Photos from Birmingham Home Care workers rally

Addressing Home Care strikers on Saturday, Unison West Midlands Regional Secretary Ravi Subramanian told workers that he has had a meeting with Labour council leader Ian Ward, who assures Ravi the dispute will be resolved in line with “Labour values”. If those are the same values which shafted the same workers earlier this year (after Labour secured a majority on the council once more after the local election), which introduced an extra 50 working days a year for bin men last year, then Unison strikers need to be wary. The Labour party in the trade unions is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Successful meeting “imperialism on Trial” held in Birmingham tonight

Eva Bartlett speaking in Birmingham

Eva Bartlett spoke in Birmingham tonight alongside Peter Ford (a former British diplomat), Michael Pike (Veterans for Peace) and Peter Kuznik (author).

The meeting was well attended considering the £11 door price and a low profile amongst what passes for Birmingham’s anti war movement.

The meeting represented everything that is best about the emerging opposition to corporate media lies but summed up neatly the impotent end product of nearly all speakers. Without coupling the fight against imperialism with the fight for socialism, no positive horizons open up for humanity and pessimism castrates what would otherwise be a fruitful critique.

We are sure that these talented speakers and truth seekers will eventually find their way towards seeing through the greatest lie of all, the anti-soviet, anti-socialist lies of the ruling class. When this is done, a great leap forward will be made in the struggle to end war and human exploitation forever.

For more info on what’s happening in Syria here: https://www.cpgb-ml.org/2018/07/10/news/syria-advances-to-liberation/

Venezuelan Embassy speak in Birmingham today

Marcos Garcia of the Venezuelan Embassy spoke at the offices of the CPGB-ML in Birmingham today.

A lively question and answer session discussed things as diverse as the success of the Petro, seizure of assets by ConocoPhillips, the issue of cadres in the Venezuelan revolution, the present strength of ALBA, the threat of war, and the development of trade and relations with China.

The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninists) organises a weekly political study as well as regular talks, presentations and socials on Wednesday and Sunday every week.

Get in touch to find out more.

For more on the Bolivarian revolution read Resounding success for Nicolas Maduro.

Birmingham Worker candidates thank local voters

Birmingham-Worker-election-candidates

The votes this year for Birmingham Worker candidates mark a step forward, no matter how small, for working class people in the city. They also mark another step forwards for communists in Birmingham.

The offices of the CPGB-ML in Highgate, have been busy all month as comrades gave their time working on our first foray into electoral politics. Results in Stirchley and Brandwood were good first time efforts for Marxist-Leninists; we beat the great TUSC (trot-left social democrat) coalition in Kings Heath and we can build on our effort in Balsall Heath where we beat both the Tories & Greens to third place.

We’d like to express our sincere thanks to all our members, our supporters, those bin men who ignored the trots & union chiefs to spread the word, our neighbours and all those we met along the way. We’ll be in touch with everyone who left their name, address, email etc and if you didn’t but wish you had, fill in the form below. It’s another Labour council, and it’s going to be years of more assaults on working class interests. There’s not been a better time to join the Communist Party in Birmingham for decades. Get involved.

Results:

Brandwood & King’s Heath

Candidate Party Votes
Burgess Chris Liberal Democrat 479
Cox Patrick Green Party 658
Cremer Katherine Birmingham Worker 95
Franks Gordon John Conservative Party Candidate 1122
Gilliam Rob Liberal Democrat 293
Kaya Julie Green Party 392
Leddy Mike Labour Party 3350
Mackenzie-Lawrie Joshua Duncan Conservative Party Candidate 829
Murray Bill Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 78
Trickett Lisa Labour Party 3395
Rejected Ballot Papers 19

Stirchley

Candidates Party Votes
Banting Philip Andrew Liberal Democrat 141
Lawrence Reuben Birmingham Worker 45
Locke Mary Labour and Co-operative Party 1856
Stanton Elly Green Party 155
Williams Owen Vaughan The Conservative Party Candidate 576
Rejected Ballot Papers 7
TOTAL 2780

Balsall Heath West

Candidate Party Votes
Fazel Ali The Conservative Party Candidate 139
Guest Martin John Green Party 98
Ibrahem Sammi Birmingham Worker 156
Issa Islam Ahmed Liberal Democrat 204
Malik Zhor Labour Party 1938
Rejected Ballot Papers 35
TOTAL 2570

