The revolution here in Rojava is a women’s revolution. From the front lines of the fight against ISIS, to running the cantons to trade unions that ensure all working women have their voices heard.

International women’s day has special significance here, with events and demonstrations taking place all over the region. We stand with women worldwide in the struggle against patriarchy, and today we stand with the women of Ireland. We call on the Irish Government to repeal the 8th amendment and allow women rights over their own bodies! Today news reporters, trade unionists, HPC (civilian self-defence units) heard about the strike and stood in solidarity.

Today women across Qamishlo support.

Strike 4 Repeal

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

—  Martin Niemöller

anonymous asked:

If you're a US citizen and not a Muslim, you'll be fine. Social media has a way of blowing things way out of proportion, when the truth is, what Trump does will have almost no impact on your day to day life. Just relax, man.

How disconnected from reality do you have to be to not only write this but actually believe it? First of all I’m not a US citizen, but even if I was, I’m a compassionate human being that is reading stories from reputable sources of what is happening to a group of people simply because of the religion they were born into or choose to practice. There are people fucking trapped in airports being barred from entering the country they lawfully reside in or the country whose troops they helped in time of war. There are families that went through months of vetting to get refugee status who woke up and suddenly see their future was ripped away from them. It is affecting their day to day life and just because it isn’t my life doesn’t mean I can’t be empathetic. Simply because it isn’t your turn now, doesn’t mean the next executive order by fiat won’t apply to you. This is a very selfish way of looking at the world and what’s happening right now and I sincerely hope for all our sakes that more people don’t think like you. 

I’m a woman, I’m a POC, I’m queer, I’m Latino, and I’m an immigrant. Social media doesn’t need to tell me I need to be afraid. Common sense does. 

As cliche as it is, I think you need to read the famous words Martin Niemoller wrote about the pure cowardice of Germans regarding the Nazis:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Fucking step it the fuck up and start caring even if you’re a US citizen and not a Muslim because before long it might be your “day to day life” that is affected.

“First they came for he communists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

- Martin Niemoller

Nazis and free speech:

I’ve recently seen people side with the Nazis in Charlottsville claiming they are more for freedom of speech than their opponents. Anyone who thinks this is a blinded idiot. 

We have seen from the past, Nazis actively discourage freedom of speech, expression, religion and freedom to exist. If Nazis encouraged free speech then why did they put Jews, communists, enemy nationals, trade-unionists, homosexuals and Muslims in death camps? 

If a Nazi party or a party sharing the same views seen in Charlottsville had political power, these same groups would be oppressed and attacked, having their freedoms violated regularly, regulating what they think and say. 

So why do we see the extreme far-right constantly talking about freedom of speech? 

It protects them. Claiming their actions should be protected under the right to freedom of speech enables them to spew genocidal and ethno-cleansing hate to try and establish a world where they can oppress the rights of those they deem inferior. They only want freedom of speech for themselves. The right to believe the religion of your choice, the right to opposing political views, the right to love who you choose, none of these would be allowed under a Nazi government, even things that aren’t chooses will be restricted. 

So in short: Nazis are only pro free speech for themselves as a form of protection for their hate, but anti free speech for the groups they desire to exterminate or oppress. Don’t be fooled.

Reifgraber/Union Automatic Pistol developed by anarchist and trade unionist Joseph Joachim Reifgraber who not only designed firearms, but also published and edited an anarchist newspaper out of St. Louis, Missouri called “Die Parole”.


Great set of pictures from the SYPG institution in Qamishlo, part of TEV-DEM here. Statement below. Strike 4 Repeal! The HPC woman with the gun is the best, these are the people that keep us safe when we go about our work. Such amazing people!

“The revolution here in Rojava is a women’s revolution. From the front lines of the fight against ISIS, to running the cantons to trade unions that ensure all working women have their voices heard. International women’s day has special significance here, with events and demonstrations taking place all over the region. We stand with women worldwide in the struggle against patriarchy, and today we stand with the women of Ireland. We call on the Irish Government to repeal the 8th amendment and allow women rights over their own bodies! Today news reporters, trade unionists, HPC (civilian self-defence units) heard about the strike and stood in solidarity. Today women across Qamishlo support #strike4repeal”

August 29, 1917 - Conscription Comes to Canada

Pictured - Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden addresses Canadian troops in England. Passage of the Military Service Act of 1917 allowed for conscription to find new recruits for Canada’s army when volunteers had dried up.

On August 29 Canada’s Parliament passed the Military Service Act of 1917, authorizing conscription of Canadian men. Over 300,000 Canadian troops volunteered for service at the beginning of the war, but by 1917 the volunteers had dried up, and Canada’s expeditionary forces had been chewed down in tough battles, including the hard fight at Ypres they were engaged in at the present. After a visit to France in the spring, Canadian Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden declared that compulsory service was necessary to refresh the army.

This decision was met with fearsome protest by many Canadians, especially in the French-speaking province of Quebec. The debate actually divided Canada visibly on language, as English-speakers backed conscription, while French-speakers, who felt little connection to the British empire, chastened at being forced to serve. Trade unionists, farmers, pacifists, and foreign immigrants also opposed the act.

