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argentina / uruguay / paraguay / workplace struggles / opinion / analysis Wednesday August 15, 2018 02:55 byJonathan Payn

Around the world the ruling class (capitalists, politicians and state managers) is trying to restore its profits by making the working class pay for the economic crisis. One way capitalists do this is by retrenching workers and making the remaining workers work harder to meet production targets, as well as by attacking wages, working conditions and benefits. States help capitalists do this, among other things, by increasing interest rates while giving corporations tax cuts, commercialising and privatising state owned enterprises and outsourcing the provision of basic services. States also help capitalists by undermining workers’ rights, such as the right to strike, in order to make it more difficult for workers to resist these attacks.

Unions have failed to defend workers from the immediate threat of these attacks (by preventing dismissals and defending jobs, wages and conditions), as well as to mount an effective resistance that can prevent further attacks and begin to roll back the devastating effects of neoliberalism. Moreover, union bureaucrats are often complicit in these attacks through deals they make with governments and bosses. A recent example in South Africa is the National Minimum Wage and amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and Labour Relations Amendment Bill – all of which represent an attack on workers yet were agreed to at Nedlac (the National Economic Development and Labour Council) by the leaders of the three main federations: Nactu, Fedusa and Cosatu.

Faced with this ruling class threat and with union bureaucracies that are either complicit or unwilling to fight, workers in Argentina have begun a process to build unity in struggle and a democratic worker-controlled alternative.

In July 2017, workers at a PepsiCo factory in Buenos Aires arrived at work to find a sign posted on the factory entrance announcing its closure and the dismissal of over 600 workers. Production would be moved to another plant – where workers would be expected to work harder and longer to make up for production lost by the closure of the Buenos Aires factory.

Left to their fate by union leaders that could or tried to do little to help, workers had no hope but to try defend their jobs through direct action. They collectively decided to occupy the factory to prevent its closure and keep their jobs. The occupation was violently evicted by a massive police operation after a few weeks; but the dismissed workers continued to fight for their jobs. They organised working class cultural ‘festivals of resistance’ to build solidarity, had mass marches and demonstrations, blockaded roads and even camped in tents in front of Argentina’s legislature to keep their struggle visible.

At this camp the PepsiCo workers made an open call to all organisations that wanted to join them in building an independent pole of worker organisation and resistance. In contrast to the union bureaucrats, this initiative would be based on democratic decision-making by workers themselves in open assemblies, and combative class struggle in opposition to years of conciliation by union bureaucrats that try to make workers believe they have something in common with the bosses and government. Instead of being bought off, they chose to rely on their own collective strength; and they took it beyond their won struggles to fight for other demands. Thus they turned their struggle into an example for the entire Argentine working class.

One group that heard the call, at a meeting in February, was that of 122 workers dismissed at the beginning of 2018 from the Posadas Hospital. As a dismissed nurse put it, “We are dismissed workers from different companies and establishments. The leaders of the big unions and federations have left us to fight alone. We have had strikes, blockades and mobilisations. Now we are uniting to fight, no matter what province or union we are from. We all struggle together and demand a national plan of action so that we can get our jobs back.”

Another step was on 11 April when mineworkers from Río Turbio, dismissed PepsiCo and Posadas Hospital workers, workers from ‘recovered’ (de-bureaucratised) sections of the education workers’ union, outsourced aeronautical and rail workers, drivers, call-centre operators, dock-workers and others shut down a main avenue in the centre of Buenos Aires – demonstrating the possibility of coordinating struggles and building unity from below. They demanded an end to the stillness of the union leadership and raised the need for a national general strike and a real plan of action.

This action was followed two days later by a general meeting where workers agreed that the central problem confronting them is the role of the bureaucratic union leaders that are either complicit in attacking workers, turn a blind eye or do everything they can to encourage conciliation and compromise. In opposition to this the meeting decided to continue the call for a national general strike and a plan of action; but also to develop a plan of action now specific to the various sectors in struggle, from below, through general assemblies of affected workers.

