Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Archive for the ‘Marxism’ Category

Human Rights in the Age of National Populism. Les droits de l’homme rendent-ils idiots? Justine Lacroix et Jean-Yves Pranchère.

leave a comment »

Les droits de l'homme rendent-ils idiots ? - Lacroix - Pranchère ...

 Les droits de l’homme rendent-ils idiot ? (2019) Justine Lacroix et Jean-Yves Pranchère.

“This sphere that we are deserting, within whose boundaries the sale and purchase of labour-power goes on, is in fact a very Eden of the innate rights of man. There alone rule Freedom, Equality, Property and Bentham.”

Karl Marx Capital Vol 1. Chapter 6. The Buying and Selling of Labour-Power.

Earlier this year Benjamin Ward, of Human Rights Watch, wrote,

The government’s new Attorney General Suella Braverman, its top legal adviser, is on record recently arguing that the courts’ ability to hold the government to account should be restrained, and expressing her criticism of human rights.

It’s increasingly clear that Johnson plans to water down the Human Rights Act, which keeps us safe from government harm, and make it harder for British courts to intervene when the state tramples on people’s rights.

“Human rights are no longer popular”, Justine Lacroix and Jean-Yves Pranchère begin Les droits de l’homme rendent-ils idiot ? with this statement from a former  judge at the European Court of Human Rights, Françoise Tulkens. That they are not a “priority” for governments. Not only have we seen national populist leaders, on both sides of the Atlantic, in practice undermine human rights protections, but scorn for  “droits-de-l’hommisme” has grown. The idea that rights-culture, rights-ideology, is a feature of the “nouvel ordre néolibérale” , an alliance between capitalist economics and social liberalism, remains influential on the left. Individual rights lead to individualism, people “sans appartenance et sans obligation à l’égard de la collectivité” (without belonging and without obligation to the collective)  The “culture of narcissism” a demand for “respect” without concern for others, undermines the family, and “respect d’autrui” (others). The “multiplication” of rights, and obsession about them,  has created bad citizens and a world of “incivilité”.

Les droits de l’homme rendent-ils idiot ? is a defence of human rights on the “champ intellectuel”. This is a crowded field. The authors begin by warning that national populism, or, as they call it,  “illiberal democracy”, puts forward an ideal of “l”homogénéité nationale” in countries like Poland and Hungary that moulds politics against  what Carl Schmitt called “the enemy”. This is in contrast to the democratic principles though by the thinker Claude Lefort. For the former Socialisme ou Barbarie thinker democracy comes from everybody, but democratic (institutional) sovereignty is an “empty” space (lieu vide)  in that no party in the name of the people can permanently occupy it.  Efforts, from identifying ‘the’ people with one party, or determining politics through a totalitarian one-party, one person, “égocrate” eats up the very incertianity that breathes life into democracy.  Lefort, as they later outline, is a touchstone for the idea that human rights are self-created, part of a long process he called the “democratic revolution”. Human rights are a necessary, but not sufficient, condition to create this democratic world, one  that everybody can live in.

Lacroix and  Pranchère do not cite Jacques Rancière. But the radical philosopher’s asserted  that human rights are constantly redefined, through “dissensus”  from the “outside” by the “plebe”, the “rights of the rightless” (Who Is the Subject of the Rights of Man?). “In this way, the ‘‘abstract’’ and litigious Rights of Man and of the citizen are tentatively turned into real rights, belonging to real groups, attached to their identity and to the recognition of their place in the global population”.This underlines the way that those excluded from the homogeneous sovereign people of national populism create new demands. Written in 1791 Olympe de Gouges’s Déclaration des droits de la femme et de la citoyenne is one such claim followed by her calls to abolish slavery,. First and foremost she demanded the right for women to be equals in politics, “A woman has the right to mount the scaffold. She must possess equally the right to mount the speaker’s platform.” The Guillotine did not stop her voice ringing  throughout the ages.

Neoliberalism is an economic project, a belief in the efficiency of markets, not a belief in human rights. Hayek was opposed to human rights and any kind of social “constructionism”, opposing human rights in the same vein as Edmund Burke, with a experimental knowledge rooted in tradition. Only  “néolibéralisme est responsable pour le néolibéralisme.” Against this Lacroix and  Pranchère praise a side of John Stuart Mill and Benjamin Constant’s political liberalism, their resistance to authoritarianism. They can help indicate to those who draw on the human rights thought see  the need to balance “liberty and equality”.

