Eyewitness report of the Manchester uprising, 9 August 2011

‘They’re making money off us – now we’re takin’ it back!’ – a young man in Manchester

Manchester Riots

My comrades and I arrived in town at half past eight. Confrontation with the police had been going on for quite some time already. We heard that Marks & Spencer on Market Street had been trashed, Miss Selfridge (owned by billionaire tax dodger Philip Green) had been burned, and that there were massive scenes of unrest at Salford Precinct. There was no traffic in or out of Manchester city centre and everything was closed.


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Uprising in Tottenham – 8 August 2011


On Thursday 4 August, Mark Duggan was shot dead by Metropolitan Police specialist firearms squad in Tottenham Hale, north London. The killing occurred during a planned operation by Operation Trident, a unit set up to deal specifically with ‘gun crime in the black community’. Press statements were released stating that Mark Duggan had been killed in an exchange of fire, and that a police officer had also been injured. They said that an illegal firearm had been recovered from the scene. The clear implication was that Mark Duggan had fired a gun at the police and as a result had been killed in an exchange of gunfire.


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Support the struggle for the London Living Wage!

london_living_wageOn 20 July cleaning staff met with the director of human resources for London University, who refused to accept the demand to pay outsourced employees of Balfour Beatty Workplace at the London Senate House and halls of residence the London Living Wage (LLW).  There will therefore be protests from September.  Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! encourages all our readers in London to support this campaign.


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Brixton uprising 30th anniversary

Some lessons from the history of the British working class

‘What’s an extremist? A communist? We are all bloody communists around here. What else can you be when you live in a depressed, run down area where most of the people are out of work and with no hope of getting a job. The communists talk about redistributing wealth don’t they? Well last night saw a greater distribution of wealth than any government will every allow.’

Daily Star interview with a Brixton resident, April 1981

Thirty years ago, on 10, 11 and 12 April 1981, the black youth of Brixton, south London, supported by some of their white working class neighbours, rose up against police racism and repression. In so doing, they sent shock waves through the British establishment which, up until then, had complacently believed it could leave its minority black population to rot in poverty without too many consequences for itself. Carol Brickley reviews the events.


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In Memoriam Ellen Luby 1923 -2010

Ellen Luby

In Memoriam

Ellen Luby 1923 -2010

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! salutes the life of Ellen Luby who died in July this year. Many of us have warm memories of Ellen whose life as a working class warrior and scourge of the boss class and their ‘mercenaries’ is an inspiration.


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Remembering the Poll Tax

In 2010, as the British state mercilessly imprisons people who demonstrated last year against the Zionist onslaught on Gaza or the G8 rich countries’ domination of the world, we remember the massive demonstration 20 years ago this week against the Poll Tax. On Saturday 31 March 1990, London erupted as 200,000 demonstrators defended themselves against a brutal attack by mounted police.

The Poll Tax was the brainchild of Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government. A punitive local tax, it was introduced in 1989 in Scotland and 1990 in England and Wales, replacing the previous ‘rates’ system. It was designed as a political attack on left Labour local councils which charged high rates in order to provide better local services.  Unlike the rates or current council tax, the Poll Tax was not linked to income or the value of property.  Instead, each local area would set a single rate for all adults, regardless of ability to pay.


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How the campaign to stop the war was sabotaged

Stop The War Coalition placards on display at the Imperial War Museum, London 2017

Supporting Labour’s imperialist war - How the campaign to stop the war was sabotaged

Whilst opposition to the war on Iraq saw unprecedented numbers of ‘ordinary’ people take to the streets all over the country, one thing was strikingly clear: the lack of any real opposition from within the Labour Party. Although a number of individual members and a handful of councillors left the Party in disgust, not one so-called ‘anti-war’ Labour MP resigned the ‘whip’. This was no real surprise for those with any knowledge of Labour’s bloody history and the left’s contortions in justifying their continuing support for it.


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Campaign to stop the war

The massive demonstration on 15 February, organised by the Stop The War Coalition (STWC), Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), was a historic occasion. Up to two million people took to the streets of London in opposition to the coming war on Iraq. Later, on 22 March, following the start of the US/British onslaught, nearly half a million marched. With the prospect of a protracted conflict, how is this movement to develop? How is its ideological level to be raised? Bob Shepherd examines the issues.


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Support youth uprisings against racism and poverty

The explosions on the streets of Oldham, Burnley, Leeds, Stoke, Accrington and Bradford were not just Asian youth defending themselves and their communities against fascists and police violence. They were revolts against racism, unemployment and poverty. The catalyst for the uprisings was the action of organised fascists in the National Front (NF) and British National Party (BNP) aided and abetted by the police. In all these towns, attacks on Asian communities by fascists and sections of white working class youth were met with resistance and ended in mass confrontations and street battles with the police.


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May Day protest against capitalism

Capitalism lost £20m on May Day before the first protesters had even set foot in the city. One in five shops in Oxford Street had shut for the day, and the rest closed early to avoid being targeted by ‘violent anarchists’ during the predicted May Day ‘riots’. May Day 2001 saw the continuation of the strategy developed by the corporate capitalist class through its political representatives in the Labour government, its media, police and judiciary to destroy the coalition of forces in this country that see themselves as part of the growing international anti-capitalist movement. Helen Burnes reports.


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