The PepsiCo workers’ call responded to an urgent need – in South Africa as much as in Argentina – for workers to exchange experiences, discuss strategies, tactics and ideas and decide collectively how to build genuine unity and coordination of struggles from below. To take immediate steps to strengthen each local conflict, but also to take steps towards formulating a joint plan of action and compelling the leaders of all the union federations both to adopt the joint plan of action and call a national general strike.

grecia / turchia / cipro / lotte indigene / opinione / analisi Tuesday August 14, 2018 22:11 byGianni Sartori

Nel Bakur (territori curdi sotto amministrazione-occupazione turca) il partito di Erdogan (AKP) continua a saccheggiare e sfruttare le risorse naturali (petrolio, minerali...) di questa regione curda. Anzi, le operazioni di estrazione negli ultimi mesi hanno subito una significativa accelerazione.

BAKUR OPPRESSO E SFRUTTATO

(Gianni Sartori)

In passato il Kurdistan – grazie anche alle sue abbondanti risorse naturali (acqua, terreni fertili, minerali...) – ha consentito a numerose comunità e civiltà di autodeterminarsi, garantendo sia ai curdi che ad altri popoli presenti nella regione i mezzi per svilupparsi autonomamente.
Oggi - sotto forma di un “colonialismo interno” da manuale - i minerali estratti nel Kurdistan, una delle terre più ricche al mondo di risorse naturali (disgraziatamente per i curdi, verrebbe da dire), vengono raffinati e lavorati all'ovest, nella Turchia propriamente detta. In particolare, da anni il petrolio estratto in Kurdistan viene dirottato verso la Turchia.
Come è – relativamente – noto la quasi totalità del petrolio “turco” proviene dalle regioni curde (da Batman, Adiyaman, Amed, Sirnak- Silopi, Siirt, Urfa, Mardin-Nusaybin...) dove sono presenti anche grandi riserve di rame, cromo, piombo, argento, carbone, lignite...
Tutto questo ben di dio viene estratto per venir trasportato nell'ovest, in Turchia per essere poi venduto (previa raffinazione e lavorazione) all'estero.
Senza che alla popolazione curda ne derivi alcun beneficio.
Il petrolio, in particolare, viene sistematicamente incanalato - “dirottato” - grazie agli oleodotti verso le raffinerie turche di Izmir-Aliaga, Kocaeli, Iprash, Kirikkale e altre dell'Anatolia centrale e di Hatay, Dortyol...
E' ormai più di un secolo che lo stato turco estrae petrolio dai giacimenti curdi e recentemente – come ho detto – questo sfruttamento ha subito un'impennata, un'accelerazione, con nuove campagne di esplorazione (promosse dall'AKP, per esempio a Hakkari-Van, ma anche a Çukurca, Şemdinli, Bitlis) per individuare e scavare nuovi pozzi.
Dietro tutto questo, la Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) che poco tempo fa – in maggio – ha realizzato un altro campo di estrazione petrolifere nel distretto di Çukurca(Hakkari). Berat Albayrak – ex ministro dell'Energia e delle Risorse naturali – aveva già annunciato lo scavo dei primi pozzi in profondità “nella regione di Semdinli e a Cizre e Van a Siirt, nel nord”.
Significativo – per quanto scontato – ciò che hanno dichiarato alcuni abitanti – curdi - delle regioni interessate dallo sfruttamento intensivo delle risorse da parte di Ankara:
“Noi non vogliamo che lo Stato turco estragga le nostre risorse. Vogliamo essere noi a utilizzarle”.
Soltanto puro, legittimo buonsenso direi.
Qualcuno lo vada a spiegare a Erdogan, per favore.
Gianni Sartori
brazil/guyana/suriname/fguiana / anti-fascismo / opinião / análise Sunday August 12, 2018 10:22 byBrunoL

Ao que parece, a candidatura do deputado federal Jair Bolsonaro (PSL-RJ) emplacando como vice o general da reserva (quatro estrelas) Antonio Hamilton Marques Mourão marca uma nova etapa da relação das Forças Armadas (FFAA) e a sociedade brasileira. Bolsonaro, em seu afã de homenagear os facínoras dos porões, vai desmontar o "legado" da obra conjunta de operadores como Orlando Geisel (no desenho da estrutura da guerra interna) e do então capitão Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, na montagem dos DOIs. DOI-CODI (Destacamento de Operações de Informações – Centro de Operações de Defesa Interna), com ramificações por todo o país e concentração nas maiores cidades da época (São Paulo, Rio de janeiro e Recife, dentre outras), como a sigla já diz, era para agir como Destacamentos operando unidades semi-autônomas e conjuntas subordinadas ao comando da Força Terrestre.