Many on the left remain suspicious of human rights. Some of this goes back to the early years of socialism. Marx’s famous reference to human rights in Capital was accompanied by support for the “legal limitation of the working day”, a modest Magna Carta. In the passage heading the present review, Jeremy  Bentham was as an unlikely figure to muster in support of human rights. He was, the authors note, as hostile to the French Revolution’s founding declarations as De Maistre and Edmund Burke. More so in fact, in Anarchical Fallacies Critique of the Doctrine of Inalienable, Natural Rights (1796), he dismissed them” Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense, — nonsense upon stilts.” Perhaps Benthan advocacy of the workhouse could be seen as a means to ensure the greatest good, through a felicific calculus of pleasure and pain, but of human rights ideology, there was none.

Justine Lacroix and Jean-Yves Pranchère offer this way of looking at Marx’s views. In the celebrated statement that the  “free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.” implies that we base on the liberty of all on the liberty of each individual, and not the other way around. (Il s’agissait bien de fonder le liberté de tous sur la liberté de chacun, et non l’inverse.” (Page 94)

Lacroix and  Pranchère are academics, who have published on political theory and human rights. They are both  based on Brussels. But, references to (mostly) French language controversies aside (they offer important insights into the writings of Marcel Gauchet for example)  Les droits de l’homme rendent-ils idiot ?  has striking echoes of near- identical debates in Britain and the anglophone world. In part this is the result of the curious reprise of US polemicist Christopher Lasch’ writings on the “therapeutic” roots of narcissistic politics,  by, amongst many others,  the French ‘original socialist’ Jean-Claude Michéa, who considers that the original fault of French socialism was to have aligned with liberalism. But, as we have indicated with PM Boris Johnson’s potential attacks on human rights legislation, these are not only issues stuck in the world of ideas. From here we move to the global ‘culture wars’, and to clashes on battle-grounds of American liberalism and conservatism, Bolsarono’s Brazil, and back to Europe’s illiberal states and national populists.

There is , it could be argued, increasing convergence between the ideas of conservatives and a certain nationalist or “sovereigntist” left. This has a more limited range, perhaps to Europe. where the stakes have involved parties of the left with  influential socialist traditions that are marginal in the USA. Every one of the book’s broader account of the claims against human rights and the “culture wars”  they are held to foster, every linkage between neoliberalism and human rights, every complaint against ‘ interfering’ laws and gender politics, is to be found on the Spiked Magazine (run by former Revolutionary Marxists ) site, Blue Labour (whose views on the family could be inserted into many paragraphs), in the writings of the Full Brexit supporters and in groupuscules like the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Les droits de l’homme rendent-ils idiot ?  makes a case that has its counterpart in Britain, and elsewhere, despite our obvious different historical relationship to the first French Republic’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789. A defence of human rights as part of a strategy of solidarity (“une politique de la solidarité”) and internationalism open to defending both individuals and social groups fighting injustice. Justine Lacroix and Jean-Yves Pranchère are to be congratulated on showing some of the way.

See also: Review: Les droits de l’homme rendent-ils idiot ?

 

The Future of a Delusion, “If our whole party had united behind Jeremy, Labour could have won in 2017 and saved tens of thousands of lives. “

with 14 comments

Election 2017 broadcast - Chinese for labour

 The 2017 election that might have been won, if it hadn’t been for a completely different result.

In his only novel, Zuleika Dobson; (1911) Max Beerbohm recounts the adventures of a femme fatale’s visit to Oxford. All the undergraduates fall in love with her. In a final proof of their passion they “leapt emulously headlong into the water”. and “plunged into the swirling stream”.

The  lees of such a homage were as nothing to the claims now being made in the afterglow of this article.

Jeremy Corbyn accuses Labour officials of sabotaging election campaign

Ardour for Jeremy Corbyn has led people to declare that Labour could have won in 2017, and “saved tens of thousands of lives”, if only……

There are good reasons to be outraged at the way that outgoing Party Officials are alleged to have treated the incoming Corbyn team.

On the material presented there is the strongest possible case, given in the newspapers, that “clear evidence of factional activity by senior paid employees of the party against the elected leadership of the time” exists.

We wholly sympathise with Joe Ryle on that.