Borden managed to push the act through Parliament. For the rest of the war, all male citizens between 20 and 45 were eligible to be called up. The decision would make the general election that December a bitter contest over the issue, and although Borden’s union government of Liberals and Conservatives did well, Canadian conscription actually reaped few benefits for the army. Only just over 20,000 Canadian conscripts ever made it overseas to the army in France.

A letter I will be mailing to the Penguins tomorrow.

After reading the statement by the Indianapolis Colts today, I find myself wondering if any of the people involved in the decision making process have ever read Pastor Martin Niemoller’s poem. The Colts said “As NFL players, we have a platform. And as Americans, we have a responsibility to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” A platform and a responsibility. You have both.

The NHL is an overwhelmingly white organization. There are approximately 30 players of color in the entire organization. That’s comically low. The NHL was also the last organization to have a player of color. The NHL has never had a player come out as bisexual or gay. NEVER. Active or retired. Working with You Can Play and paying lip service to #hockeyisforeveryone means NOTHING when as an organization you are faced with an opportunity to do something that matters and choose not to.

Don’t do this. Don’t go to the White House and support this man. And I understand that you want to stay apolitical. But the issue here is that Trump will not ALLOW you to be apolitical. He has dragged politics into sports whether you like it or not. The Penguins organization has a choice here. You can support LGBTQ people, disabled people, women, and people of color. Or you can support Donald Trump.

That’s what this decision is now. It is no longer respect for the office. It cannot be about respect for the office with Donald Trump. This man golfs and tweets vitriol at the Mayor of San Juan while she wades in chest deep water trying to save her people. He takes a private jet to his golf course while complaining that “the logistics of getting aid to Puerto Rico is just too difficult”. He tries to strip the healthcare from millions of Americans. He calls white supremacists “fine young men” while calling athletes who have worked and sweated and bled for every penny of their money “sons of bitches”.

Which side of history do the Penguins want to be on? Because right now you’re on the wrong one.


First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

- Pastor Martin Niemoller

Not to be that paranoid left bitch but I smell feds all over this shooting, and that’s all I’m gonna say about it tbh. Spongebob this shit don’t add up.jpg. Dozens of shots, none lethal, articles on it not even posting counts of the wounded, regular hyped up Democrat white dude trade unionist?

Jeremy Corbyn speech to Labour Party Conference

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, speaking at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton today, said:


Conference, thank you for that.  We meet here this week as a united Party,  advancing in every part of Britain, winning the confidence of millions of our fellow citizens, setting out our ideas and plans for our country’s future, that have already inspired people of all ages and backgrounds.

And it’s a privilege to be speaking in Brighton.  A city that not only has a long history of hosting Labour conferences, but also of inspirational Labour activists.

It was over a century ago, here in Brighton, that a teenage shop worker had had enough of the terrible conditions facing her and her workmates. She risked the sack to join the Shop Workers’ Union, after learning about it in a newspaper used to wrap up fish and chips, and was so effective at standing up for women shop workers, she became assistant general secretary before the age of 30.

In that role she seconded the historic resolution at the Trades Union Congress of 1899  to set up the Labour Representation Committee so that working people would finally have representation in Parliament.

That became the Labour Party  and it was this woman, Margaret Bondfield  who later become a Labour MP. And in 1929, the first ever woman to join the British cabinet’

From a Brighton drapery to Downing Street.  Margaret Bondfield’s story is a reminder of the decisive role women have played in the Labour Party from its foundation, and that Labour has always been about making change  by working together and standing up for others.

Conference, against all predictions in June we won the largest increase in the Labour vote since 1945 and achieved Labour’s best vote for a generation.  It’s a result which has put the Tories on notice  and Labour on the threshold of power.

Yes, we didn’t do quite well enough  and we remain in opposition for now, but we have become a Government-in-waiting.   Our outstanding shadow cabinet team here today. And our message to the country could not be clearer - Labour is ready.

Ready to tackle inequality , ready to rebuild our NHS, ready to give opportunity to young people, dignity and security to older people,  ready to invest in our economy and meet the challenges of climate change and automation, ready to put peace and justice at the heart of foreign policy.  And ready to build a new and progressive relationship  with Europe.

We are ready and the Tories are clearly not. They’re certainly not strong and they’re definitely not stable. They’re not remotely united. And they’re hanging on by their fingertips.

But this Tory Government does have one thing that we lack.  They have tracked down the Magic Money Tree when it was needed to keep Theresa May in Downing Street.  It was given a good old shake - and lo and behold – now we know the price of power – it’s about £100m for each Democratic Unionist MP.

During the election campaign, Theresa May told voters they faced the threat of a “coalition of chaos . Remember that? Well, now they’re showing us exactly how that works. And I don’t just mean the Prime Minister’s desperate deal with the DUP. She’s got a “coalition of chaos” around her own cabinet table  - Phillip Hammond and Liam Fox, Boris Johnson and David Davis.

At each other’s throats,  squabbling and plotting, manoeuvring to bundle the Prime Minister out of Number Ten  and take her place  at the first opportunity  Instead of getting to grips with the momentous issues facing our country.