10 de agosto de 2018, Bruno Lima Rocha
Ao que parece, a candidatura do deputado federal Jair Bolsonaro (PSL-RJ) emplacando como vice o general da reserva (quatro estrelas) Antonio Hamilton Marques Mourão marca uma nova etapa da relação das Forças Armadas (FFAA) e a sociedade brasileira. Bolsonaro, em seu afã de homenagear os facínoras dos porões, vai desmontar o "legado" da obra conjunta de operadores como Orlando Geisel (no desenho da estrutura da guerra interna) e do então capitão Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, na montagem dos DOIs. DOI-CODI (Destacamento de Operações de Informações – Centro de Operações de Defesa Interna), com ramificações por todo o país e concentração nas maiores cidades da época (São Paulo, Rio de janeiro e Recife, dentre outras), como a sigla já diz, era para agir como Destacamentos operando unidades semi-autônomas e conjuntas subordinadas ao comando da Força Terrestre.
Assim, as FFAA não se "queimavam" matando a luz do dia envergando uniformes verde oliva. Isso ocorreu no Araguaia, nas três campanhas (1972-1975) e na segunda guerra (concomitante a fundação da Comissão Pastoral da Terra, CPT), esta só contra camponeses e tendo como alvo os posseiros da região. Mas, tamanha exposição de chacinas e massacres com gente envergando uniformes militares não ocorreu em áreas de grande concentração urbanas. No combate aos GTAs nas cidades (Grupos Táticos Armados, unidades básicas das pequenas organizações guerrilheiras do Brasil), as veraneios cinzas e os agentes descaracterizados traziam o terror sem escancarar o papel dos quartéis. Havia medo, e muito, mas não uma condição tal como na Argentina, quando todo o aparelho militar nacional e das províncias (as polícias provinciais, equivalentes às PMs, além da ação da Polícia Federal Argentina, ostensiva), era obrigado a reprimir, entrando em rodízio na guerra suja de extermínio contra seu próprio povo.
Com a aventura da extrema direita do Século XXI explicitando a guerra interna e tendo um general recém passado para a reserva no palanque, Bolsonaro e Mourão vão cumprir o papel de queimar - de vez - o Exército (EB) e por tabela as duas outras forças, diante da população brasileira. No período anterior a ditadura, a Escola Superior de Guerra (ESG) ao menos cunhou um conceito estratégico “Segurança Nacional & Desenvolvimento”. Qual seria agora o conceito dos bolsonaristas? “Segurança Patrimonial, Conservantismo Social e Entreguismo”? Possivelmente. Como autênticos entreguistas colonizados, vão bater palma para o Império, se calarão diante da entrega do Pré-Sal e vão aumentar a incidência de oficiais dentro do aparelho de Estado. Se não o fizerem e terminarem - em um hipotético e nada desejado governo eleito (faremos todos os esforços para que isso não ocorra) - rompendo com os Chicago Boys (tipo o guru dos rentistas selvagens Paulo Guedes) aí vão governar sozinhos, com menos de 100 votos no Congresso e sem o apoio nem da Globo e sequer das aves de rapinha. Logo, quem irá governar de fato? Generais do EB. Ou seja, mesmo quando Bolsonaro é menos ruim, segue sendo horroroso, dado o risco que impõe ao país.
Outra possibilidade advinda do envolvimento direto de dois generais de quatro estrelas recém passados para a reserva, como Antonio Hamilton Mourão e Augusto Heleno Ribeiro Pereira, é expor o generalato à uma visibilidade fora do manto da técnica militar, conseguindo assim "contaminar politicamente" a hierarquia nas tropas. Ou seja, de volta ao passado, retornando ao ciclo iniciado no tenentismo, fortalecido em 1935 e em tese encerrado em 1988. Parece que não.
Simón Bolívar já vaticinou há muito tempo, "maldito seja o soldado que aponta a arma contra seu povo". Logo, se eleito for Bolsonaro já disse que vai empregar um grande número de oficiais da reserva, ou mesmo da ativa, algo que era corriqueiro na ditadura (como os famosos 'coronéis da Petrobrás') ou o superdimensionado aparato de vigilância e espionagem interna (SNI-SISNI). Assim, por diversas ocasiões esses oficiais em cargos de responsabilidade entrarão em conflito direto contra seu povo.
Bolsonaro não começou a lambança, mas a aprofunda
A presença de militares na crise brasileira é visível. Já houve uma quebra de acórdão político no desgoverno de Temer, quando Raul Jungmann (o eterno arrependido ex-partidão) deixou a pasta da Defesa e esta foi assumida por Joaquim Silva e Luna, um general da reserva de quatro estrelas (contrariando assim a condição de um paisano à frente da pasta, até para não melindrar a Marinha e a Aeronáutica). Jungmann passou o bastão logo após a crise pós carnaval (em 28 de fevereiro de 2018) assumindo um mentecapto Ministério Extraordinário da Segurança Pública (uma versão minguada dos famigerados Ministério do Interior nos países vizinhos) depois de haver sido desmoralizado justamente por Antônio Hamilton Mourão e a decisão unilateral do comandante em chefe do Exército, general Eduardo Villas Bôas de que não puniria o Mourão ("ele é um gauchão patriota" segundo Villas Bôas).
Assim, caso o capitão de artilharia que teve uma péssima folha de serviços na força terrestre vier a assumir o Palácio do Planalto, vários cargos de chefia, CCs e FGs serão disputados por oficiais generais e oficiais superiores das três forças. O resultado será institucionalmente desastroso, mas pode vir a servir para escancarar o período da ditadura militar e o fato - terrível - de que a ideia de nacionalismo passa bem longa da defesa do povo brasileiro. Parece que a oficialidade quando fala o que pensa realmente manifesta o mito de Guararapes. Quando muda é para pior, com tenebrosa idealização racial de Antonio Hamilton Mourão, muito semelhante às barbaridades proferidas por gente como o racista Nina Rodrigues ou o integralista e também general Olímpio Mourão Filho.
Ernesto Geisel e Golbery do Couto e Silva estariam desesperados agora, vendo que toda a articulação para que os militares saíssem limpos do regime ditatorial que inventaram, após haverem cometidos crimes de lesa humanidade à frente do Estado, indo para o ralo. Enquanto os gênios da ditadura veem do além o caldo entornar, seus colegas de caserna vão sendo expostos ao vexame e ao repúdio iminente caso o desastre ocorra e o falastrão protofascista ganhe os votos da direita brasileira. Será que a ala profissional e constitucionalista das três forças irá se manifestar a tempo?

