It’s early days in the election campaign but it has not been a good start for the Tory Party. Boris Johnson’s whole strategy is premised on a focus on Brexit and portraying himself as standing up for ordinary people against the elites that have blocked Brexit. However, Jacob Rees-Moggs exposed his utter contempt for working class people when he said that the residents of Grenfell “lacked common sense”. Stormzy is right to say he is “an actual piece of shit”. Meanwhile Tory candidate Francesca Martin said on FB that people who had been on the TV show Benefits Street should be put down.
And the controversy over Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns continues – over allegations that he actually knew one of his former aides had sabotaged a rape trial when he claimed he hadn’t.
In contrast Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party have had a good start to the election campaign. Already the political debates have moved beyond Brexit onto terrain such as the NHS, public spending and the environment.
The SWP is not in the Labour Party. Instead we can be an independent detachment of the campaign to get the Tories out and Labour elected. We want to push hard for a Labour vote across Britain. We will do this by pushing socialist arguments for change and being part of and helping to create events that raise class politics and help give confidence to the wider left.
Crucially the next four weeks of the election campaign are going to be punctuated by key days of struggle. The climate strike on Fri 29 November is an important focus. UCU have now announced that they will be on strike for eight days from Mon 25 Nov and so will be out the day of the climate strike. There is also the possibility that the CWU could be out on strike at that time. And there are many other smaller strikes such as South Western Railway RMT who are taking 27 days of action in December. There will be lots of political pressure against these strikes.
We argue that such struggles should not stop during the election period and can help boost Corbyn and Labour rather than distract from the election.
Crucially whatever the result of the election more struggle will be needed. If the Tories and Johnson win more strikes and action will be required. But also if Corbyn wins – there will need be struggle to counter the fightback from the bosses and Labour rightwing and to stop Labour’s compromises. See SW article on strikes and elections here.
Oxford SWP will be organising mass leafelting of workplaces and agitating on lively street stalls to get the Tories out and Corbyn in. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join in.
Up coming Oxford SWP meetings - all welcome
7pm Thursday 14th November
Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates, OX1 1BX
Russ Chandler's book explores the true story of a pair of riots, of two violent assaults on the organised working class that happened around the little town of Peekskill in New York State in late summer 1949. When a concert for The Civil Rights Congress was attacked and smashed by a mob, the workers of New York responded by re-staging the event under their own control. The response to this act of defiance was a second mass assault, one that was pre-planned and saw the rioters, the police and the local media working together to unleash a brutal and bloody vengeance on the concertgoers. This book tells the true story of a society divided against itself by politicians who didn't hesitate to use racism, fake news, paranoia and violence to stay in control.
In the world of President Trump, Charlottesville and the rise of the far right across the world the echoes of Peekskill are increasingly relevant and urgent. Author and band member with Steve White and the Protest Family, Russ Chandler will introduce his book. Join us for what promises to be a special evening.
7pm Thursday 21st November
Restore building, Manzil Way, East Oxford OX4 1YH (map)
“Plant-based diet can fight climate change,” said a recent BBC headline. The Guardian said that, cutting meat consumption “could play a big role in tackling climate crisis”.
The media said that less meat consumption would cut back on food waste.
Numbers of people changing to a vegan diet are increasing. The Economist reported that a quarter of Americans aged 25-34 are vegans or vegetarians. Of course major corporations have identified this growing market and seek to make huge profits from it - hence the controversy caused by the vegan sausage roll that gave Greggs so much publicity, McDonald's have launched the McVegan burger and Tyson Foods, a giant meat company has a stake in Beyond Meat that sells meat-free patties to restaurant chains.
But with the IPCC reporting that agriculture, forestry and land use account for 24% of global emissions (of which 15% is from livestock), how are the remaining three-quarters of emissions to be tackled if we are to avert climate catastrophe? Can we save the planet if vast numbers changed to a vegan diet? Come and join the discussion.
A weekend of socialist debate, culture and workshops for students and young workers.
Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury
Book your place at bit.ly/bigsocialist
Speakers & workshops include:
Ilan Pappé, anti-Zionist author • School climate strikers • A People's History of Hip Hop • Revolutionaries from Hong Kong & Sudan • Alex Callinicos, author of the Revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx • Grime, Drill & the demonisation of music • Race, class & identity • and more tbc!
Capitalism creates crisis. Runaway climate change threatens the future of the planet. Racism and the far right are on the rise on a level unseen since the 1930s. Economic turmoil and austerity continue 10 years on from the credit crunch.
But there has also been resistance to the system. Across the globe new climate movements have burst onto the streets, mass movements have challenged racism and the far right and we have seen big revolts in Hong Kong and Sudan.
There is a now a renewed interest in socialist ideas. This weekend is a chance for students and young workers to debate socialist ideas and discuss how we can build a world that puts people before profit. It will include debates, culture, workshops, plenaries, live music, bookstalls and much more.
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.
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
Keep racism out of the general election
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!
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
Following Stand Up To Racism's 1,000 strong international conference in London on 19 October, the UN Anti Racism Day demonstrations on 21 March 2020 are the central focus for the next steps in building the anti-racist movement. Demonstrations in London and Glasgow are confirmed, and will be part of the #WorldAgainstRacism global protests that will see marches in many countries around the world (follow worldagainstracism.org for updates on the international plans for #M21)
Other key initiatives coming out of the conference as detailed on the SUTR website include:
- November is Islamophobia Awareness Month – see this website for info and events
- Care4Calais winter appeal in December - Oxford SUTR is organising collections for CAre4Calais. Please contact them if you would like to help.
- 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