THE NEW WORKER

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 17th August 2018


Workers Notes': Fascists flee at Bookmarks rally

by Theo Russell

FASCISTS wearing blackshirts with Nazi-style logos were given a taste of their own medicine when they tried to disrupt a meeting called in support of the London bookshop vandalised by Nazis and racists a week earlier. A small group of supporters of the Football Lads Alliance (FLA) and Generation Identity gathered outside shouting abuse, but they were immediately chased several blocks away by an angry crowd chanting “fascist scum — off our streets!”.

London comrades joined many other anti-fascists last Saturday to show their solidarity with Bookmarks, the socialist bookshop which is the official bookseller for the TUC. Hundreds came for the rally at the nearby Bloomsbury Baptist Church to show solidarity after the shop was ransacked by a group of Nazis and racists the previous week.

Three UKIP members have been suspended after 12 men, one wearing a Donald Trump mask, jeered Muslims and called the shop staff “traitors”.

Noel Halifax, who was one of the two staff in the shop on the day of the attack, said that the last time Bookmarks had been targeted was in the 1970s. “The National Front was around then, and it feels like that kind of atmosphere today,” he said, also pointing to a recent attack on London’s LGBT bookshop Gay’s the Word.

Dave Gilchrist, the manager of Bookmarks, said: “We have emerged from it much, much stronger,” and pointed out the hypocrisy of the fascists and racists involved in the attack, who paint their figurehead Tommy Robinson as a “free speech martyr”. David Rosenberg from the Jewish Socialists’ Group read a message of solidarity from Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, whom he called “my MP, an outstanding fighter against all racism”.

Weyman Bennett from Stand Up To Racism commented on the far right’s “make Britain great again” slogan, saying: “What’s not great about Britain? The NHS, black and white, gay, straight and trans people coming together?”

He called for a united front against the threat of resurgent forces of the British far right, saying: “Tommy Robinson’s supporters had 15,000 on the streets — they are bigger now than before. “We built the Anti Nazi League, we built Unite Against Fascism — and we’re building Stand Up To Racism.” But he added: “It is not automatic that we will win this fight — but what is for certain is that we will fight.”finally Unmesh Desai, a Labour member of the London Assembly, said: “We need to create a hostile climate for Nazis and fascists coming into our communities

Tribute to forgotten war-time Chinese workers

Xinhua

THE TENS of thousands of Chinese men who played a key, but largely forgotten, role in the first World War were remembered at a ceremony in Liverpool last week.

The event was called to remember the almost 100,000 members of the Chinese Labour Corps (CLC) who were recruited by the British government during the 1914-1918 conflict.

Mark Blundell, Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, addressed a large gathering at Liverpool’s Anfield cemetery where five members of the CLC are buried. The audience included high-ranking British military officers, civic leaders, representatives from the Chinese Consulate General in Manchester, and members of Chinese organisations in Britain.

“Theirs was a civilian army which deserves as much respect and recognition as our army of soldiers, those men who travelled thousands of miles across continents and under the harshest of conditions to help our troops on the Western Front,” he said.

Blundell said the CLC, consisting mostly of men from poor farming communities in China, was recruited to help with manual work during the war. “What they did was neither easy nor glamorous, yet it was essential. Sadly, their story is little known,” he said. Blundell added: “On behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, I should like to say thank you to the men of the Chinese Labour Corps. We shall remember them.”

Brigadier Peter Rafferty, the Colonel of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, said the CLC men arrived in Liverpool from China, and were dispatched to keep vital supplies moving to the front lines, digging trenches and fences, even retrieving the dead from the battlefields. They also built roads and railways and worked in munitions factories. By the end of the war, he said, there were 195 CLC companies carrying out dangerous work.

Rafferty said that the official record showed that of 2,000 CLC members were killed, but the figure could be as high as 20,000. “The contribution made by the Chinese Labour Corps was barely recognized at the end of the war. There is no tribute to them among Britain’s 40,000 war memorials, and most of their records were destroyed during the Blitz of World War II.” “These men deserve better, and our nation’s promise never to forget should apply to them as much as any other allied contingent,” said Rafferty.

An official representative from the Chinese Consulate General in Manchester praised the way the men of the CLC were saluted for their deeds. “We are here to represent a new generation of Chinese people, and to remember the men from the CLC who died a hundred years ago. We are now far from war or turmoil and hard times, and we believe we will continue to be a supporter of peace so that the men of the CLC can finally rest in peace,” said the representative.

Karen Soo, whose grandfather Soo Yuen Yi served as one of the men in the CLC during the war, was at the event. Soo Yuen Yi survived the war and continued living in Britain, eventually

Tory Christmas spirit

by New Worker correspondenta

DEMANDS for increased holiday time are often part of trade union demands. But in the land of Jacob Rees-Mogg, Somerset County Council have gone one better and demanded that workers take two days unpaid leave over the Christmas break in 2018 and 2019 to save £500,000 each year. Unite the Union has called on its members to reject the plan in a ballot next month. Regional secretary Steve Preddy said: “This crisis is entirely of this Tory-controlled council’s own making. If it had taken the advice of its financial advisors and raised council tax in line with inflation in recent years, the budget would now be running a surplus.

“And now when Theresa May’s government has indicated that it was allegedly relaxing its attitude to public sector pay, here in Somerset, the true ugly face of Conservatism has been revealed with this move to salami slice holidays.”

The Chief Executive of the County Council smugly claimed that the council was not in danger of going down the route of Northamptonshire County Council, which recently issued a second Section 114 notice, effectively freezing all unnecessary spending. He claimed that: “Northamptonshire’s failure was they did not understand their position, they didn’t put plans in place. They did too little, too late.” So that makes it all right effectively to cut workers’ pay.