Bruno Lima Rocha é pós-doutorando em economia, doutor e mestre em ciência política, professor de relações internacionais e jornalismo (www.estrategiaeanaliseblog.com / blimarocha@gmail.com)

southern africa / migration / racism / opinion / analysis Friday August 10, 2018 22:21 byBongani Maponyane

Racism has been a curse in South Africa, and remains embedded in the society. But how scientific are racist ideas? Where do they come from? And how can we fight racism and create a truly equal and fair society? What do we as revolutionary anarchists think?

Racial conflict, inequality, and hatred are not natural, but fed and reared by capitalism and the state. To really change the system, we need a massive programme of upgrading education, health, housing and services; an end to the racist heap labour system; a challenge to the ideological control that splits the working class; and a radical redistribution of wealth and power to the working class and poor –which in South Africa, means primarily the black working class and poor –as part of a social revolution.

Racism has been a curse in South Africa, and remains embedded in the society. But how scientific are racist ideas? Where do they come from? And how can we fight racism and create a truly equal and fair society? What do we as revolutionary anarchists think?

Different races?
The heart of the idea of “race” is that there are different basic types of people, with different appearances — and different, built-in abilities, cultures and behaviours. This then gets tied to the ideas like: races have unequal abilities, every member of race acts in one way all the time, races cannot co-exist peacefully with special rules, and some races are born to rule, others born as “hewers of wood and drawers of water.”

