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Volume 54 Number 12, June 1, 2024 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

July 4, 2024, Election:

All Out to Elect Anti-War Candidates and Challenge the Cartel Party System!

Workers' Weekly Internet Edition: Article Index :

July 4, 2024, Election :
All Out to Elect Anti-War Candidates and Challenge the Cartel Party System!

End the Genocide! Stop Arming Israel!:
Emergency Stop the War Demonstration Rally in Whitehall

KCL Students Protest against the London Defence Conference:
Warmongers Not Welcome on Campus

King's College London Palestine Action:
KCL Palestine Action Statement on the London Defence Conference

Newcastle Palestine Solidarity Campaign:
Kings Hall at Newcastle University Occupied and Declared as Al-Shifa Hall

Representing the Deep Humanity of the Doctors Who Serve in Gaza

Talk and Concert:
The World Stands With Palestine

Workers' Forum:
Goldsmiths UCU Resists

July 4, 2024, Election:

All Out to Elect Anti-War Candidates and Challenge the Cartel Party System!

On May 22, Rishi Sunak stood in the pouring rain in Downing Street, to the accompaniment of "Things Can Only Get Better", and announced the general election on July 4. This Parliament has now been dissolved, and the new Parliament has been called to meet on Tuesday, July 9. The State Opening of Parliament and The King's Speech will follow on Wednesday, July 17.

The prerogative of surprise was the only tactic left open to Sunak as his government has been increasingly beset by crisis and disarray, the calculation being that the polls could only get worse if the election was left till the Autumn. The childish reiteration by the Conservative Party that the issue facing the electorate was the "choice" between Starmer and Sunak was only matched by the Labour Party's one-word slogan of "change", when both are part of the moribund cartel party system. In fact, a very large majority for Labour presents a danger for the people that, far from bringing about "change", would present the favoured solution for the ruling elite in intensifying the anti-social offensive and rule by the executive, as an integral part of the state of the rich. It would represent an intensification of the delivery of a pay-the-rich programme, and, even more dangerously, of a pro-war, pro-Zionist, government, which sees war and military might as key, under the rubric of "security". The ruling elite hope for stability in this way, which the Conservative Party, since the ascendancy of Boris Johnson, has been unable to provide.

What, in contrast, is crucial for the working class and people is to utilise the election not to do more of complaining about how terrible Conservative and Labour, and their leaders, are, but to advance their interests and the programme of the working class. For the people, the struggle epitomised by the slogan "Enough Is Enough" goes on, and the working class is determined this must be further built, election or no election. At the same time, it must be utilised to affirm and fight for people's empowerment. The issue is not to pick a side, in the sense of agreeing that this is "choice" versus "change", which is empty rhetoric. The parties which constitute the cartel party system have nothing but contempt for the struggles of working people apart from garnering their vote. What is the choice when Labour and Conservative are both gate-keepers of political power? Change comes from working people fighting for their interests and a programme which favours them, in which they further empower themselves, in which they are empowered to speak in their own name.

There are twin aims for the working class and people in this election. One is to fight for the alternative, for the rights of all, for a change in the direction of the economy, for candidates who are anti-war, who are opposed to the cartel party system. The other is to strengthen the fight for empowerment, for democratic renewal of the political system, for an Anti-War Government, which would be a fundamental shift to the participation of the people in fulfilling their desire for peace and the decision-making power.

It cannot be overlooked that this election campaign is taking place in the context of the Zionist genocide against the Palestinians, and the complicity of Conservatives and Labour in backing this genocide and arming Israel. When the world's peoples in their hundreds of thousands and many governments are taking a just stand in opposition, there will be candidates who genuinely oppose this genocide, not just shed crocodile tears about the need for humanitarian assistance. The struggle is continuing and of necessity must be a central feature of this election campaign.

