Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Stronger together?

Labour is going to be “Stronger Together” at the next election or so Keir Starmer’s team told us last week with the launch a new campaign that they hope will channel the solidarity shown by the British public during the pandemic. This particular slogan, like most of the Starmer team’s ideas, comes from America. It was Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan in the 2016 presidential elections. She lost to Donald Trump so it doesn’t augur well for Starmer in the future.
And that future looks grim for Sir Keir following Labour’s dismal showing at the Chesham & Amersham by-election and the almost certain disaster that awaits them when Batley & Spen goes to the polls next week.
    It doesn’t look too bright for Boris Johnson either. He clearly no longer walks on water following the loss of a long-time Tory seat to the Liberal Democrats. The Tory vote slumped to 36 per cent having previously never dropped below 50 in this leafy Buckinghamshire constituency on the outskirts of London. They, at least, came second and they still live in hope of retaking this seat at the next general election. Labour, however, got their worst ever by-election result. Some Labour supporters switched to the Lib-Dems others simply stayed at home. Labour lost its deposit with a measly 622 votes that represents 1.6 per cent of the vote.
    Despite the fact that their leader, Sir Ed Davey, is barely known outside Liberal Democrat circles the Lib Dems increased their vote share by 30 points, overturned a 16,000 Tory majority to win by over 8,000 on a 52 per cent turn-out. Like St Paul the Lib-Dems are ‘all things to all men’ on the street who exploit every local issue to their advantage by claiming they, and they alone, can solve the problem.
    The big issue this time round was the erosion of the town’s Green Belt by the HS2 high-speed rail link and the top down planning changes that only benefit the big housing developers. That the Lib-Dems could turn it to their advantage even though they actually support the development of HS2 is to the credit of their campaign managers who are following in the footsteps of their predecessors who set the ball rolling during the Orpington by-election back in 1962.
    Johnson can, of course, take some comfort from the fact that the Tories have seen this all before. Flash in the pan Liberal-Democrat by-elections wins usually at the expense of the Tories. This is followed by hyped up media talk of a great Liberal revival which continues until predictable slump in their fortunes at a general election. If the Tories, as seems likely, take Batley & Spen from Labour next week Johnson will sleep even more soundly. But if that happens it’s got to be the end of the road for Sir Keir Starmer.

Doing Time


by Ben Soton

Time (2021) BBC One; three-part series; Dir: Lewis Arnold; stars: Sean Bean and Stephen Graham

For the record I have spent time in prison…teaching literacy and IT skills to inmates at HMP Winchester. Prison is also the subject the BBC Sunday night drama Time by Jimmy McGovern. For those in Her Majesty’s Prisons time is something they indeed have plenty of. The main character Mark Cobden, played by Sean Bean, is a guilt-ridden former teacher serving a four-year sentence for a drink-driving offence in which he killed a cyclist, whilst the drama contains a variety of sub-plots revolving around the lives of other inmates and prison officers.
     The drama correctly dispels the myth that prison life is easy. Prisons are unpleasant, overcrowded, violent places serving horrible food and where there is little to do. Regular readers of this column are probably aware that I am not a liberal, and many of those in prison should be there. What needs to be asked is whether prisons serve their purpose, which ultimately is rehabilitation.
    Most of those in jail are from the lowest section of the working class and those from minority backgrounds make up a disproportionate share of the prison population. Time shows the tragedy of those people’s lives.
    A prisoner who meets the parents of the man he killed explains that he got into a fight over a spilt drink that he could not afford to pay for and did not want to admit to only having £1.20 in his pocket. My first thoughts were why go into a pub in the first place if that’s all got? But I have not lived that man’s set of experiences. The programme encouraged me to confront my hard working-class prejudices.
    What makes Time watchable is that Mark is not a typical prisoner. The ultimate fish out of water, Mark is not a violent man. He has a degree level education. His ability to read and write helps him gain favour with other prisoners. On the other hand, he is forced to learn to defend himself against violent convicts and takes a short crash course from the prison’s Mr Big, Jackson Jones, played by Brian McCardie.
    Although Time ended last Sunday it is still available on BBC iPlayer and is well worth watching. It’s the story of a man coping with extraordinary circumstances he did not expect to have to deal with. In many ways it shows the essence of the human condition; namely having to adapt to our surroundings in order to survive. Meanwhile, if you learn nothing else from the drama remember to drive carefully, and if you enjoy a drink go to a local pub or get a bus.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Summertime blues