But this coalition of chaos is no joke. Just look at their record since the Conservatives have been in office;

The longest fall in people’s pay since record began

Homelessness doubled

NHS waiting lists lengthening

 School class sizes growing and teachers leaving

 Over 4 million children now in poverty

20,000 police officers … and 11,000 firefighters cut

More people in work and in poverty … than ever before

 Condemned by the United Nations for violating the rights of disabled people.

That’s not strong and stable. It’s callous and calculating. Because the Tories calculated that making life worse for millions in the name of austerity  would pay for hefty tax handouts to the rich and powerful.

Conference, your efforts in the election campaign stopped the Tories in their tracks. The election result has already delivered one Tory U-turn after another over some of their most damaging policies. The cruel dementia tax was scrapped within three days of being announced. Plans to bring back grammar schools  have been ditched . The threat to the pensions’ triple lock abandoned. Withdrawal of Winter Fuel payments  dumped. The pledge to bring back fox hunting dropped. And their plan to end free school meals in primary schools  has been binned.

The reality is that barely three months since the election  this coalition of Conservative chaos is tearing up its Manifesto and tearing itself apart. They are bereft of ideas and energy.  Indeed, they seem to be cherry-picking Labour policies instead, including on Brexit.

I say to the Prime Minister: “You’re welcome . But go the whole hog end austerity, abolish tuition fees, scrap the public sector pay cap. I think we can find a Commons majority for all of that. This is a weak and divided Government  with no purpose beyond clinging to power.

It is Labour that is now setting the agenda  and winning the arguments  for a new common sense  about the direction our country should take.

Conference, there were two stars of our election campaign. The first was our Manifesto  that drew on the ideas of our members and trade unionists  and the hopes and aspirations of their communities and workplaces.  And we were clear about how we would pay for it by asking the richest and the largest corporations to start paying their fair share.

Not simply to redistribute within a system that isn’t delivering for most people  but to transform that system. So we set out  not only how we would protect public services but how we would rebuild and invest in our economy, with a publicly-owned engine of sustainable growth, driven by national and regional investment banks,  to generate good jobs and prosperity in every region and nation.

Our Manifesto is the programme of a modern, progressive socialist party  that has rediscovered its roots and its purpose, bucking the trend across Europe.

And Conference, the other star of that campaign was YOU. Our members, our supporters in the trade unions, our doorstep and social media campaigners. Young people sharing messages and stories on social media, hundreds of thousands organising online and on the ground  to outplay the Tories’ big money machine.

Is it any wonder that here today in Brighton you represent the largest political party in western Europe, with nearly 600,000 members, alongside three million affiliated trade unionists, brimming with enthusiasm and confidence in the potential of our people. You are the future.  And let me say straight away. I’m awed and humbled by everything you have done, along with hundreds of thousands of others across the country, to take us to where we are today.

I have never been more proud to be your elected leader. Our election campaign gave people strength. It brought millions on to the electoral register  and inspired millions to go to vote for the first time.

And Labour was the Party of unity, bringing generations and communities together, rather than pitting young and old against each other, as the Tories did.  We will never seek to squeeze one generation to support another.  Under Labour, people will win together.

The result of our campaign confounded every expert and sceptic.  I see John McDonnell said the ‘grey beards’ had got it all wrong. I’m not sure that’s entirely fair, John? We wiped out the Tory majority,  winning support in every social and age group  and gaining seats in every region and nation of the country.

So please, Theresa May take another walking holiday  and make another impetuous decision. The Labour campaign machine is primed and ready to roll.

Of course, there were some who didn’t come out of the election too well. I’m thinking of some of our more traditional media friends. They ran the campaign they always do under orders from their tax exile owners  to trash Labour at every turn. The day before the election one paper devoted fourteen pages to attacking the Labour Party. And our vote went up nearly 10%.

Never have so many trees died in vain. The British people saw right through it.  So this is a message to the Daily Mail’s editor-  next time, please could you make it 28 pages?

But there’s a serious message too, the campaign by the Tories and their loyal media was nasty and personal.  It fuelled abuse online and no one was the target of that more than Diane Abbott.  She has a decades-long record of campaigning for social justice and has suffered intolerable misogynistic and racist abuse. Faced with such an overwhelmingly hostile press and an army of social media trolls,it’s even more important that we stand.

Yes we will disagree, but there can never be any excuse for any abuse of anybody. We settle our differences with democratic votes and unite around those decision.

That is the Labour Party, here this week, and out in the communities EVERY week -diverse, welcoming, democratic  and ready to serve our country.

There is no bigger test in politics right now than Brexit, an incredibly important and complex process, that cannot be reduced to repeating fairy stories from the side of a bus  or waiting 15 months to state the obvious.  As democratic socialists, we accept and respect the referendum result, but respect for a democratic decision  does not mean giving a green light to a recklesss Tory Brexit agenda  that would plunge Britain into a Trump-style race-to-the-bottom  in rights and corporate taxes.

We are not going to be passive spectators  to a hopelessly inept negotiating team  putting at risk people’s jobs, rights and living standards. A team more interested in posturing for personal advantage than in getting the best deal for our country. To be fair, Theresa May’s speech in Florence last week  did unite the cabinet. for a few hours at least.  Her plane had barely touched down at Heathrow  before the divisions broke out again.

