crowds for radcial change”.
It shows the potential for the Labour Party to hold mass rallies as they did during the 2017 election campaign. These were crucial for changing the mood and atmosphere round the election back then and helped shift support in Labour’s favour. Labour cannot just canvass their way to victory through individual one to one conversations. Instead mass rallies and mobilisations combined with a radical message can help draw in and galvanise support.
That’s why it’s crucial over the next two and a half weeks we do everything possible to ensure the days of action (see below) are as big and successful as possible, as well as pushing hard to build for the climate strikes this Friday, the Trump demos next week and building solidarity for the UCU strikes which started today.
The SWP, while not in the Labour Party, wants a Labour victory and to see Corbyn in Number 10. But we also know that everything we do before the election can help shape the terrain for what comes after – when whoever is elected more struggle on the streets and in the workplaces will be necessary. If Corbyn is Prime Minister he will face a barrage of attacks from big business and the ruling class. While they may not like Johnson they absolutely detest Corbyns programme for change. Already two of the UK’s largest power companies have transferred the ownership of their British operations to offshore companies to protect themselves against Labour’s plan for renationalisation. We need to use the next few weeks to strengthen the working class movement in Britain.
Oxford SWP will be lively campaigning stalls to get the Tories out and Corbyn in. Email email@example.com if you would like to join in.
Fri 29 Nov: Global climate strike - assemble 11 am Bonn Square, central Oxford
We need to try to ensure that trade unions become a force at the heart of the campaign to avert Climate Catastrophe. This is not because trade unionists are somehow nicer or more progressive citizens, which they are not, it is because trade unions have the economic power to potentially force governments and corporations to make the systemic changes necessary to save the planet. Readers in workplaces can approach their work colleagues about going as a group to the next climate strike using whatever time they can get from their work day, even if it is using a lunch break.
5th Dec: General election hustings on the environmental crisis
7PM New Road Baptist Church, Bonn Square, OX1 1LQ
Organised by Extinction Rebellion Oxford, Oxford Friends of the Earth, and Parents for Future (Oxford).
Find out what the general election candidates for Oxford East say they will do about the climate and ecological emergency if elected to parliament.
Scientists agree we have entered a period of abrupt climate breakdown, and we are in the midst of a mass extinction. Climate chaos, rising sea levels, species loss, land degradation, destruction of whole ecosystems, and pollution pose a real and imminent threat to us all.
More and more people are taking action to demand world leaders act to address the growing climate and ecological crises. Millions around the world have taken to the streets to demand that politicians declare a climate emergency, tell the truth about the scale of the danger we face, and take urgent and far reaching action to reduce CO2 omissions to zero to prevent climate disaster.
The general election on December the 12th is an opportunity to push action on the climate and ecological crises to the top of the political agenda. It is a chance to impress on political leaders the urgent need for action. This is your opportunity to question them about their policies to see if they are good enough to meet the challenge we face.
Candidates who have confirmed attendance David Williams, Green Party, Anneliese Dodds, Labour party and Alistair Fernie, Liberal Democrats. Louise Staite, Conservative party, has also been invited.
If you would like to help build the cimate hustings you can join the following stalls:
- 5 pm Wednesday 27th November - 0utside Tesco on Cowley Road
- 1pm Saturday 1st December - Carfax central Oxford
- 12pm Wednesday 4th December, next to King's Arms, Broad St.
To join Oxford Extinction Rebellion and find out more about their activities visit www.xroxford.org
Assemble 5:30 PM Tuesday 3rd December outside HSBC bank, Cornmarket
Donald Trump is a racist, a misogynist and a climate change denier who threatens communities at home while destabilising the rest of the globe. He is the backer of the coup in Bolivia and has called for an electoral alliance between racists Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson against Corbyn.
Trump is coming to London on Tuesday 3rd December for the NATO Heads of State summit.
The summit is a crucial opportunity for our movement to oppose Trump, his nuclear warmongering, interventionism and destructive social and political agenda.
Let’s unite against Trump's war-mongering, his racism and sexism and ensure President Trump's visit to Britain will be met with the response that it deserves.
Protest supported by:
Oxford Stand Up To Racism
Oxford Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Keep racism out of the general election
You can register to vote at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
If you're not sure if you're registered, find out at https://www.gov.uk/get-on-electoral-register
If you would like to join the campaign to kick racism out of the election please email firstname.lastname@example.org or come to the following stalls:
- Tuesday 26th Nov Cherwell Hustings, 7.30pm St Michaels of Northgate, Cornmarket
- Thursday 28th Nov 6.30pm, Keep Our NHS public hustings, Wesley Memorial Hall, New Road
- Friday 29th Nov 5 pm outsdie Tesco, Cowley Rd
- Saturday 30th Nov, 1-2.30 pm outside HSBC Bank, Cornmarket
- Thursday 5th Dec 7 pm, climate hustings, New Road Baptist Church, Bonn Square
With hate crime and far-right terrorism continuing to rise, the stakes of keeping racism out of forthcoming General Election are incredibly high.
Prime minister Boris Johnson’s outrageous “bank robbers” and “letterbox” comments about women who choose to wear the niqab were followed by a 375 per cent increase in Islamophobic attacks in the following week. Nigel Farage's "breaking point" poster during the EU referendum was reported to the police as a “blatant attempt to incite racial hatred”
As a general election approaches and Johnson competes for votes with Nigel Farage, we can expect this rhetoric to worsen. Meanwhile, the far-right UKIP will be targeting seats in their remaining strongholds by pursuing an even more extreme agenda.
To combat this, we have to mobilise the anti-racist majority and make sure racism can't be used for electoral gain.
The first urgent step is a massive voter registration drive to make sure anti-racists are registered to vote. And when campaigning officially starts, we'll be working with groups across the country to encourage candidates to sign up to a pledge to keep racism out of the election, and condemn any candidates or parties trying to use racism to win votes.
We can only do this with your support. Every penny you donate will go towards:
- Leafleting as many areas as possible in the General Election to encourage people to #VoteAgainstRacism
- Adverts in local press, to mobilise the anti-racist vote
- A social media campaign condemning any candidates who try to use racism to win votes
- Travel expenses for volunteers to campaign across the country
As well as donating, please make sure everyone you know is registered to vote!
Key initiatives coming in 2020 include:
- Never Again - Lessons of the Holocaust exhibition. Saturday 19th January until Monday 27th January 2020. Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates
- February Stand Up To Racism Workplace & trade union conference in the new year
- March 21st - March Against Racism - for a #WorldAgainstRacism. There will be global protests, follow worldagainstracism.org for updates on the international plans for #M21