But what has emerged is a far wider set of claims

They allege that in 2017 hostile officials set up a “shadow operation” in a Westminster office as part of efforts to plot their own election course, which included starving potential target seats of money and focusing resources on MPs not allied to Corbyn.

In the Independent this is stated,

The 13-page contribution, seen by The Independent, says: “Given that Labour was less than 2,500 votes in key seats away from forming a government, having won 40 per cent of the popular vote, it’s not impossible that Jeremy Corbyn might now be in his third year as a Labour prime minister were it not for the unauthorised, unilateral action taken by a handful of senior party officials in 2017.”

The messages detail at length senior staffers disappointed when Labour did better than expected in the election or polls, with some saying explicitly that they had been working against a good result for the party.

Reports  underline a “shadow operation”” aimed at “starving potential target seats of money” and factionalists giving vivid expressions of joy at Labour losing.

What kind of “shadow operation” was at work?

Were there people out there in the constituencies pouncing on party workers, thwarting their activities,  and garbling their messages?

This will come as news to those who campaigned in target seats, such as Ipswich, which was won by Labour by a highly competent well-resourced Labour team backed by members and supporters all over town.

The “separate operation” must have been so hidden in the shades, bound in the darkness, that we, in our stupid good-humoured way. failed to notice it.

Sandy Martin won this ‘target seat” for Labour in Ipswich.

Where was it during the 2019 European Elections, when Cobyn’s team was in charge?

That was a half-hearted campaign if ever there was one.

Where was this parallel wrecking centre in December 2019….?

 

 Anthony B. Masters, Royal Statistical Society Statistical Ambassador. 

The 2017 general election: not that close after all

The claim relies on the smallest number of votes changing in a specific way. It ignores that, based on the same logic, the Conservatives needed only 50 switched votes for a working majority. It also ignores the fact that constituencies are not independent events.

Far more votes would need to have shifted to plausibly change the outcome.

By the same logic, the Conservative needed only 50 switched votes to reach 321 seats. Given Sinn Fein’s abstentions, this is a probable working majority. 528 votes would have needed to switch for the Conservatives to win 326 constituencies — a Commons majority.

We should remember that constituencies are not independent events. We can also calculate what vote share would need to switch across Great Britain. How big does a uniform national swing need to be?

That also requires three assumptions. If one party increased their vote share, that same change happens in every seat. Only switching between Labour and the Conservatives occurs. Turnout does not change.

Under those assumptions, 0.04 points from Labour to the Conservatives gives the Conservatives 321 seats. Some 0.37 points in the other direction reduces the Conservatives to 310 seats.

These two switched vote shares are equal to around 13,000 and 116,000 votes across Great Britain. The Conservatives would have needed fewer switched votes than Labour to plausibly change the outcome in their favour.

There are other considerations to take into account, too. If Labour had been closer to the Conservatives in votes, then the electoral dynamics would also have changed.

In this alternate universe, the messages and targeted campaigns could have been dissimilar. Indeed, Theresa May might not have called the election in the first place.

The ‘2,227 votes’ figure appears to be a miscalculation. Suggesting Labour were a few thousand votes from “forming a government” relies on diamond-strong assumptions. It is time to bring it to an end.

Reactions are rolling in:

Where the battle lines are being drawn over leaked Labour report

There is no easy way through, however considered the response. Corbyn’s supporters are convinced by the election betrayal; many BAME MPs and members want more than just words from Starmer about tackling toxic attitudes at Labour HQ; and the officials are insistent the law will uphold their belief they have been maligned and defamed.

If there are any compensations for Starmer, it is that this will likely play out amid the political noise of coronavirus and far enough away from an election that many voters will not notice.

The Morning Star has its own explanation for Labour’s two most recent election defeats.

Editorial: The leaked report is important – but it was not sabotage that defeated the Corbyn project

The first is that the Corbyn leadership faced deliberate, planned obstruction from the Labour Party machinery from the beginning.

Evidence of this is not confined to the report, which was not a bolt from the blue. The suspension and expulsion of thousands of members during the leadership elections of 2015 and 2016 on the most trivial pretexts — an 82-year-old was expelled for having retweeted a demand that the Green Party be included in election debates — was very obviously an effort by the party bureaucracy to stop Corbyn winning.

Nor was the attempt to bar Corbyn, the incumbent leader, from standing for re-election in 2016 a secret.