Even if these ideas are not openly said so much these days (leaving aside people like Penny Sparrow), they still exist, in common ideas like: some races are better at sports, some races are crueller, some are greedier, or that “races” are always conflict, or that you can’t trust people in different “races,” or that inventions are made by different “races.”

But these ideas are false. It is true people look different. The fact is there is only one humankind. All humans have a common descent from Africa. Nature doesn’t strike twice, it never creates the same thing twice. Different races were not born in different areas. Evolutionary evidence shows common ancestry (a “monogenesis”). That means humans are one species, with one common origin and one set of common abilities and one common human nature.

As people migrated around the world and around Africa, there was some variation in appearance and body. Nobody survive in that hot sub-equatorial regions without dark skin pigmentation: where temperature is extremely hot, at 35 degrees Celsius and up, very dark skin with a lot of melanin is a people had to be more light-skinned in colder and less sunny climates. People become whiter in such climates. Limited transportation created more isolation between areas, so there was sharper variation in some cases.

Science and society
So there is really one specific species that moved out of Africa to Europe, Asia and the Americas, but this did not lead to new species. Instead we can think of a common family of African descent, with many children, but a lot of mixing due to migration, wars and trade.

Science shows clearly that all races have the same abilities. Evolutionary and biological evidence shows no variation between what people think of as races, in terms of the brain or other abilities, but it shows lots of variation inside “races.”

So even to talk about “races” is actually a problem. What is the meaning of the word? In fact people don’t even agree on what defines a “race.” For example, some people considered white in South Africa, like Jews, were not considered to be “real” Europeans in a large parts of Europe. Adolf Hitler’s racism saw Eastern European whites (Slavs) as sub-human people. People with any black African ancestry are today defined as “black” or “African” in the USA, but those exact same people would be defined as “Coloured” but not black African in South Africa. The race category “Caucasian” includes white Europeans, but also Arabs, Berbers, Lebanese, Turks and Indians, but in apartheid South Africa, Christian or Jewish Arabs and Lebanese were defined as white, but Muslim Arabs and Turks as Coloureds, and all Indians (no matter the religion) were defined as a specific Indian group.

The racial inequalities we see in many countries – with black African people often victims of extreme racism – does not come from nature. It comes from how society is set up. I will show below how racism is built by capitalism, colonialism and states.

Evolution
Sadly, racist ideas have abused the theory of evolution. This theory explained why people are all basically the same, and also why some groups look a bit different to other groups. People today are all part of one species: homo-sapiens or modern humans. This is very different from earlier types like homo-erectus. It is completely wrong to think that some people are somehow less evolved than others, or closer to apes.

This horrible abuse of evolution by racists has led some people to reject the idea of evolution, thinking it claims means blacks are less than whites. In fact the theory shows people are the same! Charles Darwin, who pioneered the theory, insisted all humans had common African descent and were one group.

Inventions?
This evolution is a very powerful challenge to racist ideas. The theory of evolution proves that we as humankind come from one source, and are all basically equal in all spheres of ability.

It is nonsense to say one “race” invented something, or to try claim credit for an invention in the past, just because you look similar to an inventor. Inventions are made by individuals, existing in a specifics society, and are made possible by certain types of social structure, and always draw on earlier ideas and innovations – including from different societies. All the achievements of people in the past are a common human heritage, not owned by any group.

The roots
When we see racism in modern day society, we need to understand it does not exist because what we call “races” are unequal in the flesh or mind, but because we live in a society based on domination, exploitation, hierarchies and oppression.

In South Africa we can clearly see how modern-day racism emerged from how society developed. During the apartheid period, black (meaning black African, Coloured and Indian) people suffered systematic racism, affected wage levels, services, neighbourhoods, racism, and rights. The white population (around 15% of the population) earned 65% of the total income, while black Africans, at 75% of the population, got 28%. Poverty was linked closely to race and persisted over time: for example, while 8 out of 10 white children completed high school, around 2 out of 10 black Africans reached and passed matric.

Racist labour system
This was because capitalism in South Africa developed in the context of European colonial context and dispossession, and a system of white supremacy. The loss of land and a battery of repressive racist laws and practices enabled an economy based on cheap black labour. Black African peasants who succeeded in farming for markets were pushed out of business and into wage labour.