Message to Polish voters in Balsall Heath West, Stirchley, Brandwood & Kings Heath

Message to Polish workers in Birmingham / Wiadomość dla polskich robotników i robotnic w Birmingham
The Birmingham Worker
GŁOSUJ NA “THE BIRMINGHAM WORKER” W BALSALL HEATH WEST, STIRCHLEY, BRANDWOOD ORAZ W KINGS HEATH.
PRZESTAŃMY SIĘ OSZUKIWAĆ
Laburzyści obwiniają Torysów, Torysi zrzucają winę na Laburzystów ale tak czy inaczej to nadal ta sama, stara śpiewka!
Radni Partii Pracy oskarżają za każde cięcia budżetowe i ataki na robotników Partię Konserwatywną sami odmawiając wzięcia jakiejkolwiek odpowiedzialności ale wszyscy doskonale wiemy, że tak na prawdę to Torysi są inicjatorami tych cięć a Laburzyści decydują kogo uderzyć w pierwszej kolejności. Council jest odpowiedzialny między innymi za:
– zmarnowanie ponad 6 milionów funtów w samym tylko 2017 roku próbując obniżyć pensje śmieciarzom w nadziei na żałosne oszczędności,
– zamknięcie 26 Children’s centres w Birmingham,
– podniesienie podatków miejskich (tzw. Council Tax) w 2018 oraz żenujące próby przekonania opinii publicznej, że to dla dobra społeczeństwa wstrzymano opłaty za kremację,
– testowanie granic ludzkiej wytrzymałości pracowników i pracownic socjalnych przez zmuszanie ich w praktyce do pracy przez nawet 15 godzin na dobę,
– wydawanie pieniędzy podatników na podróże dla Izraelskiego zbrodniarza wojennego odpowiedzialnego za tysiące zabitych Palestyńczyków.
Nadszedł czas aby odciągnąć karierowiczów od koryta i zastąpić ich miejscowymi robotnikami, tymi którzy nie boją się stanąć w obronie zwykłych obywateli!

Should workers vote in Birminghams council elections?

Poster_Birmingham workerThe picture above probably answers that question for you! But this is the first time a radical, Marxist-Leninist working class organisation has stood in elections of any form in many years, so here’s a few words about why communists should bother.

As far as communists are concerned, whether to vote or not to vote, and whether or not to put up communist candidates for election, are not questions of principle, but of tactics – to be decided according to the situation in which we find ourselves and by the general level of engagement of the workers.

Given the fact that so many people still have great illusions in the system of bourgeois democracy in Britain, our party is at the present time in favour of the principle of putting up communist candidates for election. In most places, owing to the relative weakness of party organisations, standing candidates, even for council elections is an unnecessary burden. In Birmingham it’s a different situation. We’ve got experienced comrades, a strong local organisation, and in some places a bit of support from the local community.   For that reason, there will be communists standing for election in Birmingham, and the campaign that is being run is not the shoddy CPB-style Graham Stevenson for Mayor type of affair. We’ve distributed, not via Royal Mail but via our own members and supporters, more than 25,000 flyers to local residents and over 10,000 copies of our local newspaper the Birmingham Worker. We’re not apologising for the dictatorship of the proletariat either, our message is clear, bourgeois dictatorship is an evil which must be overthrown, and the workers must become masters of British society, they must establish their own dictatorship over the rich. Whilst it seems that’s not going to happen any time soon(!) it is the inevitable outcome of the class struggle.

Standing candidates gives us an opportunity to bring communist politics into the wider debate and to spread the influence of a revolutionary understanding.

Get in touch:

Sammi Ibrahem, our candidate in Balsall Heath West

A message to voters in Balsall Heath West

SAMMI IBRAHEM FROM GAZA TO BALSALL HEATH – INTERNATIONAL MAN OF PEACE

Sammi Ibrahem is no stranger to conflict and hardship. Born in a Palestinian refugee camp, Sammi Ibrahem was repeatedly shot by Zionist troops but lived to survive the ordeal and spread his message of uncompromising struggle against imperialism. Sammi who has been cruelly separated from his family for many years by the Israeli occupation of Palestine escaped Israeli detention on a scholarship programme and has, since his youth, been a champion of the oppressed ever since.