 The Government’s decision to delay final lockdown easing for four weeks will come as a relief to the millions of unvaccinated people fearful of the reports of rising Covid infection and hospitalisation rates all over the country due to the spread of the Delta variant. All major anti-Covid restriction will now end on 19th July unless a "far more dangerous" variant emerges.
     Labour says the current crisis is, as usual, all down to Boris Johnson. Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds says the four-week delay was due to the Prime Minister’s border “negligence”. Calling the Delta variant “the Johnson variant” Labour’s man argues that Johnson’s “refusal to take tough decisions has left Britain facing weeks more under restrictions”.
    “The delay is happening because a new variant first identified overseas was allowed to take hold in this country. There is one reason and one reason only that this happened: lax border measures by Conservative ministers.
    “They have allowed the Delta variant, first identified in India to take hold here. Let’s call it what it is. Let’s put the blame where it should lie. In this country – it’s the Johnson variant”.
     He’s certainly got a point. The failure of the Government to take speedy, firm measures to contain Covid-19 when it came to Britain last year is down to Johnson and his advisers who clearly in beginning believed in the crackpot theory of “herd immunity” that would have let the plaque spread unhindered throughout the population at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. The reluctance to close the borders to all but urgent travel undermined previous lock-downs. Let’s hope that the current stringent controls are not simply shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.
    Meanwhile the teaching unions together with Unison, GMB and Unite – the big three of the TUC who also organise throughout the education sector – are calling for the reintroduction of face masks in secondary school classrooms and for students in communal areas. They also say all pupils should be offered vaccines as soon as their use is approved for children, with schools given extra support so pupils can be vaccinated on-site.
    TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady says: “We all want to beat this virus once and for all. But this announcement is a big setback for many workers and businesses - especially in the arts and hospitality sectors.
    “The government must step up and provide urgent targeted support for these industries. We cannot afford for more companies to go to the wall, taking good jobs with them.
    “The Chancellor also needs to announce now that he will extend furlough for as long as is needed, rather than cutting it off abruptly in three months’ time. Working people need this certainty now - not a rollercoaster approach to protecting livelihoods and when the government does remove restrictions, all workers must know their workplaces are Covid-Secure. The government must consult unions and employers on updated safety guidance for all types of workplace ahead of the final unlocking”.
    The Tory leader heeded medical opinion and ignored the bleating of the tourist and entertainment industry as well as the selfish, profiteering demands from some of his backbenchers to end the lockdown on the original date of 21st June.
     The Sage and independent Sage panels of medical experts had both called for this extension. Johnson, on this occasion, has wisely taken their advice. We can only hope that the mass vaccination programme that is now stretching to the under 30s will finally stop the coronavirus plague in its tracks.

Monday, June 21, 2021

A Russian Space Oddity

 by Ben Soton

Sputnik (2020). Director: Egor Abramenko; Writers: Oleg Malovichko, Andrey Zolotarev; Stars: Oksana Akinshina, Fedor Bondarchuk, Pyotr Fyodorov. 113 minutes. Classification age 15.