The British Empire was central to many of these processes, and foreign investors, mainly British, were for decades central to the creation of a massive commercial mining industry from the 1870s, based on cheap and unfree black labour. Commercial farms emerged around the mines, and also rested on cheap black labour. Massive exploitation, in a racist system, was the bedrock of South African capitalism, and helped fund the state through taxation and through state enterprises. The state built railways, roads and big industries, all of which increased state and capitalist power.

As manufacturing developed on a massive scale from the 1920s, the racist cheap labour system continued. The state enforced racist measures – low wages, rights abuses, hostels and migrant labour, the township system – which generated the cheap black labour capitalism devoured. Racial and ethnic division between blacks, and between blacks and whites, helped fracture the working class. Unions usually followed racial lines, and black Africans were not given full union rights until 1995.

The future
The legacy of this system is everywhere in South Africa. The racist crimes of capitalism and the state were not erased in 1994, Racism was institutionalised, and today the township system, the migrant labour system and the cheap black labour system continue, and shape the class system. Poverty, unemployment, low wages and poor conditions are still linked closely to race. Today, the old white capitalist sector works with the new black state elite to oppress the largely black working class. Continuing inequality perpetuates racial conflicts, and also generates new forms of racism, such as the massive xenophobia that exists in South Africa since 1994.

In closing, racial conflict, inequality, and hatred are not natural. All people are equal, and racial conflict is not caused by people by people looking different. Racism, over the last few hundred years, was fed and reared by capitalism and the state. To really change the system, we need a massive programme of upgrading education, health, housing and services; an end to the cheap labour system; a challenge to the ideological control that splits the working class; and a radical redistribution of wealth and power to the working class and poor –which in South Africa, means primarily the black working class and poor –as part of a social revolution

ireland / britain / anti-fascism / non-anarchist press Friday August 10, 2018 17:14 byDavid Rosenberg

NOT content with calling Jeremy Corbyn a “fucking anti-semite and racist,” and treating herself as the victim when the Labour Party threatened to act on a third party complaint about her use of outrageous and abusive language against a fellow Labour MP whom she has known for several decades, and is the leader of the Labour Party, Margaret Hodge has had the chutzpah to compare her fight against Corbyn’s alleged anti-semitism with her fight in her Barking constituency against the British National Party (BNP).

She has cynically drawn on her family’s direct experience of the Holocaust to bolster her special right to pronounce on the subject.

The usual suspects who regularly target their venom at Corbyn instead of the Tory Party — and happen, coincidentally, to be members of Labour Friends of Israel — Ruth Smeeth, Luciana Berger, Jess Philips, Chuka Umunna and others, have all lined up to defend Hodge’s comments and have praised to the hilt her proclaimed brave and courageous fight against the BNP.

Let’s unpick this a little. In 2006, the BNP certainly pulled off a political surprise in the council elections when it won 12 seats in Barking and Dagenham, where the local MPs were Jon Cruddas and Hodge.

Labour paid the price of taking votes for granted and not doing the work on the ground to counter the narratives of the BNP.

The BNP replaced Labour councillors and former Labour voters provided most of the new voting strength of the BNP.

Nine out of those 12 new councillors were in the brave and courageous and effective anti-racist Margaret Hodge’s constituency.

It was certainly a failure of that Labour council but it was equally her failure. Maybe even more her personal failure.

Singer and writer Billy Bragg, who grew up in Barking and still has family there, pointed out that she didn’t even have an office in the constituency until after those 12 BNP councillors were elected.

She had effectively made a deal with the local Labour councillors that they look after the constituency and she would concentrate on her role at Westminster.

But it gets worse the more you dig. In the run-up to the elections of 2006, Hodge claimed that eight out of 10 white working-class people were thinking of voting BNP.

For the BNP activists this was manna from heaven. Those who were leaning towards the BNP policies but couldn’t necessarily see the point in voting as Labour always got in were suddenly very motivated to vote. Small wonder that the BNP sent Hodge a bunch of flowers to thank her.

A year later, what do we find this brave and courageous anti-racist doing? She is busy advocating a housing policy that talks explicitly of privileging “the legitimate sense of entitlement felt by indigenous families” over the “legitimate needs demonstrated by new migrants.”

