Enfield unions back workers’ candidates against pro-war politicians

Enfield trades council brings together local representatives of the trade unions in the north London borough. The trades council has written to local councillors and MPs, calling on them to speak out.

It will lobby the next full meeting of the Labour council — Enfield Civic Centre, Wednesday 24th January, 6pm. Come protest with us.

Socialist Party banners at London Palestine demo.
Socialist Party placards at London protest against war on Gaza.
Photo: Nick Clare

The trades council has produced this statement based on a motion it passed:

Enfield Trades Council will not tolerate any antisemitism or anti-Muslim racism in any of its guises, and expresses solidarity to all emergency and humanitarian workers seeking to alleviate suffering in the conflict, and its deepest sympathy and condolences to all those who have lost loved ones – both Israelis and Palestinians.

We condemn the Israeli state’s criminal collective punishment of the Palestinians in Gaza, including cutting off water, food, power supplies and medicines. We condemn the threat by Israel to millions of Gaza residents told to flee their homes in the north to the south of the strip, ahead of a brutal land invasion. We condemn the Tory government and Starmer’s New Labour for their backing for the Israeli state’s war on Gaza.

We call for:

  1. Immediate lifting of the blockade on Gaza, and the immediate withdrawal of the Israeli military from the occupied territories.
  2. All Labour movement organisations to support the demand for an immediate ceasefire. We agree to organise delegations to meet local MPs and councillors to call on them to speak out on this issue.

Right to protest

We condemn the Tory government’s attempts to clamp down on the right to protest the Israeli state’s brutal attacks, and to show solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians.

We note that Starmer’s New Labour has written to Labour MPs and councillors saying “they must not, under any circumstance” join Palestinian solidarity protests. We need political representatives who oppose the capitalist elites and stand for the rights of the working class and oppressed, here in Britain and internationally.

That must include standing in solidarity with people in Gaza today. We would welcome trade union-backed candidates standing in the general election on that programme, including Jeremy Corbyn who has been banned from standing for Labour.

We support mass struggle by the Palestinians for self-determination and their own viable state, which will not be granted by the capitalist elites. Only the struggle for workers’ unity, for full national rights, and for socialism, can remove reactionary elites, and lay the basis for an end to oppression and wars, and see Palestinians and Israelis mutually agree their future relations, free of all coercion, and able to live in peace and prosperity.

Tory backers

Socialist Party member John Dolan is secretary of Enfield Trades Council. He said: “The horrific, destructive actions of the Israeli government in Gaza – backed by our UK government – will only prolong the conflict for years and decades to come.”

Paul Kershaw proposed the motion that was passed by Enfield Trades Council. He is a Socialist Party member, and chair of the local trades council.

He said: “Trade unions and workers stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza. All our affiliated unions have called for a ceasefire at national level, and we want to see our political representatives in Enfield join that call.

“Politicians of the capitalist establishment will not grant self-determination for Palestinians. The massive demonstrations in central London and local Enfield protests show that working-class people and youth have a different view.”

London protests anti-boycott bill

by Farhana Manzoor

The Tories’ ‘anti-boycott bill’ intends to hinder the right of universities, local authorities and other public bodies from making ethical choices, without the express permission of the government. Why should we no longer be allowed to influence where these public bodies invest the money they get from and our payments and taxes?

The mood from the crowd was dismay with those currently occupying Parliament. One speaker said: “Those people in the Parliament buildings, enjoying our tax money, do not represent us”.

I spoke to one person who said: “I’ve always voted Labour, not anymore. Now I’m looking for someone who will represent me, my views and my needs.

“I don’t agree with what they’re doing in Palestine. I don’t agree with the wars and aggression.

“They’re being paid a lot of our money, and they don’t care about what we want.

“My friend and I will look out for TUSC. Please can you be seen at the next elections.

“You must stand. These elections will be very different.

“People want to vote for people, like us, who represent us. These politicians don’t care about us people.”

I also spoke to another protester, Mohammed Abbas from Yemen. He said: Things are very bad in Yemen and Palestine. I’m here because I don’t agree with what’s going on.

“We are in this together. We must vote for socialist change. Things must not go on as they are.

“I agree with your policies. I will look out for you and TUSC at the general elections.

“I don’t want to support the people in there now (pointing at Parliament). I’m never going to vote for people in there again.

“Labour is the new Conservative Party rebranded. But I’ll vote for TUSC. Please be present in our voting list.”

Be prepared to be a real alternative for people looking for change. Support the Socialist Party, attend the demonstrations, and be the catalyst for change as history is made.