Anger at the Israeli assault on Gaza boiled over in Manchester on
Thursday. Three hundred rallied and then marched around Piccadilly Gds,
the main square in the City, shouting 'Free Free Palestine!
The energy for this emergency demo for Palestine came
from university students. Aneesa Hussain set up a Face Book event and in
one day hundreds signed up and mobilised. This new generation of
activists combined with seasoned campaigners from Stop the War, the
Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and the Muslim Association of Britain.
'That so many of you have come here today shows that people care,' said Aneesa.
Another student read out the names of the dead.
Wilks, speaking from the NUT said, 'I am ashamed that I live in a
country, Great Britain, that apologises and supports the Israeli State
carrying out atrocities.'
Questions were raised by an activist who had
organised the Viva Palestina! convoys from Manchester to Gaza about
Manchester's Labour Councillors. 'Where are they? Why aren't they here?
What are they doing in the Council chamber when so many Manchester
people are feeling for our brothers and sisters in Gaza,' he said.
The Tory Government was heavily criticised. 'Why is
David Cameron touring the world wearing a poppy and selling arms to
dictators?' said Martin Empson from the SWP.
have been many protest against Israeli atrocities he said, ''but today
is different. The people of the Arab nations have taken to the streets.
They have overthrown dictators. The people of Egypt are demanding that
the borders to Gaza be opened and that aid floods in.'
'The Egypian people must turn Gaza into Tahrir Square,' said Dr Aziz speaking for the MAB.
will be rallying again from 5pm tonight (Friday 16th Nov) and at a
'family and children event' at 1.30pm on Sunday, by the Queen Victoria
Statue in Piccadilly Gds.
The picket of the performance of Israeli Dance Troop Batshiva drew over fifty people to the Lowry Centre in Salford last week.
"It's not that we're against Israeli dancers, what we are against is any Israeli artists that are funded by the Israeli state in order to make the Israeli state look as though they are a good state, that they're democratic and so on," said Norma Turner of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
The Batshiva Dance Company performance was part of the 'Brand Israel' initiative. The company is funded jointly by Israel's Ministry of Culture and Sport, and the Municipality of Tel Aviv. Touring support is provided by the Department of Cultural and Scientific Relations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Protesters from the 'Don't Dance With Israeli Apartheid' campaign shouted, "Your tickets are covered in Palestinian blood"...
According to one protester who got thrown out of the show on Saturday, the theatre was half empty. And Terry Gallogly, who has organised No2BrandIsrael demonstrations outside every Batshiva performance, argues that the Israeli Dance tour has been a flop.
The need for a genuine
socialist electoral alternative was clearly shown this week with the
vote in parliament on pensions. Only a handful of Labour MPs voted to
oppose the Tory assault on pensions, the party officially abstaining. At
the same time the Tories and their Liberal allies are pushing through
the biggest assault on working peoples conditions in decades. Lord
Bichard even had the audacity to suggest that retired people should
continue to work for their pensions. Bichard himself has a public-sector
pension in excess of £120,000 a year. We need elected representatives
that stand up for ordinary people - for the 99% not the 1% of Fat Cats.
With the resignation of Labour MP Tony Lloyd to stand for the
position of Police and Crime Commissioner, a by-election is taking place
in Manchester Central constituency on Thursday 15th November
The Socialist Workers Party is supporting the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition candidate in this election which takes place on Thursday 15 November. Alex Davidson is the
vice-chair of the PCS civil servants union North West Region and a former
member of the PCS Public Sector Group Executive
Committee. He is standing in a personal capacity.
Alex is a
committed socialist who is fighting to reverse the attacks on the NHS,
the privatisation of Manchester's Ambulance Service and to oppose the
attacks on our pensions and stop assault on benefits.
On the same day, there is a council by-election in Manchesters'
Ardwick ward. The SWP is also supporting the TUSC candidate in this
election, Shari Holden a member of the Unite union who works in the NHS.
The campaign is organising regular leafleting and canvassing
sessions, as well as stalls and meetings. We are encouraging our members
and supporters to get involved. You can find out more:
Methodist Central Hall, Oldham
Street, off Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre, Manchester M1 1JQ
Speakers include Dave Nellist, former Coventry socialist MP and councillor and Alex Davidson, TUSC Manchester parliamentary byelection candidate, Mark Krantz (SWP) and other local activists and campaigners.
Central Hall, 4 Central Buildings, Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JQ
Speakers & Discussion
With Amy Leather, Michael Bradley, and Karen Reissmann
From 7pm : Syrian Food : Book Stalls : Banner Display : Resistance :
A World in Crisis?
live in a City where poor people who live in two bedroom flats are told
they must pay more as they are 'over occupying,' while the richest
people have mansions and estates, and avoid paying taxes.
We live in a country where three 'food banks' open every week, but
bankers in the City spend more on lunch than whole families have to feed
themselves for a month.
We live in a world that grows enough
food to feed everyone on the planet three meals a day, every day. Yet
millions go hungry, and our planet faces environmental catastrophe.
The richest are increasing their wealth as the economic crisis destroys the lives of millions.
Socialists say there is an alternative!
people fight back then the potential opens for our class to beat back
the offensive from the Tories and the bosses, and to explain how
'another world is possible'. We need a world that puts people before
At this Rally leading members of the Socialist Workers Party
will outline what we mean by the 'Socialist Alternative to the Crisis.'
Michael Bradley helped
organise protests earlier this year that forced many leading companies,
like Tesco, to pull out of the Tory 'mandatory labour' schemes. Watch him on the BBC here. 'I can tell you what a socialist solution to the housing crisis
would look like. Thousands of building workers are unemployed, there is a
giant stockpile of bricks. Put them together and build the houses that
people need,' explains Michael.
'To make this a possibility our side needs to be
stronger and better organised. We need to back every fight by workers,
whether its the electrician's fighting for union recognition and against
the blacklist, or from public sector union members who are up for a
fight over pay.'
Amy Leather believes we are going into a period when massive class battles will be happening.
battle against austerity is raging across Europe. The question is how
will we go forwards? Socialists need to be at the heart of every
struggle, explaining how best to win, but also how it is possible for
ordinary people to run society in a better way than what we have today.'
Karen Reissmann is a health worker, and
trades union activist from Manchester. She is at the heart of resistance
to the massive Tory cuts to the NHS.
of their £20billion cuts plan, seven Accident and Emergency units are to
close across Greater Manchester, five district hospitals could close,
and even more of the NHS could be sold off to private companies. None of
this is necessary while the rich get richer, corporations avoid paying
taxes, and the bankers take bonuses.
'The campaigns to stop the privatisation of the ambulance service, the closure of Trafford Hospital, and against cuts to mental health services are all well supported. We need to build up, and to link together the campaigns across Greater Manchester to stop these Tory health cuts.'