The real fight was deeper,

For five years the political front line of class struggle in Britain was not between the two main parties but inside one of them — between those Labour forces invested (often literally) in the status quo, and those who wanted socialist change.

In the end, in the sense that Corbyn’s successor is not building on the socialist project but reversing it, the former won. Or rather, the latter lost.

Because the second key lesson is easily forgotten amid justified outrage over the leaked report. The socialist project was able to advance despite their sabotage. As one of the saboteurs put it on election night 2017, “they [Corbyn’s team] are celebrating and we are silent and grey faced.”

The relentless attacks did tremendous damage. But it was only when the Labour leadership allowed its own radicalism to be blunted, subordinating its socialist message to the liberal cause of a second EU referendum and prioritising parliamentary manoeuvres over mass mobilisation, that the wheels came off.

The People’s Vote marches for a Second Referendum were backed by figures like Sadiq Khan, the Labour Mayor of London, and many Labour MPs. John McDonnell addressed a Final Say Rally in October 2019.  There was radical left support from Another Europe is Possible which organised hundreds-strong contingents at protests that  drew, hundreds of thousands onto the streets.

If, as the Morning Star asserts, Labour did not engage in “Mass mobilisation” why did not they, and the rest of the pro-Brexit ‘Lexit’ (Left Exit) groups, organise their own demonstrations in favour of leaving the EU?

Perhaps they were afraid of attracting the nationalist support that lay behind pro-Brexit vote and the subordination of their socialist message to the cause of populist national sovereignty.

The daily’s own conclusion is that the left should have “grappled” with its enemies within, and that it should speak to the “whole working class” – as if working class voters were not divided on Brexit.

The Editorial concludes,

If we attribute our failure to the strength of ruling-class opposition, we may as well give up on socialism: it will never go away.

The important thing is to develop strategies to overcome it. The left did not grapple seriously enough with its enemies in Labour, but it was when it ceased to speak to the whole working class that it stopped being heard.

So the real struggle is against Labour’s enemies within.

Here’s some people with ideas about that:

 

Pseudo-Marxism has no place in our movement

All of this guff is nothing but dust being thrown into the eyes of the movement, intended to confuse and disorientate socialist activists – and, ultimately, to hide the real liberal, reactionary, bourgeois class content at the heart of Mason’s thesis.

In reality, Mason – like Kautsky – has lost his head. But at least the latter had a head to lose in the first place.

There is nothing radical to be found in Mason’s apologia for liberalism. Indeed, there are no positive suggestions for the left at all.

Most notably, in Mason’s (30-plus minute read!) essay, there is no mention of the need for the left to fight for mandatory reselection; to reverse Blair’s legacy; or to kick out the bureaucrats and careerists that have conspired against a Labour victory.

Instead, Mason has gone on record recently to defend Starmer – the right-wing Labour leader who is opening waging war on the left on behalf of the establishment, attempting to reverse all the gains of the Corbyn era.

This is a telling and textbook case study of where you end up if you abandon a class approach. The ideas of ‘culture wars’, postmodernist ‘narratives’ based on ‘values’, and popular fronts are a dead end for the movement. It is only the genuine ideas of Marxism that can unite the working class and offer a way forward.

Written by Andrew Coates

August 8, 2020 at 10:51 am

China, Human Rights, and the New Internationalist Left.

with one comment

Image

Internationalist Left Defends Human Rights.

Human rights are criticised from two principal sides. National Populists, defend a nation’s absolute sovereign right to make laws without legal interference.  Rights legislation, national and international, are the result of a “fear of democracy”. Luke Gittos writes on Spiked, “The existence of a human-rights framework owes everything to postwar elites’ attempt to exert economic and political control over the heads of European peoples.”