Never has the national interest been so ill-served on such a vital issue,  If there were no other reason for the Tories to go their self-interested Brexit bungling would be reason enough. So I have a simple message to the cabinet  for Britain’s sake pull yourself together  or make way.

  One thing needs to be made clear straight away.  The three million EU citizens currently living and working in Britain are welcome here. They have been left under a cloud of insecurity by this government when their future could have been settled months ago.  So Theresa May, give them the full guarantees they deserve today.  If you don’t, we will.

Since the referendum result our Brexit team has focused above all on our economic future. That future is now under real threat.  A powerful faction in the Conservative leadership  sees Brexit as their chance to create a tax haven on the shores of Europe  a low-wage, low tax deregulated playground for the hedge funds and speculators. A few at the top would do very nicely, no question. But manufacturing industries would go to the wall  taking skilled jobs with them our tax base would crumble  our public services would be slashed still further.

We are now less than 18 months away from leaving the European Union. And so far, the Tory trio leading the talks have got nowhere  and agreed next to nothing. This rag-tag Cabinet spends more time negotiating with each other than they do with the EU. A cliff-edge Brexit is at risk of becoming a reality. That is why Labour has made clear that Britain should stay within the basic terms of the single market  and a customs union  for a limited transition period. It is welcome at least that Theresa May has belatedly accepted that.

But beyond that transition, our task is a different one. It is to unite everyone in our country around a progressive vision of what Britain could be, but with a government that stands for the many not the few.

Labour is the only party that can bring together those who voted leave and those who backed remain  and unite the country for a future beyond Brexi. What matters in the Brexit negotiations is to achieve a settlement  that delivers jobs, rights and decent living standards.

Conference, the real divide over Brexit could not be . A shambolic Tory Brexit driving down standards .Or a Labour Brexit that puts jobs first a Brexit for the many, one that guarantees unimpeded access to the single market  and establishes a new co-operative relationship with the EU.

A Brexit that uses powers returned from Brussels to support a new industrial strategy  to upgrade our economy in every region and nation.  One that puts our economy first not fake immigration targets that fan the flames of fear. We will never follow the Tories into the gutter of blaming migrants for the ills of society. It isn’t migrants who drive down wages and conditions  but the worst bosses in collusion with a Conservative government  that never misses a chance to attack trade unions and weaken people’s rights at work.

Labour will take action to stop employers driving down pay and conditions  not pander to scapegoating or racism.   How Britain leaves the European Union is too important  to be left to the Conservatives  and their internal battles and identity crises.

Labour will hold Theresa May’s squabbling ministers to account  every step of the way in these talks. And, with our Brexit team of Keir Starmer, Emily Thornberry and Barry Gardiner  we stand ready to take over  whenever this government fails. to negotiate a new relationship with Europe that works for us all  reaching outto help create a Europe for the many for the future.

The truth is …. That under the Tories Britain’s future is at risk whatever the outcome of the Brexit process. Our economy no longer delivers secure housing secure well-paid jobs or rising living standards. There is a new common sense emerging  about how the country should be run. That’s what we fought for in the election  and that’s what’s needed to replace the broken model forged by Margaret Thatcher many years ago.

And Ten years after the global financial crash  the Tories still believe in the same dogmatic mantra – Deregulate, privatise ,cut taxes for the wealthy, weaken rights at work, delivering profits for a few, and debt for the many. Nothing has changed. It’s as if we’re stuck in a political and economic time-warp.

As the Financial Times put it last month  our “financial system still looks a lot like the pre-crisis one” and the capitalist system still faces a “crisis of legitimacy”, stemming from the crash.

Now is the time that government took a more active role  in restructuring our economy. Now is the time that corporate boardrooms  were held accountable for their actions,  And now is the time that we developed a new model of economic management  to replace the failed dogmas of neo-liberalism … That is why Labour is looking not just to repair the damage done by austerity  but to transform our economy with a new and dynamic role for the public sector particularly where the private sector has evidently failed.

Take the water industry. Of the nine water companies in England  six are now owned by private equity  or foreign sovereign wealth funds. Their profits are handed out in dividends to shareholders  while the infrastructure crumbles  the companies pay little or nothing in tax  and executive pay has soared as the service deteriorates.

That is why we are committed  to take back our utilities into public ownership  to put them at the service of our people and our economy and stop the public being ripped off.

Of course there is much more that needs to be done. Our National Investment Bank… and the Transformation Fund  will be harnessed to mobilise public investment to create wealth and good jobs. When I’ve met business groups  I’ve been frank  we will invest in the education and skills of the workforce  and we will invest in better infrastructure from energy to digital  but we are going to ask big business to pay a bit more tax.

The Tory approach to the economy isn’t entrepreneurial  It’s extractive. They’re not focused on long-term investment and wealth creation. When you look at what they do rather than what they say it’s all about driving down wages, services and standards … to make as much money as quickly as possible with government not as the servant of the people  but of global corporations. And their disregard for rampant inequality  the hollowing out of our public services, the disdain for the powerless and the poorhave made our society more brutal  and less caring.

