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.”

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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

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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

Birmingham Worker candidates fighting for women and children

Not a single great movement of the oppressed in the history of mankind has been able to do without the participation of working women.

Working women, the most oppressed among the oppressed, never have or could stand aside from the broad path of the liberation movement. This movement of slaves has produced, as is known, hundreds and thousands of martyrs and heroines. Tens of thousands of working women were to be found in the ranks of fighters for the liberation of the serfs. It is not surprising that millions of working women have been drawn in beneath the banners of the revolutionary movement of the working class, the most powerful of all liberation movements of the oppressed masses.

Working women – workers and peasants – are the greatest reserve of the working class. This reserve constitutes a good half of the population. The fate of the proletarian movement, the victory or defeat of the proletarian revolution, the victory or defeat of proletarian power depends on whether or not the reserve of women will be for or against the working class.

That is why the first task of the proletariat and its advanced detachment, the communist party, is to engage in decisive struggle for the freeing of women workers and peasants from the influence of the bourgeoisie, for political education and the organisation of women workers and peasants beneath the banner of the proletariat.

The second and decisive task of the working class is to forge an army of worker and peasant women out of the women’s labour reserves to operate shoulder to shoulder with the great army of the proletariat. (‘1925 International Women’s Day address’ by J V Stalin)

WE DEMAND AT THIS LOCAL ELECTION

High-quality, safe, pre-school childcare and education, and the protection of ALL the Children’s Centres at risk from Labour party cuts. Oppose all attempts being made by the Labour party to encroach on provisions made for women and children in Birmingham!

Stirchley Forum organise a Ward hustings for the local elections 2018

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The following is the statement of Reuben Lawrence made to a hustings meeting organised this evening by Stirchley Forum as part of Birmingham’s 2018 local elections. Our thanks to the Forum for inviting our candidate. As Reuben was at work he was not able to attend. Unfortunately no other member of the CPGB-ML or Birmingham Worker was allowed to speak on his behalf. We were allowed to submit an introduction lasting not more than 1 minute, and a 2 minute concluding remark. Both are reproduced in full below:

“Dear friends, I am unable to be in attendance this evening as I work until 8pm, I hope to make the end of the meeting. Despite this, my comrades are in the audience with my campaign materials which I hope you will take and read.

I come from a working class family, originally from West Bromwich. I have never been well off and have always lived by my means, that being very little in the beginning. In the hopes of a better life and escape from abject poverty I enlisted in the British Army at the age of 16 and served as a guardsman from then on. Life in the army taught me discipline and gave me an iron will along with a fierce determination to see things through.

Politically for most of my (short) adult life I’ve always felt that politics is not for the working class, the wretched of the earth as we’re seen from above, and I’ve felt the exclusion and alienation which so many of my generation suffer from. However, since I left the army and became a socialist I now have a fierce determination to see the working class, the majority of the British Public have the loudest voice in politics. To that end i campaign as part of a new electoral group, the Birmingham Worker, a socialist organisation which forbids its members from pursuing  a career in politics, rather it demands service on behalf workers.”

Final Statement

“I’ll be brief and straight to the point, we the British Public bear the brunt of all the rubbish decisions made by our government, both national and local, and we also suffer the consequences.

From British involvement in Iraq to Syria our Government takes the decision to murder innocent people and are not held accountable by us, squandering millions on illegal and unjust wars, waged by a rich few who’s lives are never at risk but fought by the children of the poor like myself. Local governments are in the hands of the junior partners of the big political forces, the Tories and Labour. Policies in Birmingham by a Labour council such as the closure of 14 children’s centres is unjustifiable on the basis of a lack of funding when we consider the £6.6 million which was found to pay private contractors and scabs in a vain attempt to defeat our bin men in 2017. Our citizens are not given any say nor voice in the matter and our children suffer as a consequence. This election is our chance to voice our disaproval.

We’re told by the local Council there’s no money and yet when I look at the combined wage package of a handful of top council executives, which for 6 people is a combined wage package of nearly £800,000, I think back to the bin dispute, where the labour council wanted to cut the wages of our bin men, to save a mere £300,000 a year. Those workers were rightfully striking to save their livelihoods, put food on their children’s tables and I ask myself is this right? How can it be right for a Labour council to break the law by employing scabbing workers?

I come to one conclusion and one conclusion only; its Labour, Tory, same old story.

The British Public know what’s best for us, our families and our future generations and it’s high time we did something about that, voting is important but it is not enough, so I hope everyone in Stirchley and everyone they know will consider getting politically active, challenge and question those in power not just at election time but all the time, fighting for a socialist Britain.”
Reuben Lawrence