From another side, human rights are accused of promoting and even justifying neoliberalism. The neoliberalism of a market society would only be the theoretical deepening and the  realisation of the liberal individualism of their market origins. By their absolute and uncompromising character, individual rights would only promote the figure of a bad citizen concerned only with her own interests.  Andrew Murray writes, “the preference for individual rights over the collective has come to which has come to predominate on much of the Western left, a flowering of the more poisonous seeds of personal identity and human rights” (The Fall and Rise of the British Left. 2019)

Democracy without rights is not a democracy. The majority will of the voters, as expressed at the ballot box, is not the only criterion of democracy it is only a consequence of these primary criteria of equal rights and freedom for all. wrote Justine Lacroix and Jean-Yves Pranchère in Les droits de l’homme rendent-ils idiots ? at the end of last year,

In a powerful assault on the idea that human rights are ‘bourgeois’ and individualistic Lacroix and Prancheere take up a thread running throughout the  history of the First International. Marx and Engels, despite their criticisms of  flowery phrases about “right and duties” – the weight of the late 19th century democratic and national struggles led by figures such as the Italian republican Giuseppe Mazzini, backed demands for social and individual rights and legislation to protect workers’ interests. These were demands going back to the limitation on the working day to which Vol 1 of Capital devotes a whole chapter.These are rights, as they remind us, that for socialists should balance both “liberty and equality”. In this respect we could say that the Trade Union movement is one of the biggest movements for human rights in history.

By the end of the 19th century socialist leaders, such as Jean Jaurès, put democratic rights, individual and collective at the centre of their politics. Many on the left continue their work. By contrast, today “Populism” is not a defence of liberty but a claim for identity “d’un peuple homogène”(Page 17) By affirming absolute national sovereignty in the name of the “people”, a ‘general will’ that exists only through their own parties,  populists and others deny the real voices of individuals and conflicting classes.

Reviewing the book for the radical left  Lignes de Crêtes  observes that

JYP and JL methodically destroy the rhetoric of being ‘anti-system’ means being against political liberalism and  the rhetoric according to which social rights and civil liberties are the individualistic and selfish corollary of economic oppression.  and are opposed to social rights. this rhetoric definitively died with Stalin, but it is not the case, even in certain parts of the radical left, where pitting the ‘societal’  against social issues,  has become commonplace.

That socialism was a proposal to go beyond the original human rights, and was seen as a base to be extended and consolidated, and not to be destroyed has again been largely forgotten. Jean Yves Pranchère and Justine Lacroix remind us. Deconstructing certain hypocrisies based on the formal appeal to human rights is not the same as naming them as an ideological enemy in itself. At a time when it is fashionable to support autocrats like Maduro or Assad, in the name of the destruction of the Established Order, the reminder is vital.

Review: Les droits de l’homme rendent-ils idiot ?

This is the conclusion of Les droits de l’homme rendent-ils idiots ?

“les droits de l’homme devraient être le nom d’une politique de la solidarité, qui ne content pas compenser l’exclusion sociale par des mécanismes d’assistance, mais qui lie les libertés civiles et politiques à une reprise de la question sociale au sense le plus large, incluent les conditions du vivre-ensemble et donc la construction d’un monde commun puisse s’épanouir l’individualité de tous.” (Page 97. Les droits de l’homme rendent-ils idiot ? 2019.)

Human rights should be the name of a strategy of solidarity, one that is not just a means of fighting social exclusion by support mechanisms, but one which binds civic and political freedoms in ways that bring back the social issues in in he broadest sense, including the conditions of community life, and, as a result, building a common world in which everybody’s individuality can flourish.

Political developments have  brought China  and human rights to the fore.

We are not dealing with the limits of bourgeois ‘egotistic’ rights but an autocracy whose methods, re-education, camps, forced labour,  are intimately connected to the Stalinist tradition of Maoism.

The repression that hybrid Stalinist-Capitalism of the CCP state has unleashed is an assault on human rights.

Left solidarity is no respecter of national sovereignty, or the interests of nation states.

Labour has officially taken notice:

Paul Mason offers one of the best approaches to what the left should, and can, do.

Here are some of his points:

 

The left, and above all anyone who thinks the term “Marxism” is worth saving, should be outraged. But parts of the British left seem determined to apologise for China’s crimes against human rights and free speech.

In recent Labour meetings at which activists have tried to raise solidarity with democrats and trade unionists in Hong Kong, or with the Uighurs, they have been met by accusations that they are “promoting Western imperialism” and “media lies”.

If anybody doubts this they can see recent tweets,

https://twitter.com/Rango1917/status/1291323643310546944?s=20

Or the comments underneath this Tweet from Momentum:

Former leader of the International Marxist Group, John Ross, has joined in,

Ross’ argument, recycled from 1960s Soviet Bloc interventions at the UN, is at root that giving people better material living conditions is more important than the ‘bourgeois’ freedoms of expression. Not a very good counter to criticism of political oppression, and the lack of independent trade union rights.

