Left Unity Wales – April 2019 newsletter
Dear members and supporters
Our next LU Wales meeting will be taking place 13.30 – 16.30 Saturday 27 April in Cardiff at the Sports Wales National Centre in Sophia Garden. This is an open discussion for all interested socialists so in a sense we are just the sponsors. We will be having an organising sessions earlier in the cafe starting at 12.00 for those who wish to put their administrative hats on!
The rooms are fully accessible and car parking is free opposite the building but can be limited.
Although the notice of the meeting has been sent around earlier we can now confirm that Raffaelo Rafo Grande from the Italian European Left Party Refondazione Comunista will be the main discussant on why we support remain and oppose the Lexit arguments. In addition Alice Tahi will lead the discussion on XR and climate breakdown, hot foot from the London action. I will say a few words about building an alternative economy based upon collective ownership and control.
The main purpose of the discussion is to take forward the initiative we are supporting called ‘Let’s build a socialist programme’ that we launched in December of last year. Essentially the idea is to renew an international socialist politics by engaging with the big ideas like the No Pasaran conference whilst locally building a foundation of alternative and radical left actions and demands with any socialist who is interested. The main arguments and progress so far is on the weblog here.
Since the last meeting we’ve had a FB and email discussion on housing and homelessness which involved about 15 participants over 6 weeks and the outcome so far can be seen on the weblog. It was a pleasure to work constructively with other radical socialists in such a non sectarian way.
Left Unity UK will hold its annual conference in Liverpool Saturday 29 June 2019. We hope to have some ideas for motions at our meeting on Saturday and will work them up via our email discussion list for submission by the deadline on 18 May. If you wish Left Unity to move strategically in a certain direction and have an influence on the international movement through our membership of the European Left, then please feel free to make some suggestions. Conference details and time scales are available here.
We have been in full support of XR in Wales since the local groups were set up just before Christmas. Unfortunately age, health and family issues have kept most of us from the front line but we continue our public support and promotion. Left Unity believes the evidence from the UN IPCC report giving us 12 years to avert climate breakdown is decisive and that actions will require challenging the power of capital and profit maximisation. Pressurising the state to act is critical in this and the idea of local citizens assemblies we think could be taken forward now. This will be one of the key points of our discussion at Saturday’s meeting.
Left Unity supports remain and opposes the Lexit arguments. We see supporting freedom of movement as an absolute socialist principle emphasising working class cross border unity not nationalism. As we stated in our previous two emails:
“We are clear that Brexit will bring unnecessary and self inflicted hardships to workers across the UK as well as legitimating xenophobic and right wing nationalist politics that cut across international unity and solidarity. We see it as a matter of principle that socialists must not support political change that will worsen the situation of working people. We don’t accept that 3.7m EU citizens in the UK and 16m remain voters should be seen as ‘collateral’ damage and we will do all we can to make our voice heard.
We opposed Brexit, support Another Europe is Possible and call upon the Corbyn led Labour Party to move to the next stage of their conference policy for another referendum if other votes of confidence are not to be tabled and support extending article 50 to achieve this. If a general election or another referendum takes place Labour should fight it on the basis of the ‘remain and transform’ the internationalist and socialist policy that Corbyn supported in 2016.”
We supported the ‘Left Bloc’ on the huge 23 March ‘put it to the people’ demonstration in London and produced a special free broadsheet which will be available at Saturday’s meeting. An earlier version is here. We are working with other Another Europe is Possible members in Wales to intervene in the Euro elections. The last thing we want is the new Farage party being the main beneficiary of the these elections and we hope – at the time of writing – that the Labour Party NEC meeting on 30 April votes to support a referendum. If they decide not to, how the left remain vote and arguments can be represented in the elections will need further urgent discussion. We will start this at Saturday’s meeting.
Locally Pam Stevens our Left Unity Wales chair went and participate in an event in Wrexham which celebrated the International Brigade and emphasised the need for international and united resistance to fascism. And it is these type of events and actions against the right organised in Wales by UAF and SUTR that will help build the unity to oppose Trump and all that he stands for.
Austerity continues to be rolled out across Wales – don’t believe the Tory lies and the spin of the right wing press. We’ve carried out extensive research and exposed the cuts that will be taking place across the NHS in Wales over a three year period. Again local councils are making cuts as a result of insufficient funding being passed down to them from the UK Tories through the Welsh Assembly.
One example is in Rhondda Cynon Taf where the council is proposing to close most, if not all, of their 11 residential homes and 5 day centres to save between £6m – £10m. Many residents will be obliged to move to private care homes if this proposal goes through – a Labour controlled council privatising care. A local campaign – SCHAC – has been set up and is widely supported, particularly by women who still carry the burden of caring for adult relatives. We are supporting the campaign which has set up a 38 Degrees petition, a Facebook group and has written a detailed response rebutting the council’s proposals which, together with other campaign material, is on a new weblog here.
Assembly Members and Councillors should have had the courage to fight these Tory cuts. Their failure means it is down to us to fightback even if it means exposing their lack of political leadership.
As Left Unity Wales we think it is time that we had another People’s Assembly Wales meeting to strengthen the arguments and action against this ongoing austerity onslaught.
Key events to support:
May Day Candlelight Vigil supporting On May Day join us to light a candle for Imam Sis on over 130 days of hunger strike in Newport, Wales. The longest hunger strike in British history.
May Day March and rally in Cardiff Celebrate International Workers’ Day marching through Wales’s capital.Confirmed speakers include: Glasgow Equal-Pay Strikers; Paddy Brennan, Convenor of Honda Swindon Unite; Amy Murphy, President of USDAW shop workers’ union, Sheila Jones, NEU campaigner and more.
Coach to National Demonstration for Palestine The Palestinian people need our solidarity more than ever, and are calling for global protests to protect their collective rights. As Israel continues to flout international law and violate human rights, there is a responsibility on the global community to hold it to account and push for an end to the oppression of the Palestinian people.
No new Nakba! – End the Siege! – Defend the Right of Return!
Len Arthur Left Unity Wales secretary
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