Football mourns the loss Of Atlético Chapecoense

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Today the world of football is rallying around the small Brazilian club Atlético Chapecoense after most of its players and staff, as well as the sports journalists accompanying them, were killed when their chartered plane crashed in the Medellin region of Colombia. Chapecoense had, against all expectations, qualified for the final of the Copa Sudamericana, the South American equivalent of UEFA’s Europa League competition.

chapecoenseblackribbonThe Brazilian FA have canceled tomorrow’s cup final and all matches this weekend as a mark of respect. Other clubs have called for solidarity with Chapecoense and requested that the club be exempt from relegation for a period of 3 years as it tries to recover from the tragedy. They have also pledged to loan players to Atlético should it elect to continue to fulfill its fixtures for the rest of this season. The Colombian side Atletico National that would have been their opponents in the 1st Leg of the final have requested that Chapecoense be declared Copa Sudamericana champions.

Some Celtic fans have also asked our club to stock the jersey of Atlético Chapecoense in the Celtic shops and to donate all profits from sales back to the Brazilian club. Every act of solidarity with the club and its fans should be embraced. In an era where greed has become the definition of football, there are still some acts of human solidarity that we as fans can participate in, with or without the consent of those at the top. Our humanity will always eclipse their greed.

Every incident that results in the loss of life is a tragedy, but some tragedies hurt more when those who died carried the hopes and dreams of the people, of thousands of fans, of whole families. The Atlético Chapecoense Football Club just a few days ago celebrated one of its greatest football achievements, and today it suffers the worst episode of its entire history.  TAL Fanzine extends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of the victims and to the fans of Atlético Chapecoense.

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‘SILENT WHITE’ – HOW THE LEFT RACIALISED THE POLITICAL DEBATE

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By Independent Working Class Association

On Sunday night, one of our IWCA facebook page admins was accused – while defending the newly published article ‘Trump: consequence not cause – of implying the word ‘white’ although not stating it when referring to the working class. The term ‘white working class’ is not one that was coined by the IWCA, but there appears to be an attempt to deliberately ‘bad jacket’ us with responsibility for it. The aim, we presume, of those pushing the politics of identity, is to politically bracket us with the racist right.

Such revisionism and deliberate falsification appears to be all pervasive on the left these days. This morning a trades union friend of the IWCA unwittingly shared what he thought was a progressive account of an interview given to Truthout by Noam Chomsky. The interview was also reported by the supposedly leftist website of Telesurtv under the title: ‘Trump Won Because Democrats Abandoned the Working Class.’

One paragraph in the Telesurtv report read:

“The exit polls and post-election data show that the majority of Trump voters are “the angry and disaffected” white working people who “are victims of the neoliberal policies of the past generation,” Chomsky said.”

The Chomsky quote above, broken in the middle, made us suspicious, so we decided to check the source, Truthout, to read what he actually said.

And lo and behold, Chomsky did not refer to the working class or working people with the prefix ‘white’. The ‘silent white’ was inserted into the middle of a quote from him by whoever edited the piece and whose motive appears to have been to attribute it to the professor in order to further the identitarian agenda of a lunatic section of the middle-class left. In fact, Chomsky did not use or imply the phrase ‘white working people’ at all, it is a complete falsehood.

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The actual comment of Noam Chomsky to Truthout was:

“[Many of] the angry and disaffected are victims of the neoliberal policies of the past generation…”

So where did this ‘silent white’ come from?

It was middle-class liberals who invented the term ‘white working class’ in order to separate out the core of the working class from everyone else. Moreover it is the ‘working class’ and the idea of working class unity – not the ‘white’ bit – that repels them. Which is why, having colour coded one part of the class, you never find any reference to the Black, Asian or Latino working classes. They employ the substitute ‘community’ instead. A classification deliberately devoid of distinct political identity, the ‘community’ can be used as a political pawn to be moved around the board at will.

One of Anti-Fascist Action’s street fighting legends of the 1980’s and 1990’s was an American called C.J. who had been a youth member of the Black Panther Party (BPP), in relation to this point about community and class, he stated:

“There is no more a homogeneous Black community or Asian community than there is a homogeneous White community. The idea is a construct to divide the working class.”

 

Imagine Your Worst Boss As President of the USA…

A personal view of the US Election from our Bosnian correspondent, originally published on the Sahtijan blog

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By Lilium

The election results in the United States are significant because of two things. One is that the defeat of Hillary Clinton means that another shot has been fired at the ‘moderate’ terrorists in Syria, which signifies the beginning of the end for them.

However, there is another issue exposed by the Trump win.

Victory for Trump is an indication of the powerlessness and stupidity of modern-day liberals and leftists. The main culprits responsible for Trump’s win are these same so-called liberals and leftists, who spent more time making fun of Trump and his supporters than they did in addressing the problems that are the root cause of discontent in the USA.

What lies at the basis of the vote? The problem is that left-wing liberals seem to be more concerned with rainbow colors, feminism and typing on their keyboards than with the real problems of ordinary people. They live in a bubble, totally cut off from reality, and when someone punctured this bubble they had no answer to it.

