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SWP Party Notes - 5 June 2000

Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 07:37:39 PDT [Show full headers]
From: "IT" [Add to Address Book]
Subject: Office Message
Socialist Workers Party
PO Box 82, London E3 3LH
Tel: 020 7538 5821      Fax: 020 7538 4672      E-mail:

5 June, 2000

Marxism 2000 Timetable Out With This Week's Paper - Use It To Get Bookings

41/2 Weeks To The Start Of Marxism 2000 When the Communication Workers Union conference votes to withhold funding of the Labour Party if the government privatises the post office it demonstrates how powerful discontent with New Labour is at grass roots level.

Discontent with New Labour & the growing anti capitalist mood create a brilliant background around which we can build Marxism 2000. Already we have 6 Rover workers coming along with 3 from Fords Dagenham. The following examples from Hackney show what is possible.

When comrades visited Homerton firestation 1 firefighter registered for Marxism 2000 there & then while 4 others took brochures & invited us back. A woman took a M2000 brochure & the asylum statement from the Saturday sale. She was visited but wasn't in so comrades left a timetable. She got in touch & registered.

Tim Webb the author of The Armoured Plated Ostrich came up to the North Defoe Branch stall on Saturday to ask us to come round to register him & asked us to put an ad in N16, the local community paper. A comrade who is a cleansing worker with Hackney council collected ?63 in his workplace & signed 2 workmates up for M2000. A non-member helped petition on the Saturday sale over Section 28 & registered for M2000 afterwards. 2 other non-members have volunteered to do a stall at Hackney College building both M2000 & the asylum demo on 24 June.

Lea Bridge branch signed up a school student to M2000 who promptly took & sold 7 Socialist Workers & is now trying to get his mates to come to M2000. Speed is of the essence. On Saturday a guy in Upper Street, Islington, signed a petition over the closure of an old folks home, bought a paper & donated ?2 to the campaign. We gave him a brochure & said we'd be round to see him. A comrade who lived nearby was phoned with the details & went round that afternoon. Finding no one in he left a M2000 timetable & a note with his phone number. Later that day he got a phone number saying that the guy at this address hadn't met us on the sale but was interested in M2000. It turned out the comrade had been at the wrong address. The next day he went round & registered both the original contact & the new one!

Get The Message

The message from Sunday's meeting on M2000 Organisers sent out a simple message.

We cannot build M2000 by relying on a once a week approach via the Branch.

As Sue from North London said: 'If all that happens is that once a week at the Branch meeting we go through a list of names & put down a comrades name next to them to visit. Then a week later we go back through it & discover that they've not been seen or weren't in then we've wasted a whole week. We need to ensure we are building on a daily basis. That when someone ag   rees to visit a contact then as the M2000 Organiser you ring them to see how it went that evening.'

In each District there needs to be a team of comrades who concentrate on building M2000 and nothing else. These comrades should not operate as Branch members but should be active across the District building M2000. For instance aside from organising visiting, doing phone rounds etc. they could visit 5 Branches in one evening to ensure there's a planning session to build the event.

Get Visiting: Each branch should organise M2000 visiting on Sunday 11 June & Tuesday 13 June. Prioritise people whose names we get on the Saturday sale & new members who aren't registered yet. Before you go out phone or write to say you're coming. Organise phone rounds. On Sunday evening 2 Glasgow comrades signed 5 people up on the phone.

Trade Unionists: In many areas we've drawn up lists of workers we know from different disputes. These should be visited immediately, given a M2000 timetable & asked to come.

Workplace meetings: If we haven't had a readers meeting comrades in specific workplaces or industries should meet together to plan how to build M2000 at their work. Draw up a list of names of workmates who'd be interested & organise visiting; get posters up on union notice boards.

