This statement has been agreed by Left Unity’s executive committee.
Left Unity supports Rabina Khan in the 11 June re-run of the Tower Hamlets mayoral election.
She is standing to defend democracy in Tower Hamlets at a time when the council is being taken over by Tory government agencies, whipping up Islamophobic scare stories to justify sending in Eric Pickles and his unelected commissioners. The continuing case against Lutfur Rahman, who has vowed to clear his name, is being used as an excuse to dismantle the whole democratically elected council.
Rabina has a strong left-wing record. As cabinet member for housing in Tower Hamlets she has overseen the building of thousands of new social and affordable homes, and the investment of millions of pounds in refurbishing council housing. If successful she would become the first elected female Muslim mayor in Britain.
We call on the left to unite in support of the campaign to defend democracy in Tower Hamlets and in support of Rabina Khan’s candidacy.
Roderick reports on a protest against Iain Duncan Smith in Chingford.
As part of Disabled People Against Cuts’ “Revenge Tour” targeting government ministers, around 30 activists held an action in Chingford on Saturday afternoon (25 April) targeting Iain Duncan Smith’s constituency office. They included Len Hockey of the Socialist Party who is standing as a TUSC candidate in IDS’ constituency, and a representative of the local Green Party.
Protesters spent around an hour leafleting the area, getting overall quite a positive response from residents before marching to the constituency office and assembling there to hear speeches. They included a particularly angry speech from an Ipswich activist who stated that personal friends of his had died as a direct consequence of the Tory cuts IDS has been implementing.
The victory of Binyamin Netanyahu in Israel’s general election on 17 March, on an overtly racist and uncompromising platform, has dismayed western leaders, and forced many “liberal Zionists” to reassess their attitude towards Israel. For Palestinians, however (whether citizens of Israel, subjects of Israel military occupation, or exiled refugees), the difference between the major parties was little more than a choice between cholera and the plague, and the outcome promises the continuation of the past 70 years of dispossession and oppression.
It was a huge personal victory for prime minister Netanyahu, and for his Likud party, with 30 seats. His closest rival, the Zionist Camp (an alliance between the Labour Party and the remains of Ariel Sharon’s Kadima) had just 24 seats. These results confirm the continuing move to the right within Israeli Jewish society. Meanwhile, half of the people living under direct Israeli rule were not eligible to vote; nor were the millions of Palestinian refugees living in exile.
By Waltham Forest Left Unity member Susan Pashkoff
The Greeks have said enough! Hope has defeated fear and SYRIZA has won the election and have beaten New Democracy and the fear-mongers, as expected. This is a major victory for anti-austerity forces which could change the economic and political landscapes.
However, they did not win an outright majority (they were short 2 seats) and were forced into coalition with a right-wing, nationalist (pro-Greek Orthodox) anti-austerity party, the Independent Greeks (referred to as ANEL from now on).
Irrespective of this, we do have quite a lot to celebrate! The election of SYRIZA is a shot directly across the bow of neoliberalism and its flagship of ideas, aka as the austerity project. The European ruling class (which includes mainstream political leaders) are a wee bit shaken especially Germany. Whether or not the Troika is forced to negotiate the debt successfully, this is a victory and it is forcing the ruling class in Europe to take stock over whether austerity (and destroying the working class) is more important than the EU project. The stakes are literally that high!