Now that degraded regime has a tragic monument  the chilling wreckage of Grenfell Tower. A horrifying fire in which dozens perished  an entirely avoidable human disaster.  One which is an indictment  not just of decades of failed housing policies and privatisation   and the yawning inequality in one of the wealthiest boroughs and cities in the world,  it is also a damning indictment of a whole outlook which values council tax refunds for the wealthy above decent provision for all  and which has contempt for working class communities.

Before the fire, a tenants’ group of Grenfell residents had warned … and I quote words that should haunt all politicians  “the Grenfell Action Group firmly believesthat only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord”. Grenfell is not just the result of bad political decisions  It stands for a failed and broken system  which Labour must and will replace.

The poet Ben Okri recently wrote in his poem “Grenfell Tower”:

Those who were living now are dead

Those who were breathing are from the living earth fled

If you want to see how the poor die, come see Grenfell Tower.

See the tower, and let a world changing dream flower.

We have a duty as a country to learn the lessons from this calamity and ensure that a changed world flowers . I hope that the public inquiry will assist. But a decent home is a right for everyone whatever their income or background. And houses should be homes for the many not speculative investments for a few. Look at the Conservative housing record and you understand why Grenfell residents are sceptical about their Conservative council and this Conservative government.

Since 2010: homelessness has doubled, 120,000 children don’t have a home to call their own, home ownership has fallen, thousands are living in homes unfit for human habitation. This is why  alongside our Shadow Housing minister John Healey we’re launching a review of social housing policy - its building, planning, regulation and management.

We will listen to tenants across the country  and propose a radical programme of action  to next year’s conference.   But some things are already clear  tenants are not being listened to.

We will insist that every home is fit for human habitation, a proposal this Tory government voted down.  And we will control rents -  when the younger generation’s housing costs are three times more than those of their grandparents, that is not sustainable.

Rent controls exist in many cities across the world   and I want our cities to have those powers too and tenants to have those protections.  We also need to tax undeveloped land held by developers and have the power to compulsorily purchase.   As Ed Miliband said, “Use it or lose it”.   Families need homes.

After Grenfell we must think again about what are called regeneration schemes.

Regeneration is a much abused word.

Too often what it really means is forced gentrification and social cleansing, as private developers move in and tenants and leaseholders are moved out.
We are very clear: we will stop the cuts to social security.

But we need to go further, as conference decided yesterday.

So when councils come forward with proposals for regeneration, we will put down two markers based on one simple principle:

Regeneration under a Labour government will be for the benefit of the local people, not private developers, not property speculators.
First, people who live on an estate that’s redeveloped must get a home on the same site and the same terms as before.

No social cleansing, no jacking up rents, no exorbitant ground rents.
And second councils will have to win a ballot of existing tenants and leaseholders before any redevelopment scheme can take place.

Real regeneration, yes, but for the many not the few.


That’s not all that has to change.

All parties unite in paying tribute to our public sector workers:

The firefighters who ran into Grenfell Tower to save lives; the health service workers caring for the maimed in the Manchester terrorist outrage; the brave police officers who confronted the attackers at London Bridge; and PC Keith Palmer who gave his life when terrorists attack our democracy.

Our public servants make the difference every day, between a decent and a threadbare society.

Everyone praises them. But it is Labour that values them and is prepared to give them the pay rise they deserve and protect the services they provide.

Year after year the Tories have cut budgets and squeezed public sector pay, while cutting taxes for the highest earners and the big corporations.

You can’t care for the nation’s health when doctors and nurses are being asked to accept falling living standards year after year.

You can’t educate our children properly in ever larger class sizes with more teachers than ever leaving the profession.

You can’t protect the public on the cheap.

The police and security services must get the resources they need, not 20,000 police cuts.

Scrapping the public sector pay squeeze isn’t an act of charity - it is a necessity to keep our public services fully staffed and strong.

Not everything worthwhile costs money though.

Like many people, I have been moved by the Daily Mirror’s campaign to change the organ donation law.

There are more than 5,000 people on organ transplant waiting lists, but a shortage of donors means that in recent years only 3,500 of them get the life-saving treatments they need.

So that everybody whose life could be saved by an organ transplant can have the gift of life - from one human being to another.

The law has already been changed in Wales under Carwyn Jones’s leadership, and today I make the commitment a Labour government will do the same for England.

In the last couple of days John McDonnell and Rebecca Long-Bailey have set out how we are going to develop the economic plans in our manifesto to ensure that sustainable growth and good jobs reach ALL parts of the country.

So that no community or region is held back.

To establish regional development banks,. to invest in an industrial strategy for every region.

But the challenges of the future go beyond the need to turn our backs on an economic model that has failed to invest and upgrade our economy.

We need urgently to face the challenge of automation - robotics that could make so much of contemporary work redundant.

That is a threat in the hands of the greedy, but it’s a huge opportunity if it’s managed in the interests of society as a whole.

We won’t reap the full rewards of these great technological advances if they’re monopolised to pile up profits for a few.


But if they’re publicly managed - to share the benefits - they can be the gateway for a new settlement between work and leisure. A springboard for expanded creativity and culture.

The tide of automation and technological change means re-training and management of the workforce must be centre-stage in the coming years.

So Labour will build an education and training system from the cradle to the grave that empowers people.

Not one that shackles them with debt.

That’s why we will establish a National Education Service which will include at its core free tuition for all college courses, technical and vocational training so that no one is held back by costs and everyone has the chance to learn.