Is this first-time director Egor Abramenko’s take on the former Soviet Union? Does it reflect the views of the Putin government or is it just plain science fiction?
    Whatever the reason, Sputnik, a film sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Culture, was a blockbuster when it was released in Russia last year.
    The film is set in 1983, just before the treacherous Gorbachov regime began a policy of internal destruction that they called glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). The film is part science fiction, part political thriller and even part horror. As the film reaches its climax however, it contains an element that is deeply and perhaps uniquely Russian.
    The story revolves around a Soviet cosmonaut, Konstantin Veshnyakov (played by Pyotr Fyodorov), who returns to Earth with a dead crew and his body inhabited by an alien life form. For reasons of safety and public morale the cosmonaut is kept in the launch site in Kazakhstan. Meanwhile a doctor, Tatyana Klimova (played by Oksana Akinshina), is sent to remove the alien from his body.
    Klimova is portrayed as a maverick who thinks outside the box, whist the Soviet Union is portrayed as rigid and hostile to change. On the other hand, the Soviet Union in the form of Colonel Smiradov, the base commander (played by Fedor Bondarchuk), needs people like Klimova to deal with an unorthodox situation. This was the argument put forward by those who supported glasnost and perestroika. This was not to say that the problems faced by the 1980s Soviet Union did not require thinking outside the box; this did not, however, justify the Gorbachov clique destroying the box and selling off its remaining contents.
    Early scenes in the film depict the boredom of space travel; so different from the excitement of Star Wars and Star Trek. But there are some nods towards the Hollywood SF genre. For a start, there is a similarity with Alien, Ridley Scott’s 1979 film, whilst the creature inhabiting Veshnyakov’s body is remarkably similar to the hostile planet-consuming aliens of Independence Day. But Klimova, using science to remove a bestial creature from the body of an otherwise healthy man, makes Sputnik a more complex story than Alien and its spin-offs.
    With much of the film focused on the relationship between Veshnyakov and Klimova, parallels emerge with Beauty and the Beast, the French fairy tale which has travelled the world like the original Sputnik, the first satellite in space.
    It is said that the Soviets cut corners with their space programme and other areas of national security; however, the Soviet Union never saw a single day of peace in its 70-year lifespan. It faced aggression from its foundation in the form of imperialist intervention. In the Second World War the Red Army beat back and eventually crushed the Nazi hordes, and during the Cold War the Soviet Union was forced to spend considerable resources on nuclear weapons. Despite this, its achievements were enormous: the elimination of poverty; racial and gender equality; its assistance to the anti-imperialist struggle. The USSR achieved great feats in science, education and the arts, and its victories after the Second World War benefitted many beyond its borders – including this country. It is to the Soviet Union that we owe the National Health Service. With this in mind, the Soviet Union and its pioneering ventures into space need to be remembered – but not in this way!
    Nevertheless, it’s well worth watching if you’re into the SF scene. The film is available on DVD and on streaming video platforms, including Amazon Prime and Netflix.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Labour needs new agenda