Why? Because they abandoned the working class. The moment that modern leftists turned their backs on the working class – they lost. They turned to the middle-class and addressed the concerns and problems of the middle and upper middle-class. And at that moment the working class became the target of the right wing. The right know that he who holds the working class, holds the power. Therefore, they peddled stories about immigrants, about how immigrants will steal jobs, how they will threaten the livelihoods of workers, etc. The image portrayed is that all who have come to the country to seek a new home in recent times did not come to work and therefore the narrative is that they live off the backs of the working class.

This liberal leftist movement is now harvesting the fruits of the seeds that they planted.

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Striking The Right Note On Brexit & Article 50

We reproduce a blog article on the recent High Court ruling on Brexit and Article 50 from the South Essex Heckler, an independent group of working class activists in the south-east of England. We believe that this article strikes exactly the right note on this issue and are happy to endorse its point of view.

A little reminder about our position…

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After A High Court ruling on Thursday 3rd November which stated that parliamentary approval is needed before Article 50 can be triggered to start the process of Brexit, the right wing, Eurosceptic section of the media has gone into a bit of a meltdown, as you can see from the above image. The court ruling is the culmination of a case brought by Gina Miller who is an investment manager and is married to a hedge fund boss. It appears to be setting off a full blown constitutional crisis with rival factions of the ruling elite tearing into each other and the prospect of a general election in 2017 becoming more likely as reported here: High Court Brexit ruling could force Theresa May to call election in 2017

We think that given how charged things have become after this ruling with the rhetoric on both sides reaching fever pitch, it’s timely to yet again state what our position on the situation is:

Let’s be clear, in reality, the EU referendum was a ‘choice’ about which faction of the ruling elite we ‘want’ to have running our lives for the benefit of big business. The point is we don’t want our lives to be run by either Brussels or Westminster if we end up being seen as nothing more than production units to be exploited and discarded at will. While the politics of the referendum and its aftermath is undoubtedly a fascinating spectacle, let’s not be deceived that it was anything other than a false choice between two shite options.

We hope that makes things unequivocally clear… We have no brief for either Brussels or Westminster who as far as we’re concerned, are two cheeks of the same arse. We take a third position (yes it is possible!) that two factions of the ruling elite tearing into each other, with the inevitable chaos that will follow, offers a unique opportunity to start the process of bringing both down together and fight for a more just, equal, sane and sustainable world.

As an aside, we’d like to draw your attention to the front cover of the Sun and it’s reference to ‘loaded foreigners’ (made in relation to Gina Miller). If whoever wrote this has an issue with ‘loaded foreigners’, perhaps they would like to direct their anger at another ‘loaded foreigner’ who has an undue influence on life in Britain, namely one Rupert Murdoch, the owner of The Sun…

To conclude, in the eyes of quite a few Brexiters in the UK, taking a third position of a pox on both Remainers and Leavers will mark us out as ‘traitors’… We’re well aware that in the febrile climate that’s being whipped up by the rags depicted in the image above, being marked out as ‘traitors’ carries a degree of risk. Well, if that’s the price we pay for sticking our heads above the parapet and telling it like it is, then so be it…

Voting For The Lesser Evil?

 

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Lesser Evil

By David Rovics

Lots of folks keep saying, ever since Hillary
Rigged the nomination of her plutocratic party
That there’s a lesser evil and that it supposedly is her
When asked to demonstrate this, then they’re not so sure
But if we look at the records of the parties they come from
It looks very much to me like a game of zero sum
Both parties love the army, and want to arm it more
Both parties voted to start the Iraq War

Both parties push for treaties that benefit the rich
Both parties let the banksters get off without a hitch
Both parties deport migrants – the Democrats especially
Neither party wants to take many refugees
Both parties vote for Crime Bills that put the poor in jail
Both are mostly led by rich, white males

So I just see two evil people putting on a puppet show
If one of them is lesser, I certainly don’t know

Both parties vote for drone strikes – they both think drones are great
Both parties hold fundraisers for a thousand bucks a plate
Both parties love the pipelines, both parties love to frack
Both parties run police departments that kill you if you’re Black
Both parties love corruption, for that is how they’re run
They both take the bankers’ money to make sure nothing useful will get done

So I just see two evil people putting on a puppet show
If one of them is lesser, I certainly don’t know

Both parties serve the wealthy, both parties say they don’t
They both say they’ll improve things, but the other party won’t
Both parties have supporters that make me want to spew
And with each election cycle, it’s all that I can do
Not to strangle someone who thinks they know the score
That one is the lesser evil, and that’s the one we should vote for

So I just see two evil people putting on a puppet show
If one of them is lesser, I certainly don’t know

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Cable Street 1936 – ‘They shall not pass and they did not pass’

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By Independent Working Class Association (IWCA)

Today is the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, where an attempted 3,000 strong march through the East End of London by the British Union of Fascists, under police protection, was forcibly prevented and broken up by thousands of fighting anti-fascists and upwards of one hundred thousand demonstrators. It remains the most significant single domestic episode in the history of British anti-fascism.