That will give millions a fair chance.

Lifelong learning for all is essential in the economy of the future.

The huge shift of employment that will take place under the impact of automation must be planned and managed.

It demands the reskilling of millions of people. Only Labour will deliver that.

As Angela Rayner said yesterday, our National Education Service will be run on clear principles: universal, free and empowering.

This is central to our socialism for the 21st century, for the many not the few.

During the election I visited Derwentside College in the constituency of our new MP Laura Pidcock - one of dozens of great new MPs breathing life and energy into Parliament.

They offer adult courses in everything from IT to beauty therapy, from engineering to childcare.

I met apprentice construction workers. They stand to benefit from Labour’s £250 billion National Transformation Fund, building the homes people need and the new transport, energy and digital infrastructure our country needs.

But changing our economy to make it work for the whole country can’t take place in isolation from changing how our country is run.

For people to take control of their own lives, our democracy needs to break out of Westminster into all parts of our society and economy where power is unaccountable.

All around the world democracy is facing twin threats:

One is the emergence of an authoritarian nationalism that is intolerant and belligerent.

The second is apparently more benign, but equally insidious.

It is that the big decisions should be left to the elite.

That political choices can only be marginal and that people are consumers first, and only citizens a distant second.

Democracy has to mean much more than that.

It must mean listening to people outside of election time. Not just the rich and powerful who are used to calling the shots, but to those at the sharp end who really know what’s going on.

Like the Greater Manchester police officer who warned Theresa May two years ago that cuts to neighbourhood policing were risking people’s lives and security.

His concerns were dismissed as “crying wolf”.

Like the care workers sacked when they blow the whistle on abuse of the elderly..

Or the teachers intimidated when they speak out about the lack of funding for our children’s schools.

Or the doctors who are ignored when they warn that the NHS crumbling before our eyes, or blow the whistle on patient safety.


Labour is fighting for a society not only where rewards are more fairly spread, but where people are listened to more as well by government, their local council, their employer.

Some of the most shocking cases of people not being listened to must surely be the recent revelations of widespread child sex abuse.

Young people - and most often young working class women - have been subjected to the most repugnant abuse.

The response lies in making sure that everybody’s voice must be heard no matter who they are or what their background.

The kind of democracy that we should be aiming for is one where people have a continuing say in how society is run, how their workplace is run, how their local schools or hospitals are run.


That means increasing the public accountability and democratization of local services that Andrew Gwynne was talking about on Monday.

It means democratically accountable public ownership for the natural monopolies, with new participatory forms of management, as Rebecca Long-Bailey has been setting out.

It means employees given their voice at work, with unions able to represent them properly, freed of undemocratic fetters on their right to organize.

I promised you two years ago that we would do politics differently.

It’s not always been easy.

There’s quite a few who prefer politics the old way.

But let me say it again. We will do politics differently.

And the vital word there is “we”.

Not just leaders saying things are different, but everyone having the chance to shape our democracy.

Our rights as citizens are as important as our rights as consumers.

Power devolved to the community, not monopolised in Westminster and Whitehall.

Now let’s take it a stage further - make public services accountable to communities.

Business accountable to the public, and politicians truly accountable to those we serve.

Let the next Labour government will transform Britain by genuinely putting power in the hands of the people, the creative, compassionate and committed people of our country.

Both at home and abroad, what underpins our politics is our compassion and our solidarity with people.

Including those now recovering from hurricane damage in the Caribbean, floods in South Asia and Texas. and earthquakes in Mexico.

Our interdependence as a planet could not be more obvious.

The environmental crisis in particular demands a common global response.

That is why President Trump’s threats to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Treaty are so alarming.

There is no contradiction between meeting our climate change commitments and investing to build a strong economy based on high skill industries.

In fact the opposite is the case.

Action on climate change is a powerful spur to investment in the green industries and jobs of the future. So long as it is managed as part of a sustainable transition.

We know, tragically, that terrorism also recognises no boundaries.

We have had five shocking examples in Britain this year alone.

Two during the course of the General Election campaign and one in my own constituency.

Both Andy Burnham and Sadiq Khan - the mayors of Manchester and London - played a crucial role in bringing people together in the aftermath of those brutal attacks.

The targeting of our democracy, of teenage girls at a pop concert, of people enjoying a night out, worshippers outside a mosque, commuters going to work - all of these are horrific crimes.

And we all unite in both condemning the perpetrators and in our support for the emergency and security services, working to keep us safe.

But we also know that terrorism is thriving in a world our governments have helped to shape, with its failed states, military interventions and occupations where millions are forced to flee conflict or hunger.

We have to do better and swap the knee-jerk response of another bombing campaign for long-term help to solve conflicts rather than fuel them.

And we must put our values at the heart of our foreign policy.

Democracy and human rights are not an optional extra to be deployed selectively.

So we cannot be silent at the cruel Saudi war in Yemen, while continuing to supply arms to Saudi Arabia, or the crushing of democracy in Egypt or Bahrain, or the tragic loss of life in Congo.

And I say this today to Aung San Suu Kyi - a champion of democracy and human rights - : end the violence now against the Rohingya in Myanmar and allow the UN and international aid agencies in to Rakhine state.