The Conservatives are firm favourites to win the Batley and Spen by-election on 1st July. This “Red Wall” West Yorkshire seat came up for grabs after Tracy Brabin, the sitting MP, stepped down after winning the West Yorkshire mayoral election in the local elections last month. The Tories, who are fielding Ryan Stephenson, the Chair of the West Yorkshire Conservatives who sits on Leeds council, are upbeat about their campaign. Although Labour fended off the Tory challenge at the last general election in 2019, the Tories are now odds-on to take the seat that’s been Labour’s since 1997.
    That’s perhaps not surprising given that the only apparent qualification that the new Labour candidate has is that she is the sister of Jo Cox, the former constituency MP who was murdered by a far-right extremist during the European Union (EU) campaign in 2016.
    Kim Leadbeater has obvious campaigning skills. She worked as an ambassador for the Jo Cox Foundation, which was established to campaign for issues her sister supported, and she was appointed MBE in the New Year's Honours for her work in tackling social isolation. Although she only joined Labour some weeks before her nomination, she has the support of the local Labour party as well as Andy Burnham, the ambitious Mayor of Greater Manchester, and Labour’s leader, Sir Keir Starmer. Whether that’s enough to see off the Tories in July is another matter altogether.
    Fourteen others have put their names down for the election, including the Liberal Democrats and the usual Loonies as well as the assorted also-rans that include the ‘Yorkshire Party’ and George Galloway, who is standing on his own ‘Workers’ Party of Britain’ ticket. Galloway has had spectacular by-election successes in the past; but those days have now long passed along with the Respect party he set up after he was kicked out of the Labour Party by the Blairites in 2003 for opposing the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.
    It will a big blow to Kim Leadbeater if she loses the by-election. It will be an even bigger one for Sir Kier Starmer, who came under flak from his own Blairite allies after the shock Tory win in Hartlepool in May. Losing this seat could well be the last straw for Starmer.
    The Blairites are already preparing their alibis for defeat. The blame-game will begin with renewed calls to drive the remaining Corbynistas out of the Labour Party. It will rapidly be followed by a call for an electoral front with the Liberal Democrats and a final break with the trade union movement – as long as it doesn’t jeopardise the millions of pounds that the unions loyally pump into Labour’s coffers every year.
    But if Labour lose it will entirely be down to them and the man with whom they chose to replace Jeremy Corbyn in the first place. No-one knows what Starmer’s crew stands for these days, apart from supporting Israel and witch-hunting former Corbyn supporters who don’t toe the line. The only consistent policy they do have – support for the EU – is one they dare not declare publicly because it would be the kiss of death for their election chances on the street.
    The question is not who leads of the Labour Party – although clearly Starmer must go – but who sets the agenda for the party that claims to represent working people. We, as communists, have to fight for the demands of the unions for full employment and the restoration of the public sector, the health service and the welfare state. At the same time, we’ve got to ensure that the communist answer to the crisis is heard once again in factories, offices and streets throughout the land.

A Renaissance Man

by Ben Soton   

Execution by SJ Parris, HarperCollins 2021. Hardback: 496pp, £14.99;. Paperback: 496pp,   £8.99; Kindle: 496pp, £4.99.

Execution is the sixth novel by SJ Parris (the pen name of writer and journalist Stephanie Merritt) covering the exploits of Giordano Bruno. A Dominican monk, Giordano Bruno (1548–1600) abandoned Holy Orders after being discovered with the heretical work of Erasmus and was forced to flee Italy from the Inquisition. He spent much of his life as a wandering scholar and he is believed to have spent some time in England in the 1580s. Little is known about what Bruno did in England during his stay but Parris’ novels, based on Bruno’s opposition to the Catholic Inquisition, tries to fill the gap and puts him in the employ of Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth I’s spymaster.
    Bruno’s latest adventure takes place in Elizabethan London, or specifically Southwark. He infiltrates the plotters around Anthony Babington who plan to assassinate Elizabeth and put her Catholic cousin Mary Queen of Scots on the throne.
    Parris’s novels bring the Elizabethan world to life. As an author she details the dress, customs and even the food of the time. Southwark, on the south bank of the Thames outside the control of the City of London, was nominally run by the Bishop of Winchester. The prostitutes who worked Southwark’s streets were known as ‘Winchester Geese’ and the whole area was dominated by brothels, playhouses, bear pits and gambling dens.
    Parris’s depiction of Southwark reminds us that England has been a multicultural society for a long time. For instance, one character in this book is Leila, a ‘Moor’ – a general term in those days for people of African or Middle Eastern origin.
    Attempts to restore Catholicism in Elizabethan England were reactionary. A Catholic victory would have destroyed the limited free thinking that existed in England at the time. England would have come under the domination of Spain, which would have stifled commerce and prevented the development of capitalism. Parris’s interpretation of events and Bruno’s role in it broadly support this view. The author adds that Elizabeth’s advisor Robert Cecil wanted to alter the English constitution, making everyone including monarchs answerable to the law. In other words, Mary Queen of Scots’ execution may have set a precedent in English law paving the way for the trial and execution of Charles I, her grandson, less than a century later.
    What of Bruno himself? An outsider who risks life and limb for England but receives little reward for it; he is not given residence in the country. He is often insulted by members of the lower orders in alehouses for being a foreigner, whilst he is insufficiently rewarded by the likes of Walsingham who are happy to use his skills. At least members of the lower orders have the excuse of not knowing that he is actually doing them a favour. Bruno is the ultimate heroic outsider.
    Giordano Bruno was a truly remarkable man. He is known for having developed a system for improving memory as well as being a supporter of the ideas of Copernicus. Bruno also believed in the concept that if the universe were made up of numerous stars there could also be many planets. Parris’s novels fill in the gaps in his fascinating life and are a fitting tribute to a genuine Renaissance Man.