Not exactly the words of an anti-racist champion who is entitled to casually throw accusations of racism at others.

She was widely accused, not least by the Refugee Council and several other anti-racist bodies, of legitimising BNP arguments, competing with the BNP on the territory they were establishing by absolutely conceding to their arguments.

Not surprisingly then BNP leader Nick Griffin saw Hodge’s seat as vulnerable to a far-right challenge at the next general election.

It is just a tad embarrassing and tasteless even that a politician who wields her family’s Holocaust history as a weapon to give her licence to say what she likes in arguments with fellow Labour MPs was being criticised then by leading refugee bodies for bolstering the racism of a party whose roots were in classical nazism.

What was Corbyn doing in the same period?

The same as he has always done — taking on the racists and fascists within his own and other constituencies, in tireless door-to-door work, on public platforms and on the streets, supporting grassroots anti-racist and anti-fascist activists and always advocating principled arguments that gave no ground at all to racism and helping to make Islington a borough that was proud to welcome refugees.

Hodge’s close pals on the right wing of the Labour Party talk of her “crushing the BNP in Barking.”

Thankfully, the fascists were defeated, but Hodge was part of the problem not the solution. It was the round-the-clock efforts of local left-wing Labour activists, trade unionists and local and national anti-racist and anti-fascist organisations who were responsible for seeing off the BNP councillors and Griffin’s parliamentary challenge in 2010.

It was an extraordinary effort. In every council seat the total number of voters went up, but the BNP vote went down. I did the easy bit with my fellow trade unionists — we put anti-racist and anti-fascist literature through the letter boxes of every home in Barking and Dagenham.

Bragg, though, returned to Barking and spent a month knocking on doors to have the face-to-face arguments with first-time BNP voters and to try to convince them to see things from a different perspective.

We did a bit of joint personal work. I interviewed Bragg for the West Ham football fanzine. It was published about six weeks before the election.

We discussed football and his feelings about the area he grew up in and its current social and economic problems, knowing that the cross-section of people buying that fanzine would have included a significant number of first-time BNP voters.

He gave sophisticated arguments for them not to vote BNP, without talking down to the voters or dismissing their sense of disenfranchisement and neglect.

In this, and in his work on the doorstep I am sure Bragg was much more effective than Hodge who had simply ended up boosting the BNP arguments in a typically unprincipled right-wing Blairite attempt at triangulation.

Bragg who, like Corbyn, has impeccable anti-racist credentials, has also commented in recent days on the controversy around the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-semitism.

He is very supportive of those who have raised perfectly legitimate criticisms of it and in particular has praised and promoted the arguments of the Jewish academic Brian Klug, who in turn argued that what Corbyn and the NEC have done is a significant attempt at improving the IHRA document and making it fit to challenge anti-semitism and protect free speech and comment about Israel, Palestine and zionism.

If Hodge was consistent she would have a go at Bragg, but she sees Corbyn as a more suitable target because this is not really about anti-semitism but is a battle to defeat the left of the Labour Party and defend Israel from criticism.

If Hodge and her sisters in struggle, Smeeth and Berger, were not craven opportunists and selective anti-racists and defenders of human rights, they might have been speaking out more, or even at all, about the disgusting and openly racist nation state bill that the Israeli government has just approved while Benjamin Netanyahu was simultaneously hosting a visit from the Hungarian PM Victor Orban — a political leader who is pushing anti-semitic, anti-Roma and Islamophobic themes at every opportunity.

You have chosen a side, Margaret. It is the wrong one. As The Beat sang about another Margaret, “Stand Down, Margaret, stand down please!”

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Rojava: Mensaje urgente de un compañero anarquista en Afrin