The Rohingya have suffered for too long!

We should stand firm for peaceful solutions to international crises.

Let’s tone down the rhetoric, and back dialogue and negotiations to wind down the deeply dangerous confrontation over the Korean Peninsula.

And I appeal to the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres to use the authority of his office and go to Washington and Pyongyang to kick start that essential process of dialogue.

And let’s give real support to end the oppression of the Palestinian people, the 50-year occupation and illegal settlement expansion and move to a genuine two-state solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Britain’s voice needs to be heard independently in the world.

We must be a candid friend to the United States, now more than ever.

The values we share are not served by building walls, banning immigrants on the basis of religion, polluting the planet, or pandering to racism.

And let me say frankly - the speech made by the US President to the United Nations last week was deeply disturbing.

It threatened war and talked of tearing up international agreements.

Devoid of concern for human rights or universal values, it was not the speech of a world leader.

Our government has a responsibility. It cannot meekly go along with this dangerous course.

If the special relationship means anything, it must mean that we can say to Washington: that way is the wrong way.

That’s clearly what’s needed in the case of  Bombardier where thousands of jobs are now at stake.

A Prime Minister betting our economic future on a deregulated trade deal with the US might want to explain how 220% tariffs are going to boost our exports.

So let Britain’s voice be heard loud and clear for peace, justice and cooperation.

Conference, it is often said that elections can only be won from the centre ground.

And in a way that’s not wrong - so long as it’s clear that the political centre of gravity isn’t fixed or unmovable, nor is it where the establishment pundits like to think it is.

It shifts as people’s expectations and experiences change and political space is opened up.

Today’s centre ground is certainly not where it was twenty or thirty years ago.

A new consensus is emerging from the great economic crash and the years of austerity, when people started to find political voice for their hopes for something different and better.

2017 may be the year when politics finally caught up with the crash of 2008 - because we offered people a clear choice.

We need to build a still broader consensus around the priorities we set in the election, making the case for both compassion and collective aspiration.

This is the real centre of gravity of British politics.

We are now the political mainstream.

Our manifesto and our policies are popular because that is what most people in our country actually want, not what they’re told they should want.

And that is why Labour is on the way back in Scotland becoming once again the champion of social justice.

Thank you Kezia. And whoever next leads Scottish Labour - our unifying socialist message will continue to inspire both south and north of the border.

That is why our party now has around twice the membership of all the other parties put together.

Conference, we have left the status quo behind, but we must make the change we seek credible and effective.

We have left our own divisions behind. But we must make our unity practical. We know we are campaign-ready.

We must be government-ready too. Our aspirations matched by our competence.

During the election campaign I met and listened to people in every part of the country.

Struggling single parents, young people held back by lack of opportunity.

Pensioners anxious about health and social care, public servants trying to keep services together.

Low and middle earners, self-employed and employed, facing insecurity and squeezed living standards.

But hopeful that things could change, and that Labour could make a difference.

Many hadn’t voted before, or not for years past.

But they put their faith in our party.

We offered an antidote to apathy and despair.

Let everyone understand - We will not let you down.

Because we listen to you, because we believe in you.                                                   

Labour can and will deliver a Britain for the many not just the few.

Thank you.

insurrectionarycompassion replied to your post “Last year we mobilised 300 people to shut down our Pride Parade when…”

But does any of that actually require theory though? How many people involved have even read Marx? I’m a theorist and have been my entire college career so I can’t really dismiss theory but I do think the more important thing here is the activity which does not require everyone to have a certain theoretical understanding to do. In fact, that activity probably pushed them into the leftist theory and not the other way around.

in my experience, yeah, having a strong theoretical argument for our position has been vital to bringing people on board. I remember helping to write press releases from my hospital bed (and through a morphine haze which, let me tell you, makes things difficult) and seeing the public discourse starting to take things which we argued for in that press release into account. When we explained our research into incarceration rates for Māori, pointed out that the police are responsible for these figures, and argue that queer celebration of police and prisons was racist, people understood it. Having public speakers and letters sent to use by prisoners themselves explaining in theoretical terms the way that prisons are part of a system of domination and violation has been vital to engaging people in the organisation and building their political consciousness. 

At our march this weekend, people were chanting ‘Prisons are violent, we won’t be silent’ but they were screaming when our research coordinator started explaining the specific effects which bail amendment laws have had on Māori, women and especially Māori women’s prison population growth. Drawing the theoretical connection between these social problems and our programme for overcoming them has been vital to people teaching themselves about the issues, understanding how capitalism, racism and incarceration (to use my specific raruraru as an example) are interconnected, and dedicating themselves to overcoming these problems. 

