John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

How did Communist parties handle issues of internal discipline and democracy in Lenin’s time? The recent intense discussion within the British Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) and beyond has heard claims that the SWP rests on the traditions of democratic centralism inherited from the Bolsheviks.

John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Some extended thoughts about Stephanie Bottrill, the woman who committed suicide because of the bedroom tax.

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the killing of Blair Peach by the police. David Renton looks back at Blair Peach’s life as a poet, trade unionist and committed antifascist

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Bunny La Roche of RS21 on Nigel Farage's visit to Kent

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Financial Appeal

We're up and running! An appeal for funds to kickstart the IS Network

Financial Appeal

Higher education workers strike against pay cuts and bullying

As part of today’s two-hour strike called nationally by the UCU union, academic staff at the University of Leicester picketed every entrance of the main campus site. They are taking action over a derisory below-inflation pay deal of just 1%, which amounts to a pay cut in real terms for the fifth year running. Workers in higher education institutions – not just academics but porters, cleaners, security guards, admin and catering staff – have seen their pay plummet by 13% in real terms over the last five years.

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Read more: Higher education workers strike against pay cuts and bullying

Brixton Black Revolutionary Socialists: Antifascist action against Jobbik, Golden Dawn and BNP

Brixton Black Revolutionary Socialists

12:00 Sunday 26th Jan

*Meeting: The Square, Outside The Crown Pub. 235 Shaftesbury Avenue London WC2H 8E

map >>

Gábor Vona, Jobbik's party president will be coming to London to meet up with Golden Dawn and the BNP to agree a coalition agreement between the three parties for the uncoming term of the European Union Parliament.

Far-right paramilitary groups and fascist organisations have been seeking to form alliances and coalitions within europe for pan-European coordination. The Jobbik party are a violent far-right organisation, seeking electoral support in Hungary.

In 2013, Members of Golden Dawn murdered Pavlos Fyssas, a left-wing rapper otherwise known as MC Killah P, alongside countless others who have been murdered by Golden Dawn Death Squads

Call out for antifascist organisations to assemble.

Message for more details.

Meeting: The Square, Outside The Crown Pub.

map >>

No Fucking Parasan!

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Defend the right to strike – no to lockouts and intimidation

In response to proposed two-hour strike action by academic staff in the UCU union this week, university bosses have threatened what is in effect a one-day lockout.

A letter from management to all staff at the University of Leicester states, “If you take two-hour strike action but perform your normal duties during the rest of the day, those services you do provide on the strike day whether in the university, at home or elsewhere, will be voluntary and at your discretion and you will not be paid.” Similar threats have been made to staff at at least ten other universities.

Staff are furious at the university's wholly unreasonable and disproportionate response, which if carried out will do more harm to students than a mere two-hour strike over the lunchtime period ever could. This is clearly an attempt to intimidate staff out of taking lawful, legitimate strike action. It will sap morale and foster a climate of insecurity and resentment.

For its part, UCU has promised that institutions which participate in the lockout will face escalated industrial action, with action probably lasting longer than one day since the union has stated that it will use its strike fund to support members where necessary.

The move from full-day to two-hour strikes drew strong criticism from UCU members because it appeared to be a significant climbdown by the union in the dispute over pay cuts for higher education staff. But thanks to the bullish stupidity of management, it’s possible that these two-hour mini strikes could unleash a wave of protracted industrial action.

The union has also threatened to “immediately” challenge the employers’ action in the courts, citing their “baffling willingness to increase disruption for students as a way of intimidating staff”.

A statement from UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said, “This hard line, aggressive action is designed to frighten us into not exercising the democratic right to strike. We cannot allow them to win.”

The other unions in higher education – Unite, Unison and EIS – are currently discussing whether to support two-hour strikes or commit to a full day on 6 February.

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Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Report by Bunny La Roche, pics by Kent IS, video by Thanet Watch, originally published on the RS21 (Revolutionary Socialism in the 21st Century) Blog. Republished by permission.

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Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, visited east Kent on Monday. He was here to meet local UKIP members and woo local Tories in advance of the Euro elections later this year. But his visit did not quite go to plan – he was greeted by a throng of angry protesters.

Kent Internationalist Socialists and members of the SWP were tipped off last Thursday about Farage’s visit. We set up a Facebook event, contacted people in Thanet and met with local Green party councillor Ian Driver to help promote a demonstration to “welcome” him.

Protesters gathered around 2pm at the Walpole Hotel in Cliftonville. The small, noisy gathering included socialists, animal rights activists, anti-fracking campaigners and members of the local Czech community.

UKIP did well in the Kent county council elections last May, winning seven of the eight seats in Thanet. It was now on Farage’s list of seats to contest in the 2015 general election. But after yesterday’s protest he was asked if he would be standing by ITV News and replied: “What? With a welcome like that?”

Bunny told Thanet Watch:

He is a racist and a bigot trying to get himself into parliament based on people’s fears. The media are all in a frenzy about him every time he comes out with something. The Tories, Labour and Liberal Democrats then try to catch up with him. What’s really frightening is that he moves the agenda to the right. And that’s why we have to stop him.

Download the Nasty Little Nick placard >>

Watch ITV News footage of the Farange Protest >>

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A note from North East Anarchists

We have received the following very welcome note from the North East Anarchists group. Local IS Network members and the steering committee will be talking to these comrades over coming weeks:

 

We have been observing some of the developments within the IS Network positively and would be interested to open up discussions with you about future collaboration and discussions. Our group contains individuals with diverse politics and whilst we hold onto a non-dogmatic outlook, we embrace aspects of class struggle anarchism, autonomism and new left Marxism. A number of our comrades come from the Class War Federation tradition. 

Over the last year we have developed a number of new areas of work, centrally around North East Anti-Fascists and Teesside Solidarity Movement (both based around broad unity/anti-capitalist working class politics). We have positive links with the residue of the NUM/Durham Miners Association, IWW and other workers' movement/left and environmental activist networks. 

We do not necessarily endorse all aspects of ISN's orientation; however, we appreciate the openness to new thinking and approaches, critically necessary if we are to move forwards. 

Perhaps we could develop more formal contact in the new year. 

All the best. 

North East Anarchists group

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IWGB Rally at the House of Commons, Wednesday 11 December 2013

IWGB Rally at the House of Commons, Wednesday 11 December 2013, 6.30pm


This Wednesday there will be a Justice for Christmas IWGB rally at the House of Commons. Guest speakers include John McDonnell MP, Clara Paillard (PCS) and Keith Simpson of UCU. There will also be films and reports from both the IWGB and RMT cleaners.

Please come along to the Wilson Room, Portcullis House, Bridge Street, London SW1A 2LW for 6.30pm on Wednesday 11 December.

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