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Within the Communist Party itself, the leadership were hell bent on having a demonstration in support of the Spanish Republic at Trafalgar Square on the day, but rank and file pressure forced them to change plans at the eleventh hour to defend the East End.

Cable Street was not a spontaneous, apolitical revolt by salt-of-the-earth Londoners outraged at the presence of fascist provocateurs in their midst. The driving force was working class militants – largely, but by no means exclusively, within the Communist Party – armed with a class analysis, rooted in their own communities and often working against prevailing ‘left’ structures. Within the Communist Party itself, the leadership were hell bent on having a demonstration in support of the Spanish Republic at Trafalgar Square on the day, but rank and file pressure forced them to change plans at the eleventh hour to defend the East End. The Labour Party’s role in Cable Street is predictably shameful: its representatives at the time tried to persuade anti-fascists to stay away from the demo, and Herbert Morrison – then leader of London County Council, and Home Secretary four years later – afterwards condemned anti-fascists alongside fascists for causing the trouble, while praising the police for their actions.

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The Labour Party’s role in Cable Street is predictably shameful: its representatives at the time tried to persuade anti-fascists to stay away from the demo, and Herbert Morrison – then leader of London County Council, and Home Secretary four years later – afterwards condemned anti-fascists alongside fascists for causing the trouble, while praising the police for their actions.

Despite this, Labour are front and centre in today’s official Cable Street commemoration, along with their conservative ‘anti-fascist’ allies and non-political ethnic/religious grouplets: elements that oppose fascism not because it threatens the working class, but because it threatens the political status quo. One wonders what the activists of ’36 would make of this, or how the result might have turned out had the anti-fascist forces been so constituted back then.

L-R) Matteo Salvini – Italy’s Lega Nord; Harald Vilimsky, – Austria’s  Freedom Party (FPOe), Marine Le Pen – France’s National Front, Geert Wilders – Dutch Freedom Party (PVV); Gerolf Annemans – Belgium’s Flemish Vlaams Belang

Surveying the scene now, we see every possibility of Europe seeing the election of its first far-right head of state since 1945 in Austria in December, Marine Le Pen consistently leading the polling for the first round of the 2017 French Presidential election, UKIP eating into Labour’s core vote in England and Wales, the AfD as the biggest working class party in Berlin and the populist right climbing all over the furniture across northern, western and central Europe. The financial crash of 2008 and subsequent chronic economic crisis has stripped the political centre of its vestigial credibility, but it is the right who are filling the vacuum in working class political representation.

The antecedents of the IWCA – Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) – had as their mission statement ‘to oppose fascism physically and ideologically’. Cable Street was one of the inspirations for the physical struggle, a struggle that has been won – for now. If the current wave of populist nationalism is to be beaten back, the struggle now has to be political: no less than to reconstitute the working class as a political fighting force and the prime agent of radical political change, independent, democratic and beholden to no-one but itself. The challenge is considerable, but the risks of failing to meet it are clear.

Labour Leadership Election: Time To Fight The Tories

 

Local politics has in large part become another system of management. Councilors, Members of the Scottish Parliament and Assembly Members (in Wales & NI) manage the funds that they are allocated by central government and work within the guidelines laid down to them by the Tories. There is little possibility of ‘fighting’ municipalities providing a lead against the cuts as there was in the 1980’s. Local government has been largely stripped of any real powers and the psyche of those involved in politics appears to have switched entirely into a middle-management mode. Our contributor Klaus Stoertebeker provides a couple of examples of where Labour is in power which suggests that the ‘new dawn’ envisaged by many on the left after the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader might be short-lived.

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By Klaus Stoertebeker

Before anybody gets too excited by the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, consider these two examples of the Labour Party in power at a local level:

Political control in Greater Manchester and Bristol is wielded by the labour party. What else do those areas with a combined population of nearly 4 million have in common? The political masters in both are attempting to implement cuts in budgets and services and to reduce their workforce.

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In Greater Manchester this involves bullying, blackmailing and threatening Firefighters with the imposition of a new (inferior) contract of employment. You know, imposing contracts, just like the Tories are with the junior doctors.

In Bristol the Council and its shiny new Labour Mayor are about to cut around 1,000 jobs with the consequent impacts on services.
In both cases Labour politicians are invoking the hoary old alibi that they ‘have to do it’ because the government is making them. They often add that it’s better that they implement the cuts because they will be more ‘humane’ about it than other parties would be.  A more humane blow of the axe? Feck off!

Well, they have a choice; fight the government, or attack their workers and the people who rely on their services. Their choice is clear, it is the latter. Cowardly betrayal doesn’t even begin to describe their actions. They think we are the line of least resistance, but we have to show them that there will be a fight and that there will be a high price to pay for that betrayal.

So Labour Party, wherever and whenever and for as long as you attack the working class as you are in Bristol, Greater Manchester and elsewhere, I will continue to attack the political positions and practice of the Labour Party.

Until or unless this shit stops and you get the bottle of Poplar or Clay Cross in the local authorities you control and defy the government and the law, I don’t care who your leader is… don’t knock on my door for anything other than a fecking row.

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