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 strike - Sheffield

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On Wednesday night around 45 students staged a rally by the recently formed Left Caucus in support of the HE strike. We marched from the University of Sheffield concourse to the Richard Roberts Building which was then occupied. Initially we were told Management Security would turn up but they didn't. We maintained a mutually friendly atmosphere with security, most of whom were going on strike from 12. A member of the SWP was turned away at around 9pm as the occupation had voted to maintain a safe space, which encompassed turning away rape apologists. A line was drawn on oppositionists in the SWP, who it was agreed would be welcome. In the occupation we felt strong links had been made in terms of organising for the future and emphasis was placed on the atmosphere, particularly between the Anarchist Student Network (ASN) and RevSoc. Outside the occupation, it was reported that at 5am activists had blocked the Arts Tower entrance with recycling bins which were quickly moved.

 

At 7am RevSoc, ASN, Labour Students, Living Wage campaigners and other activists organised a flying picket of around 20 which visited the departmental picket lines at University of Sheffield. The mood on pickets was quiet but many workers spoke about the need for escalation and the importance of the next four mandated strikes. The Left Organising Caucus made sure we took details in order to continue to build links with workers, encouraging them to attend meetings. During this those who had stayed in the occupation used the entrance barricade the night before to prevent all lectures in the Richard Roberts Building. At 11 trade unionists joined a rally of 300 at Barkers Pool where the president of UCU, the education officer of University of Sheffield Students Union and local representatives from the UCU, Unite and Unison spoke.

After the rally, the flying picket attempted to rejoin the occupation, where tense standoffs had occurred every hour, particularly at 11, when a scuffle broke out as scabbing security failed to escort students through the barricade. Upon returning, the flying picket, now accompanied by a couple of workers, was denied entry to the occupation by security. After security escorted a few members of the pickets into the building to retrieve their possessions and they had refused to leave, some entered the building through a side entrance and some ducked under the arms of security. Soon after, the occupation left the building. The links built in the occupation and picket lines stand those in the student movement in good stead for future strike action as well as more general action. There have already been plans and discussions on activity for the future strike dates, 5 November and loan book privatisation.