Anti-Nazi Germans – review by Ian Birchall

I was invited to speak at the launch, on 26 March, of Anti-Nazi Germans, by Steve Cushion and Merilyn Moos. The launch had to be cancelled, but the following is, more or less, what I should have said.

For details of the book see http://www.socialisthistorysociety.co.uk/?p=945

You can get a copy post-free from the authors: £10 – more details from: s.cushion23@gmail.com You may pay by cheque, bank transfer or PayPal

In one of his last interviews Eric Hobsbawm said that “the whole function of history is precisely to be a pain in the arse for national myths.” It would of course be grossly discourteous to call Steve and Merilyn “pains in the arse”, but they certainly are fulfilling the function of good historical writing.… Read on ...

Bring Rayan Crawford back home to Tower Hamlets

Rayan was deported on Tuesday, 11th February. He is a resident of Tower Hamlets and lived with his partner, Jana, an EU citizen who has Indefinite Leave to Remain, and their two sons, aged three and twelve, both of whom were born in the UK and have British Passports. Rayan was closely involved in his children’s upbringing. The evidence shows ‘separated children develop emotional, behavioural and educational problems, including anxiety, depression and attachment difficulties’. Rayan was deported with no money, no belongings, no medication and no support plan for his medical condition in Jamaica.

Sign the petition…

Rayan came over to Britain to live with his father and step mother, both British citizens, at the age of 12.… Read on ...

The importance of solidarity to our disputes – Why money matters

We are entering a crucial phase in UCU’s two concurrent disputes. Our second wave of strikes represents an escalation in terms of strike days and the number of members involved in action.

Donate to the fighting fund…

These are disputes about the future of Higher Education. It has become clear to people watching the dispute from the outside what was already obvious to UCU members – that we are challenging the marketisation of education through fighting against its pernicious effects on staff.

Generalise
The stakes are now very high. We will not pursue these disputes to successful conclusions if we fight them in a sectional way which fails to generalise them outwards.… Read on ...

Review – El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America by Carrie Gibson

When I was at school in the 1950s, we were told in geography lessons that the United States of America had no colonies. Even if one accepts the 13 original British colonies, this neglects the remaining 37 states. No one never seemed to wonder about the origins of names like Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Florida etc., which had originally been Spanish then Mexican before being seized by the US government. This book looks at the history of North America from the point of view of its Spanish speaking inhabitants and makes a useful counterbalance to the normal Anglo-centric historiography

The origins of Texas were particularly myth-laden to those of us who got the story of the Alamo from Walt Disney, Fess Parker and John Wayne.Read on ...

New Year – new struggles

The new Tory government has committed to imposing new anti-strike laws, specifically targeting railway workers. There is now an urgent need for the labour movement to renew campaigning against restrictions on our right to organise and take action.

There is a meeting on 14 January called by trade unions in Islington to plan a campaign against these new proposed laws. Tuesday 14th January, 6-8 pm Islington Town Hall. Sponsored by RMT (Finsbury Park), TSSA, UNISON, NEU, UCU and Islington Trades Union Council

Organising meeting
Free Our Unions will be holding a campaign organising meeting on Wednesday 8 January at 19:00, in the Lambeth Unison offices (Blue Star House, 234-244 Stockwell Road, London SW9 9SP; near Brixton Tube).… Read on ...

No Racism on Campus

The University College Union (UCU) and Stand Up to Racism are launching a #NoRacismOnCampus tour of university campuses in the autumn term.

Our campuses are often at the forefront of the rise in racism we have seen recently. The rights of EU students and university workers are threatened by Johnson’s right wing vision of Brexit. Institutional racism impacts the experience of BAME staff and students. Muslim students are unfairly targeted by the Prevent agenda. And most recently we’ve seen far right groups like Generation Identity attempt to use pseudo-science racist argument to gain a foothold.

This tour of meetings will bring together students and staff to discuss how we can come together to combat this rise in racism and make our campuses racism-free zones.… Read on ...

Real Living Wage for Mitie cleaners

From Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary

I’m writing to you to ask you to support RMT members fighting poverty pay. Network Rail have contracted out the cleaning of six of their stations to an outsourcing company. Our members who clean stations at Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Central, Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool Lime Street, Leeds and Birmingham New Street work for Network Rail but are employed by Mitie Group, one of the biggest outsourcing firms in Britain. At the moment they are paid the National Minimum Wage and they’re fighting to win at least the Real Living Wage.

The treatment of these people is a scandal.Read on ...