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Where’s the beef?

The Remainers told us that leaving the European Union (EU) would plunge the country into chaos, with empty supermarket shelves, rationed medicines and monstrous tail-backs of lorries at the Channel ports. The fact that none of this has happened despite the coronavirus lock-downs and lay-offs over the last year doesn’t appear to have been grasped by Europhiles, who still dream of another referendum to take us back into the Common Market.
    A lucrative new free trade agreement with Australia now opens the door to cheap meat imports from the southern hemisphere. This is a step in the right direction but there’s plenty more the Government should take to make the most of the UK’s new standing outside the shackles of the EU.
    Tory Brexiteers talk about “free trade” – but not when it comes to People’s China. Only last week the Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, was warning against the UK becoming dependent on trade with China. Why?
    Well, the answer is US imperialism. Crawling to the Americans comes as second nature to those sections of the ruling class who believe that their global interests are best preserved through the might of US imperialism. But Tory and Labour politicians should think for themselves for a change. China is already Britain's second-largest trading partner, just after the USA. China overtook Germany to become Britain's biggest single import market in the first quarter of this year.
    China is an open door for mutually beneficial trade. Free trade agreements with China and the rest of world will bring down prices on the high street and help end conflicts in other parts of the globe.
    During the ‘Golden Era’ of China–UK relations a few years ago, politicians repeatedly stressed the importance of a closer economic partnership with China. Now, after officially leaving the EU and under the impact of the global pandemic, it is clear that Britain needs China more than ever.

What a difference a day makes

 Or not in Dominic Cummings’ case. Last week Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser spent seven hours telling a parliamentary committee how bad his former chief was. He said government officials, including himself, had fallen “disastrously short of the standards that the public has a right to expect” and that the “government failed” over the coronavirus crisis. Health Secretary Matt Hancock should have been fired for lying, and that frontline workers and civil servants were "lions led by donkeys". As for Boris Johnson, "thousands" of people were better suited to run the country than him and that he was not a "fit and proper person" to get the UK through the pandemic.
    Some say Cummings still hopes to return to the corridors of power through the patronage of the Chancellor Rishi Sunak or his old mentor, Michael Gove. But who can trust him?
    This man was once seen as the √©minence grise of the Johnson administration. Tories, with varying degrees of affection, called him “Dom”, “The Mekon” or “Rasputin”. Now it’s just “Judas” – the man who betrays his master in revenge for being sacked.
    Cummings may have thought his revelations would lead to a Cabinet crisis or even force the resignation of Hancock and Johnson. But he was wrong. Most Tories still think Boris Johnson walks on water. The utterly useless leader of the opposition, Sir Kier Starmer, has totally failed to exploit the situation in Labour’s favour whilst the Remainer grandees stand back to watch the Brexiteers fight amongst themselves for a change. It has done nothing to dent the Tory lead in the opinion polls.