Having the theoretical knowledge to connect seemingly-disparate forms of social violence - connecting the violence against prisoners under mass incarceration to the violence against Māori under colonialism to the violence against the working class under capitalism - makes it possible to link together organisations and struggles which otherwise might not be working together. So in the 1970s, when Ngāti Whātua were occupying land confiscated by New Zealand under the public works act, they were able to connect their struggle against land theft to the overall system of capitalism which oppresses the working class. Building solidarity with trade unionists and engaging in a Marxist political project meant their occupation site was designated a green zone - no unionised workers would help the pigs dismantle the occupation site and evict the occupiers. it was a huge success and it only worked because there was an underlying theoretical understanding of how struggles are interconnected: one which, imo, wouldn’t have happened if a political and theoretical framework did not underlie their actions. 

definitely not everyone needs a theoretical understanding of an issue to participate in direct action, and I’ve seen a lot of people who indeed don’t have a theoretical understanding of prison abolition and its connection to capitalism, white supremacy take part in some of the direct actions we’ve organised. And that’s okay. But in my experience, the people who have dedicated their lives to this, who are going through the courts right now for their extralegal actions defending the wellbeing of my whānaunga who was locked in solitary confinement, who are working for hours every day to build an organisation which can topple the prison system - that level of commitment to the cause, i think, only comes when we can demonstrate in theoretical terms the absolute righteousness of our cause. 

I hope this makes sense and doesn’t seem like I’m being condescending or anything like that, it’s absolutely not my intention to do that. I just really want to share what i’ve learned from the couple years i’ve spent working on this with everyone, so that others can learn from the mistakes and missteps i’ve made in my organising and struggle even more effectively towards complete human liberation. 

anonymous asked:

Why do you think JK never made Snape care about Harry? I always expected thats where the story would go at one point but then it didnt at all... like at least a moment of effection or something

Several reasons, I think.

First, as I said in the other post, it was too late for Snape. He is the antihero, much more than Voldemort ever was, and he was set up to fail from the start. He would die with his unresolved issues deep in his soul - the guilt, the rage, the inability to trust and love another person (perhaps for fear of what that love would do to them, because look at what it had done to Lily). By the time Harry crashes into his life, Snape has find a modus vivendi - it’s dark and unpleasant and it keeps him in a lot of pain, but it’s all he knows, and we’re all afraid to let go of things that have kept us safe for years - even if those things are chains and cages. So, even at this moment when Snape would have the chance to start over and teach Lily’s child in the way he wishes he himself had been taught (the fact he was disagreeing with old textbooks at the age of sixteen shows quite clearly what he thought of the whole system) - well, that’s not something he considers. Consciously or subconsciously, he must have worried about what would happen if Harry refused him and mocked him, like James had done. What is colleagues would say if he suddenly changed his demeanour. What Harry himself would know about him - Snape doesn’t know how Harry grew up - what if Petunia had told him everything about ‘the Snape boy’, the weirdo who stalked her younger sister, the kid with the drunk father who was never quite clean and never quite tidy? I sort of believe that’s why Snape was so harsh on Harry during that first lesson - not only he saw James on his face and that hurt him deeply, but he was probably terrified Harry would know things about him - things only Lily could know, and what if she’d told Petunia, or if Harry had found her letters? So no, Snape never tried a different way, because the one he was walking - that was painful, but he already knew that pain he could bear. What if a new path brought him a pain he couldn’t bear?

(Which would have been the case, because if Snape had allowed himself to care about Harry, to love Harry, even, in this clumsy, childish, unfinished way that seems the only way he knows how to love people, how could he have let Harry die? He would have turned against Dumbledore, would have done anything to keep Harry safe like he’d done for Lily, and Dumbledore’s plans would have failed, and Voldemort would have won.)

Keep reading

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)


Graphic - Aykut Aydoğdu.

When will these homophobic racist people learn?? They are not protecting themselves by hating they are endangering themselves

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

-Martin Niemöller

When are we going to stop this madman?

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” Niemöller

Of course 45 ended DACA. He can’t pass any legislation, so he goes for an easy target. How are we going to protect our dreamers? How are we going to save immigrants from deportation. I’m tired of being angry. When are we collectively going to do something when we don’t know what to do?

I’m not an immigrant and I do not know what it is like to live under the threat of deportation. All I know is that I want to continue to be an ally. I want to be an ally that takes action.

I’m so sorry this is happening. I love you all.

regarding this comment. here’s a public service announcement:

go back to germany in 1935 and tell paul klee, bertolt brecht and the other poets, musicians, painters and novelists that “politics” had nothing to do with their “real lives”.

“life stories…”?
“things about my child….”?

these ARE the stories of my life.

if i thought that donald trump was going to have no effect on my life story…the story of my child…the story of my 300 million american brothers and sisters…i’d shut up. really i would.

it’s a good time to drag this evergreen quote out:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

-from Martin Niemöller, 1892–1984, who was a prominent Protestant pastor / outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

are you ready to speak?
are you ready to listen?

because it’s about to get very, VERY loud.

and it must, because if we don’t speak now, we will regret it.


(and to drive the point home….this was typed and cut and pasted while literally breastfeeding a baby.)


Sydney, Australia: Trade unionists and solidarity activists rally for Bolivarian Venezuela on eve of Constituent Assembly vote, July 29, 2017.

“Trade unionists from the Maritime Union of Australia and the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union took part in a Sydney Town Hall square rally in solidarity with Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution on the ever of the Constituent Assembly elections in that country. The elections are being violently disrupted by right-wing opposition groups supported by the US Trump administration. US President Donald Trump has threatened “strong and swift economic actions” if the election goes ahead.”

Photos by Peter Boyle / Green Left Weekly.