In this context, and that of the people's movement and the stands of the youth for what is just, we call on people to vote for anti-war and independent candidates wherever possible. Let us go all out to elect candidates who have an anti-war stance, taking steps towards a government which cannot be free to pursue its pro-war nature in Parliament unopposed. At the same time, the fight is on to establish an Anti-War Government, that is a government with modern democratic arrangements. This is the perspective and vision that inspires the working class, the youth and all the democratic forces. Build discussion groups and other collective forms in which the participants empower themselves.

Build the Resistance!
All Out to Elect Anti-War Candidates!
Build the Voice of the People!
Take up the Need to Renew the Political Process!
Together We Can Achieve Success!

Article Index

End the Genocide! Stop Arming Israel!

Emergency Stop the War Demonstration Rally in Whitehall

A very large emergency anti-war demonstration took place on Tuesday, May 28, at short notice organised by Stop the War in response to the Israeli-Zionist attack on the camp site housing homeless Palestinian civilians. Palestinian residential homes have been destroyed by Israeli bombing of civilian areas under the guise of targeting Hamas. This is a genocidal massacre of 45 Palestinians - mostly women and children burnt alive amid the continued Israeli Zionist aggression.

It is testament to the strength of the people's determined opposition to the genocide of the Palestinian people, in which Britain is complicit, as it continues to arm and give the green light to Israel, that so many thousands turn out in the heart of London at the residence of whatever Prime Minister to condemn such massacres, which are beyond the imagination.

Article Index

KCL Students Protest against the London Defence Conference

Warmongers Not Welcome on Campus

On May 21, students from King's College London (KCL), alongside students from other universities, protested at the holding of the London Defence Conference, a high-profile event for policymakers, politicians, and academics involved in the defence and arms trade industries, co-organised by the School of Security Studies at King's College London. The London Defence Conference was established as an annual event in 2022. Attendance is by invitation only.

The conference, held at Bush House at KCL's Strand Campus from May 21-23, hosted several deplorable figures implicated in war crimes and atrocities, to the dismay of students and staff. Among those highlighted on a "no entry list" circulated by students was Lord George Robinson, the 10th Secretary General of NATO, who held the position during the US invasion of Afghanistan. In December 2002, before the US-led invasion of Iraq, Robinson declared that NATO had a "moral obligation" to support the United States if it attacked. Despite his endorsement of this monstrous war on the Iraqi people, which resulted in the deaths of over 460,000 Iraqi civilians, King's College London saw fit to invite him to chair a workshop with former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, titled "Being Defence Secretary".

Also in attendance were representatives from commercial arms companies such as MBDA Missile Systems and BAE Systems. Both firms have recently been named by The European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights in their 300-page submission to the International Criminal Court's Office of the Prosecutor, a submission which calls on the ICC to investigate whether high-ranking officials, from both European companies and governments, have criminal responsibility for supplying arms used by members of the Saudi Arabia/UAE-led military coalition in potential war crimes in Yemen.

As well as standing accused of complicity in war crimes in Yemen, both firms have close links with the genocidal Israeli military; the German arm of MBDA Missile Systems has a partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), while BAE systems is notoriously involved in the production and maintenance of the Israeli Air Force's F-15, F-16, and F-35 fighter jets, which have all been used in the indiscriminate genocidal bombardment of Gaza, resulting in the deaths of over 35,000 Palestinians, according to the UN.

The protest, held to coincide with the first day of the conference, is but the latest expression of anger among students and staff about King's College London's militarisation and complicity in the unfolding genocide against the Palestinian people and comes after weeks of mass walkouts, demonstrations and sit-ins.

"KCL Palestine Action", the organisers behind the protest against the London Defence Conference, are the leading action group at KCL, composed of students and alumni who have been campaigning for King's College London to sever these institutional links with Israeli apartheid.

KCL Palestine Action has advanced resolute demands of demilitarisation, divestment, severance of ties with Israeli universities and the revocation of the insidious IHRA definition of Anti-Semitism. They have been scheduled to meet the senior management of the university May 30 on the basis of these demands. What remains to be known at the time of writing is whether the provost, Shitij Kapur, will heed the anger of staff and students and finally reconsider the University's reprehensible position at the negotiating table.