Stalls on sales: On every workplace & street sale we should have M2000 stalls with posters & timetables. Every buyer should get a timetable. FE's: Each branch should set up a stall outside their local FE college with M2000 material plus SW's & some literature. FE's continue right up to M2000 kick's off. Poster: In Cardiff this week 2 school students signed up after seeing the posters. They want to do a M2000 stall at school. Organise a postering run which covers the main thoroughfares. Staple posters up on lampposts in busy shopping areas. Organise comrades who have time during the day. Students who have finished their exams, shiftworkers & comrades who are free at lunchtime can set up stalls during the day in order to build M2000. At this week's Branch meeting we should have a full discussion on how we are going to build M2000. Encourage people to come up with ideas. In addition have a brain storming session where comrades think of people we should approach to come to M2000. At the end of the discussion we should have a calendar of activities which we can use to phone round comrades getting them to slot in when they are free.

All Out 24 June

The 24 June demonstrations in London & Edinburgh should be fullscale mobilisations for all comrades (Dundee & Aberdeen are building the picket of the Scottish Tory conference).

Across the country support for refugees is growing in opposition to the onslaught on them from Hague, New Labour & the Nazis. That support goes way beyond the people we usually work with.

The Newcastle asylum rally drew 180 people & had 15 union banners at it. The local meeting in Greenock drew 22 people including 5 people from Amnesty International. 22 also came to the local meeting in Burngreave in Sheffield. Each Branch needs to be building the maximum turnout from their area for 24 June.

Assemble 1pm, Lincoln Inn Fields, London, WC2 (Holborn tube). Spanish language leaflet for demo & leaflet for Spanish language meeting on asylum enclosed for London branches

Tottenham By-Election

The Labour Party has learnt a trick or two from the London Assembly elections. In Tottenham they're using the Bernie Grant loyalty card in order to hold their vote together plus David Lammy is trying to put across an Old Labour message. The LSA needs a strong campaign. This is a real test. Therefore we are asking comrades from elsewhere in London & in the South East to campaign for Weyman Bennett on the following days:

Hackney comrades are going north to campaign this Wednesday evening, 7 June, 7pm Bruce Grove station. Saturday 10 June we are asking Waltham Forest, Central London, East London & West London comrades to campaign - 3pm Seven Sisters tube (Tottenham High Road exit). Sunday 11 June we are asking Luton, Hatfield, St Albans, Watford, Cambridge, Colchester, Ipswich, Harwich, Southend & Harlow Branches to come campaigning in Tottenham (London comrades will be at the LSA conference). Meet 12 noon at Seven Sisters tube (Tottenham High Road exit). All London Districts to mobilise on Sunday 18 June. Meet 12 noon at Seven Sisters tube (Tottenham High Road exit).

LSA Conference

Each London District needs to ensure they send 50 comrades & supporters to the LSA conference on Sunday 11 June (1pm, University of London Union).

The LSA has been a success because it went beyond the far left grouplets to involve people breaking with Labour. The conference will decide on the structure of the LSA & we want to ensure these people are fully represented in the new organisation.

Turn Prague Into Seattle

We want to get as many delegations from unions, school students, colleges, activist groups etc. to the S26 protest at the IMF/World Bank summit in Prague.

Students need to check when their Freshers Fairs are because we cannot jet off to Prague & miss those!

Martin Empson is now the contact for London transport to S26. The coaches from London to Prague look like they will cost ?75 waged/?40 unwaged.

We should be setting up local S26 collectives in every area.

Millau Protest

Interested in going to the charming French town of Millau to join the protest in defence of the farmers who demolished the local McDonalds?

A minibus from Manchester & one from London are heading there. If you want to go ring Helen Rogers on 020 7 515 2646.

Les Amis Of Le Monde Diplomatique Conference

This conference on The Global Marketplace: In Whose Interest? pits Susan George & Bernard Cassen of ATTAC against Flemming Larsen, Director IMF Europe (who is a really sharp debater) & Brigitte Granville, ex-European Commission delegate to Moscow & ex-vice president of JP Morgan Bank in Russia.

This will be a fascinating debate. We want a number of comrades to attend.