The former Trotskyist has  been at it in the Chinese state media.

False U.S. accusations against China expose its own human rights problems: People’s Daily commentary

John Ross, former director of Economic and Business Policy of London, said that China has “a real understanding of human rights” and “the key human right is to stay alive.”

The right to life is among the most basic human rights enshrined in the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” of the United Nations.

The so-called “human rights abuse” fabricated by some ill-intentioned U.S. politicians constitutes an affront to Chinese people’s anti-virus fight, the article said.

 

Paul Mason, by contrast, continues:

I am certain that the renewed salience of the Uighur question, which was ignored for years during the “golden era” of Sino-British relations declared by George Osborne, is in part being driven by the US’s newly aggressive stance on China. But the point of being a socialist is being able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

This, however, seems beyond the two left-wing publications in the UK that appear committed to whitewashing China’s authoritarian form of capitalism: the Morning Star and Socialist Action.

He asks,

 The problem for the left remains, as it did in the original Cold War, of how to support democracy, human rights and workers’ rights in China – and in its wider diplomatic sphere of influence – without supporting the Sinophobic rhetoric and aggressive militarism of Donald Trump’s America.

He develops the theme,

What should distinguish the British left’s approach to China is knowledge of and engagement with the workers’ movement. Beyond the outright CCP apologists there is a more widespread belief, born out of lazy cultural relativism, that it is somehow imperialist or even racist for British people to criticise China’s human rights record.

This is the clinching argument,

For those of us on the left who want to maintain an architecture of thought based on historical materialism, whose genealogy runs from Marx, through the early Communist International, the “Western Marxism” of the 1930s, the New Left of the 1960s and the anti-capitalism of today, I am afraid taking a position on Xi’s actual ideology is not a luxury.

Xi’s “Marxism” is overtly and systematically anti-humanist. Its endlessly repeated loops of closed and meaningless phrases make the Newspeak of Orwell’s Oceania sound positively lyrical. The forced, televised confessions of corrupt officials are – as China expert Christian Sorace has argued – part of an attempt to create “affective sovereignty”: love of the party above the state, irrespective of what it says or does.

Human rights are universal.

They will be defended against this “Marxism”.

Xinjiang – Neither Washington nor Beijing: the Left Must Stand With the Uighurs

Ben Towse,

The international left cannot duck out just because Western powers criticise China. We cannot support our enemy’s enemy, uncritically regurgitating its propaganda as the Morning Star shamefully does. But nor can we ally with our imperialist rulers.

We must think about alliances and action independent of the ruling classes. We must reaffirm the left’s understanding of the transnational working class, and oppressed peoples, as their own emancipators. In the tradition of consistent anti-imperialism, we must look to build a ‘third camp’ that makes links and solidarity across borders, opposing all our rulers and exploiters. As inter-imperialist tensions escalate into a new Cold War, update the old slogan: “Neither Washington nor Beijing, but international socialism”.

For instance, despite harsh repression, class struggle in China continues to seethe with unofficial disputes and strikes. Far from uniformly anathematising (or idolising) the entire nation, let’s seek to reach out to this potent force of Chinese workers against the state and ruling class.

 Building international solidarity.

The Uyghur Solidarity Campaign UK, with which I’m an activist, has been formed to build solidarity in the workers’ movement and the left in the UK. The campaign has protested monthly at the Chinese embassy with London’s Uighur community (resuming this week after a coronavirus-hiatus), and in March we invaded the Oxford Circus flagships of Nike, H&M and Microsoft to protest forced labour. A solidarity motion passed at Labour conference last year; a range of union branches and PCS have joined the protests; and socialist MPs including John McDonnellKate Osamor and Nadia Whittome have got on board.

There’s much more for the campaign to do in terms of alliance-building, protest, and direct action. There are also clear international connections to make around anti-racism, state violence and reproductive freedom.

A particular goal of the campaign is worker action. From trade union history – Lancashire textile workers rejecting slave-picked Confederate cotton in the US civil war, Scottish factory workers grounding Pinochet’s jet engines, French and Italian dockers refusing to move Saudi arms in 2019 – we know capitalism’s global supply chains provide avenues for concrete action. Organised workers in businesses connected to surveillance and forced labour in China, from dockers to programmers to shop assistants, could have huge leverage.

Back this campaign!