Regardless of the outcome of these negotiations, the turnout at the protest on the May 21 surely makes clear that the students at KCL and across Britain champion an anti-genocide and anti-war stance - whether the powers that be are advocating for war in Palestine, or a war against Russia, China, Iran, DPRK or any other sovereign country which the Anglo-American imperialists malign as part of the "axis of evil". The students are tireless and ever-increasing in number for the fight for an anti-war government and institutions which are anti-war.

Article Index

King's College London Palestine Action

KCL Palestine Action Statement on the London Defence Conference

KCL Palestine Action, on behalf of the students and faculty of King's College London, fiercely opposes the London Defence Conference 2024 with all our might. We shall affirm that the campus belongs to us, not to war-criminals and scoundrels! This event last year platformed the war-criminal and genocidaire, PM Rishi Sunak.

The London Defence Conference endeavours to legitimise and broadcast the terrorist and genocidal ends of the UK and NATO. Its theme for 2024 is "deterrence". Yet it is NATO who are the most shameless aggressors. It is the NATO imperialists - unconstrained by any moral qualms, norms, rules or laws - who commit genocide, which we have seen in Palestine today, and who violate the political and economic sovereignty of any country that attempts an independent road.

By LDC advocating for "strengthening defences", what is being defended? A structure of imperialism and systematic plundering, for the benefit of a tiny cartel of bankers and warlords. They are advocating "defence" against the forces that righteously try to resist this system.

It is the NATO aggressors, a military alliance formed from the colonial powers and Nazi remnants, who have left a path of devastation and massacres in their wake. And it is these same warlords, and the obsequious KCL War Studies professors who propagandise on their behalf, who have the audacity to use our campus for their terrorist ends. They vainly attempt to infect our community with their rabid bloodlust - a community of whom many are diaspora from the panoply of terrorist wars that NATO have waged, the sons and daughters of those NATO murdered in cold blood.

Now they come to our campus to drum-up and provoke war with Russia and China!

KCL Action will be leading the opposition against this shameful event. Our numbers will show that the entire King's Community stands behind us in our disdain for NATO and their terrorist actions. Our opposition to this sordid event is in line with our advocacy for demilitarisation at KCL - a concrete demand we will be delivering in our hardly-fought meeting with the complicit KCL vice-chancellor Shitij Kapur on May 30. KCL are not only enablers of these warlords, but have financial investments and partnerships in arms companies, totalling over £52,000,000. They are a partner in these crimes!

KCL Action, through its resolute political line of demilitarisation, is in active solidarity with all the oppressed peoples of the world who are courageously resisting the NATO imperialists and their proxies.

Be prepared for strong action against this despicable event. We owe our voice and our efforts to the martyrs, to the students of Palestine whose schools and universities have been obliterated by the cowardly occupiers and to the billions around the world who are crippled by NATO's aggressions!

The students and faculty of KCL assert...
No to war!
Yes to demilitarisation!
No warmongers and genocidaires on our campus!
Down with the London Defence Conference!
Down with NATO!
Long live the student intifada!

Article Index

Newcastle Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Kings Hall at Newcastle University Occupied and Declared as Al-Shifa Hall

According to reports from the Newcastle Palestine Solidarity Campaign (NPSC), students at Newcastle University on Wednesday, May 29, occupied the Kings Hall in the Armstrong Building at the University, renaming it Al-Shifa Hall. A student encampment at the university was already in place.

One person who was arrested, detained for some hours and then released without charge, sent a message to Newcastle PSC, saying that the excessive police presence shows that the university authorities are seriously rattled, and called on everyone to keep the protests going, including at the rally in Newcastle scheduled for Saturday, June 1.