Rojava: Mensaje urgente de un compañero anarquista en Afrin

Wed 22 Aug, 16:15

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textEstados Unidos, tierra fértil para un nuevo municipalismo Aug 21 18:32 by Kate Shea Baird 0 comments

theblast363x480.jpg imageΜετά την καταστρ_... Aug 16 05:42 by provo 0 comments

textHow Did Socialists Respond to the Advent of Fascism? Aug 15 16:51 by John Riddell 0 comments

fau.png imageDeclaración de la Federación Anarquista Uruguaya acerca de los sucesos en Nicaragua Aug 15 07:24 by Federación Anarquista Uruguaya 0 comments

boiketlong4.jpg image[South Africa] Renewed appeal for Solidarity with the Boiketlong 4 Aug 15 07:09 by Solidarity with the Boiketlong 4 0 comments

argentina_2_copy.jpg imageWorkers’ power not bureaucrats’ power: lessons from Argentina Aug 15 02:55 by Jonathan Payn 0 comments

textBAKUR OPPRESSO E SFRUTTATO Aug 14 22:11 by Gianni Sartori 0 comments

bolsonada_careta.jpg imageBolsonaro e as Forças Armadas: a desastrosa imagem associada Aug 12 10:22 by BrunoL 0 comments

correll_voa_21535371w.jpg imageTearing racism up from its capitalist roots: An African anarchist-communist approach Aug 10 22:21 by Bongani Maponyane 0 comments

textStand down, Margaret! Aug 10 17:14 by David Rosenberg 0 comments

afrinocupacionturcalatinta.jpg imageLas cifras escalofriantes de la ocupación turca de Afrin Aug 10 17:01 by Leandro Albani 0 comments

textRęka w ręke z kobiecą rewolucją Aug 09 21:02 by Justyna Wróblewska 0 comments

affiche_camp_antiarmes.jpg imageAufruf zur Demonstration am 2.9.2018 in Unterlüß "Rheinmetall entwaffnen – Krieg beginnt h... Aug 07 10:12 by Rheinmetall entwaffnen 0 comments

affiche_camp_antiarmes_2.jpg imageAppel à l’action : „Désarmer Rheinmetall – la guerre commence ici“ Aug 07 10:02 by Rheinmetall entwaffnen 0 comments

affiche_camp_antiarmes_1.jpg imageChiamata: „Disarmiamo Rheinmetall – La guerra inizia qui“ Aug 07 09:55 by Rheinmetall entwaffnen 0 comments

affiche_camp_antiarmes_3.jpg imageLlamado a „Desarmar Rheinmetall – la guerra comienza aquí“ Aug 07 09:46 by Rheinmetall entwaffnen 0 comments

sm7jxb_n4xm_hqdefault.jpg imageΑφοπλίζοντας την... Aug 06 21:12 by Συλλογικότητα κατά της Rheinmetall 0 comments

videoCall to Action: “Disarming Rheinmetall – war starts here” Aug 05 23:51 by someone, but could be anyone 2 comments

ricardo_flores_magon.jpg imageΧωρίς αφεντικά Aug 05 21:31 by Ricardo Flores Magon 0 comments

31430080_472022616546883_1104059938012921856_n.jpg imageΟ Προμηθέας και η &#... Aug 02 20:02 by Κώστας Δεσποινιάδης 0 comments

textJusticia para Santiago Maldonado Aug 02 17:11 by FORA 0 comments

alckmincentroe1532685483562.jpg imageO Centrão da direita Jul 29 23:59 by BrunoL 0 comments

cropped96194995296576995695795996541.jpg imageΕίμαστε εδώ για ν ... Jul 29 22:53 by ΕΣΕ Ρεθύμνου 0 comments

iraq_1.jpg imageDes nouvelles des manifestations à Bagdad et dans le sud de l’Irak : ça continue ! Jul 27 20:51 by Zaher Baher 0 comments

textJuly 2018 Kate Sharpley Library Bulletin online Jul 27 18:25 by KSL 0 comments

hobbesleviathan1030x785.jpg imageAn Anarchist View of the Class Theory of the State Jul 27 00:59 by Wayne Price 0 comments

8b056e643c1c40c39aa4e0eb2eb97056_16x9_788x442.jpg imageManifestations de masse dans le sud et le centre de l’Irak Jul 26 11:26 by Zaher Baher 0 comments

p_01_02_2017.jpeg imageA spectre is haunting us: it’s the past weighing like a nightmare on the present Jul 26 02:39 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

iraq.jpg imageUpdate report : The mass protests in Baghdad and Southern Iraq continue Jul 25 06:43 by Zaher Baher 0 comments

textI CURDI OPPRESSI SIA DA ANKARA CHE DA TEHERAN Jul 22 16:24 by Gianni Sartori 0 comments

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