Man of peace

Sammi knows that hatred can only be challenged head-on. In his years as a community activist in Balsall Heath, Sammi has looked after the interests of hundreds of local workers and residents, many of whom have faced unfair eviction orders from the Council bailiffs as a result of crushing poverty, or the bullying threats of slum landlords, rapacious bosses or street hoodlums. But Sammi Ibrhaem says that workers and oppressed peoples can stand up to bullies and they can win, not only here in Balsall Heath, but around the world, whether it’s in Gaza or Seoul. As a champion of the oppressed, Sammi has been invited by countless organisations to visit them in the pursuance of peace and socialism.

South Korea and the threats of nuclear war

This April Sammi Ibrahem is a guest of the South Korean workers and peace loving people when he visits Seoul on a two week trip to promote friendship, peace and reunification. At the invitation of the Peace and Democracy Party, and the Korean peace organisations, Sammi will deliver a message from the socialist and peace loving people of Birmingham to our south Korean friends who face the threat of nuclear war as a result of the maniac Donald Trump and the aggressive plans of US imperialism.

As Sammi Ibrahem says,

“Korea was unjustly divided after the second world war as a result of US imperialist occupation of the south. It is high time that injustice was reversed.”

IMG_20180224_133634277

Sammi, recently returned from a peace mission to Columbo given the support of Birmingham’s Sri Lankan community by visiting Sri Lankan Member of Parliament Sunil Handunneththi

IMG_0787

Sammi Ibrahem welcomes comrade Marcos Garcia, from the Venezuelan Embassy, to Birmingham in 2018

Birmingham Worker candidates fighting for our elderly

Reuben Lawrence, Birmingham Worker candidate in Stirchley ward, speaking to a meeting of local supporters this week outlined the position of all Birmingham Worker candidates to the elderly at this election. He said,

“It is high time we bring to an end the conversion of large domestic houses into private care homes where the elderly are left in squalid conditions by capitalists who profit from not looking after our elderly. The city council must protect existing services, AND fund more services to look after our elderly. This money can easily be raised from existing taxes – we’ve all been made to spend more on the Police and Crime Commissioner who does NOTHING – why not take this money and spend it on our pensioners?! Lets look after our children and the elderly folk rather than the pen pushers.”

To support our candidates get in touch:

Homeless crisis in Birmingham – Labour, tory, same old story…

Labour councillor Sharon Thompson admits that rough sleeping has been on the rise in Birmingham for the last seven years, although we can’t agree with her head count of 57, it’s clearly more. Cllr Thompson is Labour’s “homelessness spokeswoman” in Birmingham. Since Labour has been running the city council you might think that Cllr Thompson and her colleagues would take some responsibility for the awful plight of so many people who rough sleep on our city streets every night, but you’d be wrong. Their solutions are to spend money on policy documents and scribble up a fanciful ‘Charter of Rights’ – an academic solution by a party full of academics and careerists.

Cllr Thompson like most Labour Cllr’s can only blame Tory cuts for every evil visited upon the town. It wouldn’t be so bad if every now and again they admitted that the capitalist system itself inevitably drags millions to poverty, destitution and war – but the Labour party doesn’t even pretend to work for a new social order anymore, they long ago abandoned all pretence to socialism.

Whilst hundreds of people in desperate need of support find themselves sleeping on the streets, they can take great solace from Cllr Thompson and her Charter of Rights,

“We are committed to creating better outcomes and lobbying Government for properly funded initiatives to help people back into sustainable permanent homes. Our MPs are committed to challenging Tory Government broken policies and unfair cuts.”[i]

If only Labour could find a few extra quid to help the homeless as readily as they could hand over the taxpayers £6.6million to private haulage firms last summer during the bin dispute. Labour managed to overspend on waste services to the tune of £12.3m handing over millions of pounds of our money.

Birmingham remains full of huge buildings which the council sells off to religious groups posing as community organisations, no doubt payback from the local councillors to their “constituents”. Why not take one of these buildings for the homeless? How about the grand Friends Meeting House on Moseley Road? £6.6m spent on that building would have housed each and every one of the 57 rough sleepers found sprawled across the city pavements last Autumn when the pen pushers and policy people went out and took their head count.

If you are fed up with the way things are – change them. Get in touch:

 

[i] https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/homelessness-labour-birmingham-rough-sleeping-14449188