The demands of the students include that the university ends its shameful partnership with the Leonardo arms manufacturer (the world's 13th largest arms producer), a company which has long-standing ties with the Israeli military. Amongst other things, the company produces essential components for the Apache attack helicopters, used by the IDF to launch the missiles which kill and maim men, women and children alike. By their partnership with Leonardo, the University is deeply complicit in the Israeli genocide in Gaza and Israel's war crimes in the West Bank.

Article Index


Representing the Deep Humanity of the Doctors Who Serve in Gaza

May 18 London, 76 Years of the Nakba

A doctor who has served in Gaza throughout the Israeli genocide at Al-Shifa and other hospitals was in Newcastle on Tuesday, May 28, at the Star and Shadow Cinema to share his experience of serving at multiple hospitals in Gaza within the ongoing genocide.

Hundreds were present in this very moving meeting in which medics and non-medics took part. It is hard to report in words the reality of these war crimes. The doctors explained about the genocide of their people - men, women and children - alongside whom they fought to save untold lives right from the start. Hospitals were being destroyed one by one till there are now none left. In the course of the carnage thousands of Palestinian people and over 600 medics were murdered by the onslaught.

Doctors were operating without electricity, anaesthetics, vital drugs and medicine, and food, as well as being constantly bombed. The doctor who spoke had to carry out amputations without any anaesthetics A health service better than in many parts of Britain has all been destroyed. All the kidney specialists, for example, have been killed so that all their patients are now dying. The Zionists are killing nurses, doctors and paramedics. Yet the wonderful humanity of the doctors shone through all these atrocities which were horrific. It was described how all the babies were murdered in the maternity hospital, left to die in their cots by the Israeli military as they forced everyone to leave and preventing them from returning. When they did return, film evidence shows the dead decaying bodies of babies in the incubators.

The doctors fought on. The main message that came from the meeting is that the Palestinian people will prevail, that they will return even stronger, and that these monsters will be defeated!!!

Article Index

Talk and Concert

The World Stands With Palestine

Michael Chant Secretary of the Cornelius Cardew Concerts Trust

A concert with music, poetry and an introductory talk to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and their right to be was jointly organised in Central London on May 3 by the Ad-Hoc Committee "The Things That Make For Peace" and the Cornelius Cardew Concerts Trust with the title "The World Stands With Palestine".

The event was important firstly from the political point of view in responding to the necessity for discussion to be had on the question of Palestine, the Palestinian people and their right to resist, as well as the background to the conflict. This background includes the ramifications of the fact that Israel is an occupying power; international law which makes resistance to occupation lawful; and the principle that the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination and no foreign power should interfere in their internal affairs and their right to decide their state arrangements; and that the people's voice is decisive.

Secondly, the event was organised to provide the occasion for enabling concerned composers and musicians to take a stand in their music, and similarly with poets in their poetry, and to have this space in which to make their stand.

The guest speaker, in summary, spoke on the topic of Palestine, having researched the question politically and theoretically. The talk delved into the historical context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, highlighting the Balfour Declaration and the nefarious role of Britain as a colonial power in promoting Palestine as "a land without people, for a people without land". It was a declaration of sympathy with Zionist aspirations, never referencing the Palestinian people once, arrogating the right to make decisions on the fate of the people of the region, and subject to the machinations of Britain and also the US.

The speaker pointed out that it was Britain during its period of mandate who initially proposed the plan for a partitioned state to the UN. Israel, contrary even to the UN plan, declared itself as a state on May 14, 1948. British troops withdrew the following day. May 15 is called the Nakba, the speaker said. It is the day of the catastrophe for the Palestinian people when they were left to be slaughtered, effectively, and no one defended their right to be, and no one defended Palestine. In fact, although the UN has, even up to today, sent ruling after ruling, Israel flagrantly ignores them.

The speaker emphasised the ongoing injustice faced by Palestinians due to Israeli settlements, evictions, land confiscations, and home demolitions. The right to return for the Palestinians driven from their land is sacrosanct.