Half Full or Half Empty

by New Worker correspondent

The latest trade union membership figures for the UK have been published by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (that we no longer have a Ministry of Labour is telling). The latest figures show a rise of 118,000 in the course of last year.
    This is not as good as it sounds. The rise was due to an increase of 228,000 public sector workers who account for nearly two-thirds of the 6.6 million trade unionists in Britain. This has been offset by a fall of 110,000 workers in the private sector, where only 2.5 million or 12.9 per cent are in unions. Just over half the public sector workers are unionised. Despite the absolute rise, density is still lower than in 2015. The TUC claim that its affiliated unions account for 5.5 million.
    Coming out on top geographically was Yorkshire & Humber, whose TUC Regional Secretary Bill Adams boasted that: “Trade union membership in Yorkshire is on the rise –especially among women between the ages of 25–34, who face high levels of insecure work and low pay.
     “Thousands have turned to unions during this crisis, to protect their jobs, defend their rights and keep their workplaces safe.”
    Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracey Brabin, said that union representation in local workplaces has jumped 10 per cent, reaching 58 per cent of all workplaces: “I’m really encouraged to see these figures today, because it has never been more important to join a union.” She should read the small print before breaking out the champagne.
    Although they represent the fourth annual rise in a row, the latest figures are still pathetic compared with the highpoint of 13.2 million in 1979. Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, was correct in pointing out: “It’s never been more important to join a union. This pandemic has brutally exposed the terrible working conditions and insecurity many workers face.
    “Unions can play a key role in helping the country recover from this pandemic by supporting good, green jobs and working with employers to level up pay and conditions across Britain.”
    That does not, however, address the question as to why the figures in the private sector are so bad. Whilst public sector workers have had a rough time in the pandemic, particularly in the well unionised NHS, few have actually been laid off. But the lay-offs caused by pandemic-induced closures of businesses have badly hit numbers in the private sector.
    Daniel Tomlinson, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation think tank, has put us in his debt for his useful analysis of the latest figures. He points out that: “It is too early to pronounce a revival. Membership rates are still lower than in 2015,” adding: “The increase in membership levels in 2020 was in large part a product of the growth in size of the public sector.” He also points out that the average union member is not in the spring chicken category.
    Going into more detail, Tomlinson’s analysis shows that education and public administration are the main growth areas. In education, where there have been pay and pension battles, membership rates rose from 48.7 per cent to 51.4 per cent, or 150,000 members, reversing a four-year decline and returning to the 2010 rates.
    In public administration a slight fall in density was compensated by a growth due to there being 300,000 more employees in public administration in late 2020 than in late 2019.
    He notes that in many areas an expanded workforce doesn’t automatically lead to greater union growth. In the last four years union membership increased by 328,000 but the number of employees grew by three times that to one million.
    The current unusual conditions mean that despite public sector membership numbers increasing substantially, actual membership density has fallen amongst public sector employees. As a share of this new, higher total, fewer public sector employees were trade union members in 2020 than in 2019. Surprisingly for a difficult period when one would have thought that union membership was vital, rates also fell in the private sector as employment in the private sector fell substantially. In particular, rates ticked down from 13.3 per cent in 2019 to 12.9 per cent in 2020 in the private sector, and from 52.3 in 2019 to 51.9 per cent in 2020 in the public sector.
    He warns that growth in the public sector, which accounted for 27.3 per cent of employment in 2020 compared with 25.7 in 2019, will not boost membership. That has to come from the private sector, in particular the gig-economy.
    Only the retail sector has seen recent membership growth, where low pay and zero-hours contracts are common. This is due to shop-worker’s union USDAW amongst others signing agreements with the big supermarkets. Density is still low. It has risen slightly – from 10.6 per cent in 1998–2000 to 12.3 per cent in 2018–2020, whilst numbers increased from 410,000 in 2000 to 460,000 in 2020. But 12.3 per cent is still less than one in eight.
    Tomlinson suggests that because employment fell last year in retail, union members were more likely to stay in work as the sector shrunk but, given that, membership levels rose by 17,000.
    Curiously, in many parts of the private sector membership rates are less than 10 per cent for the lowest-paid private sector employees compared with over 60 per cent for the highest-paid public sector employees.
    Younger workers are starting to take an interest in unions – but it takes a clever statistician to work that one out. It is arguable that figures for young people were so low they had nowhere to go but up and depressingly a slight decline in the number of older members helped boost the percentage of youthful members. As the Jesuits say, you need to catch them young.
    Although membership rates are no longer falling amongst younger workers, a great deal needs to be done to recruit them. No branch secretary can assume that a new worker equals a new member.
    Contrasting the 46–64-year-olds with those between 16– 20, shows that those coming up for retirement who are likely to be members are not likely to be replaced in any great numbers.
    Tomlinson warns that if recent trends continue, the membership rate amongst all workers is likely to continue its decline to 18 per cent by the end of the decade. He points out that this prediction is better than one he made a few years ago. He concludes even-handedly that: “The recent upward trend in overall membership may continue. But it could also be too optimistic should the recent rise in membership end abruptly as COVID-19 fades.”