It's on Saturday 17 June, 2-5pm, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London, WC1R (Holborn tube). Tickets are ?5 (?3 for Les Amis members & unwaged). To book a ticket send a cheque now with a stamped addressed envelope to Les Amis, 9 Hilsea Street, London, E5 0SG.

Marxism Accommodation

We urgently need London Districts & Branches to send in the names of Marxism Accommodation Organisers at District & Branch level. Each Branch/District has been set a target to get more than 1000 spaces for M2000. This means getting the accommodation forms in fast. Fax 0207 7538 0018 to save time or ring 7537 2539.

Re-Admit Ken Rally

London Labour Left, Tribune & the London Region FBU have organised a Re-admit Ken -Re-unite the Party public meeting on Thursday 15 June, 7pm, Friends Meeting House, Euston Road. Speakers include Dianne Abbott, Mark Seddon & Mick Shaw of the FBU Executive.

SWP-ISO Relations

It is with regret that we have to report that Sharon Smith has told us that she will no longer be contributing her column to Socialist Review. When told Lindsey German asked her to continue but to no avail. Similarly after John Rees had replied accordingly to an initial request from ISO comrades to be allocated particular meetings at Marxism 2000 the reply came back that no-one would be coming from the USA. We have asked the comrades to re-consider this decision. Neither Bookmarks or the National Office are now receiving copies of the American Socialist Worker or other publications. If comrades require a copy of the Internal Bulletin carrying the debate between the SWP & the ISO leaderships over the past year please send ?1.50 (including postage) to the National Office.

Britain To Evict 25,000 Kurds

Britain is funding the building of the Ilisu dam in Turkey which will force 25,000 Kurds from their homes. Mark Thomas has asked us to distribute protest cards to London branches. The DTI is obliged to answer each one. These will go out with the papers.

ANL Needs Helpers

The Anti Nazi League needs volunteers to work at the bar at the Fleadh on Saturday 10 June. In return you get free entry on the Sunday. This is an important source of funds for the ANL. You must be over 18. The ANL also need helpers at other festivals (e.g. Reading) & conferences over the summer. Please phone the ANL office if interested.

Bookmarks News

During & after last year's Marxism over 5000 tapes of meetings were sold. The taped meetings are a vital part of Marxism, particularly for international groups, but they are also the perfect solution for those times when you are torn between going to two meetings which clash.

Would you like to help with taping meetings this year? It need not involve missing any meetings. To find out more ring Nicolai on 020 7637 1848.

Things They Say

'As the public face of Nato, Shea spends a lot of his time justifying the alliance's action. He became so well known during the Kosovo campaign, he is still taking the flak for it. "The Socialist Workers Party is always there when I visit London. These people amaze me because they're always available, any time of the day or night, for a demonstration, it's extraordinary. I wish Nato's rapid reaction core was as available and could mobilise as quickly, we'd be a lot further forward" '. Jamie Shea in Saturday's Financial Times.

Industrial Notebook

Car Worker: The second issue of Car Worker is out this week. The first sold over 1000 copies. On sales outside plants we sold 111 at Fords Dagenham & 150 at Longbridge. Individual workers have sold inside the plants & done well - at Dagenham one worker sold 20 & a car component worker in the Black Country sold 26. Make sure you get your copies & set up sales. Send all monies in ASAP. Contact Martin Smith at Industrial Dept. with any queries.

AEEU: AEEU conference is from 12-16 June in Blackpool.  If you are either delegated to or can help work round the conference ring VIV at the Industrial Dept. Action Programme: Comrades should make sure that every trade unionist they are in contact with is given a copy of the Action Programme & asked to pass it at their Branch & make a donation. You should also approach local organisations like trades councils etc. asking them to endorse the AP. Contact Viv re. Fightback meetings & with sponsors of the AP.

Unison Conference: The first caucus for all delegates & observers will be at 8pm, Sunday 11 June, at the Winterbourne Hotel, Priory Road, Bournemouth.