The talk concluded with a call for justice for the Palestinian people, supporting their right to resist, and condemning the British government's support for Israel. It also highlighted the importance of recognising the Palestinian people's right to self-determination.

The following cultural programme included works by five composers: Salute to the Resistance for piano, Long Live Palestine for solo violin, Reflection for piano and violin, Blood United Us and Al Shifa for violin and mandolin, and Three pieces on Palestine for piano.

The compositions were all very powerful, engaging movingly with their subject, a testament to the skill of the composers and their depth of feeling. The pieces communicated very directly with the audience.

Included in the cultural programme was a reading of the now-famous poem by Refaat Alareer "If I Must Die", a poem written before the author's death in an airstrike by the Israeli military. A young student recited one of her moving poems on the plight of the Palestinian people with great vitality and compassion. A book of her poems on Palestine is due to be published very shortly in association with the Cornelius Cardew Concerts Trust [1].

The event, in sum, was very successful and transforming, and the participants were very appreciative of the informative nature of the talk, as well as of the power of the poetry and music.

1.For further details, email:

Article Index

Workers' Forum

Goldsmiths UCU Resists

We are informed that members of Goldsmiths, University of London, UCU are currently undertaking industrial action in the face of 130 planned redundancies. The redundancies could mean that a quarter of lecturers lose their jobs. The University sector is clearly under attack by the government, with funding for arts and humanities subjects being cut. As is being said, whichever of the cartel parties forms the government, an enlightened education programme which fits the youth of all classes to be the decision-makers for the future of society is being jettisoned in favour of an education system beholden to the aims of a pay-the-rich economy. [1]

It is reported that Goldsmiths Warden Frances Corner, far from defending the institution from such assaults, is accelerating cuts. Responding to her planned attack, Goldsmiths academic staff are increasingly militant and united in their resistance. The ballot for industrial action achieved a "yes" vote of 87% on a turnout of 69% UCU [2].

Currently a marking and assessment boycott (MAB) is being undertaken with lecturers refusing to mark students work. In response, Frances Corner has vowed to deduct 50% of pay, and the Goldsmiths UCU have responded with plans for a strike if Corner goes ahead with such deductions.

A previous round of redundancies, partially halted by earlier industrial action, led to the removal of non-academic staff in departments. The removal of staff and centralisation of services led to chaos with many students having their grades delayed and student numbers reduced. Goldsmiths seems to be in the grip of a doom loop, lecturers say, as the management introduce ill-thought-out cuts that lead to chaos, reducing student numbers and intensifying the need for cuts.

As well as cutting 130 posts, Francis Corner is embarking on the "Transformation Programme". This will sweep away departments, no doubt leading to more chaos and falling student numbers, as well as cutting many student modules.

Goldsmiths UCU argues that the "Transformation Programme" must be scrapped and that, with voluntary severance already cutting staff numbers, a brutal programme of redundancies is unnecessary.

A Goldsmiths UCU Support Fund motion, also supported at an Open University UCU General Meeting on April 30, 2024, affirmed, among other things [3]:

1. SMT [the Senior Management Team] has secured sufficient savings of £10.1 million through redundancy mitigation measures that have included a Voluntary Severance Scheme, vacancy savings and cuts to research budgets.

2. SMT has cash reserves that amply cover the current shortfall and mean that no justification exists for the scale and speed of these cuts.

The marking boycott is strongly supported by academic staff and has the potential to halt SMT plans for redundancies. Goldsmiths UCU notes: "SMT are punishing collective action by cutting 50% pay throughout the Marking & Assessment Boycott. A third of academic staff at Goldsmiths are facing redundancy. Please donate to this fund that we can WIN THIS FIGHT" [4].

1. Earlier this year, Goldsmiths UCU also supported the action of hundreds of students who took part in the occupation of the Stuart Hall building for five weeks in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
2. Goldsmiths staff vote to strike over "incomprehensible" bonfire of jobs.
3. For full motion, see GUCU SUPPORT FUND Motion

Article Index

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