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Joint declaration condemning the continued bloodshed and occupation by Israel

 We, the communist and workers parties undersigning this statement, strongly and unequivocally condemn the Israeli aggression meted out against Palestinians in Jerusalem - as well as the continued military bombardment upon Gaza which has resulted in the killing of scores of Palestinian civilians and the maiming of hundreds more, among them children. Israel’s brazen violation of international humanitarian law and international law has continued for decades now, aided and abetted with the full support of imperialist forces, and without any meaningful intervention from international institutions to bring these violations to an end or outwardly condemn them. 


We demand:

  • An immediate cessation to the bombardment and besieging of Gaza;
  • An end to the attacks and violations against Palestinians exercising their rights in and around the Al Aqsa Mosque site and all other holy sites;
  • A stop to the relentless attacks and intimidation against Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem by the Israeli authorities and settlers, namely the latter’s attempts to evict families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood as part of a continued campaign of ethnic cleansing.

We express our full and unwavering solidarity with the just struggle of the Palestinian people to end the occupation and towards the establishing of an independent state, within the recognised borders as they stood on June 4th 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the right of return for all Palestinian refugees according to the relevant UN resolutions.

We call on all progressive and peace-loving people to raise their voice and join this appeal.


  1. Communist Party of Albania
  2. Communist Party of Australia
  3. Party of Labour of Austria
  4. Democratic Progressive Tribune, Bahrain
  5. Communist Party of Bangladesh
  6. Workers Party of Belgium
  7. Communist Party of Belgium
  8. Brazilian Communist Party
  9. Communist Party of Brazil
  10. Communist Party of Britain
  11. New Communist Party of Britain
  12. Communist Party of Canada
  13. Communist Party of Chile
  14. Socialist Workers' Party of Croatia
  15. Communist Party of Cuba
  16. AKEL, Cyprus
  17. Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
  18. Communist Party in Denmark
  19. Egyptian Communist Party
  20. French Communist Party
  21. German Communist Party
  22. Communist Party of Greece
  23. Hungarian Workers’ Party
  24. Communist Party of India [Marxist]
  25. CP of India
  26. Iraqi Communist Party
  27. Tudeh Party of Iran
  28. Workers Party of Ireland
  29. Communist Party of Ireland
  30. Communist Party of Israel
  31. Party of the Communist Refountation (PRC)
  32. Jordanian Communist Party
  33. Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan
  34. Communist Party of Luxembourg
  35. Communist Party of Malta
  36. Communist Party of Mexico
  37. Communist Party of Norway
  38. Communist Party of Pakistan
  39. Palestinian Communist Party
  40. Palestinian People's Party
  41. Philippines Communist Party [PKP 1930]
  42. Communist Party of Poland
  43. Portuguese Communist Party
  44. RussianCommunist Worker's Party - CPSU
  45. New Communist Party of Yugoslavia
  46. Communists of Serbia
  47. South African Communist Party
  48. Communist Party of the Workers of Spain (PCTE)
  49. Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE)
  50. Communist Party of Spain
  51. Communists of Catalonia
  52. Communist Party of Sri Lanka
  53. Sudanese Communist Party
  54. Syrian Communist Party
  55. Syrian Communist Party [Unified]
  56. Communist Party of Swaziland
  57. Communist Party of Turkey
  58. Communist Party of Ukraine
  59. Union of Communists of Ukraine
  60. Communist Party USA

Other Parties

  1. Party of Communists USA
  2. Galician People's Union
  3. Communist Front (Italy)


17th May 2021