General Meeting 23rd January 2014

posted 26 Jan 2014, 02:37 by general office   [ updated 26 Jan 2014, 02:42 ]

Support for the International Commission of Enquiry into the case of the Miami 5.

ITA notes that as the continued fight for justice and freedom for the Miami 5 and their families on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 March 2014, an International Commission of Inquiry into the case, organised by the Cuban Solidarity Campaign, will take place in London. More than 30 international figures and personalities will join families of the five prisoners, eminent legal representatives from their US legal team and former President of Cuba’s national Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon. We agree to make a donation of £100 towards the event, encourage members to attend some of the activities surrounding the inquiry and add their names to the online campaign.

Defend School History conference on teaching the First World War. 

ITA welcomes the the decision by Defend School History to hold a conference on teaching the First World War in October/November this year. We agree to donate £200 towards the cost of organising this very timely conference. 

We also agree to reaffiliate to the stop The War Campaign

Support the anti-fascist and anti-racist demos called by Unite Against Fascism and the TUC on 22 March.

1.This meeting notes with deep concern the rising tide of racism in Britain and across Europe. Far right parties such the fascist Front National in France and the Freedom Party in Holland have built significant electoral support through blaming migrants and ethnic minorities for the economic crisis and the austerity policies pursued by governments across Europe. Openly Nazi-inspired movements such as Golden Dawn in Greece and Jobbik in Hungary have won votes and built paramilitary street movements that have launched murderous attacks on ethnic minorities, migrants and political opponents. 


2. This meeting believes that mainstream political parties have helped to create the environment in which the far right can grow by attacking working class living standards and social provision and, in particular, by seeking to scapegoat ethnic minorities and migrants. Under pressure from UKIP, the Tories are pushing through yet more legislation directed against migrants. Home Secretary Teresa May has ordered vans with racist billboards telling migrants to "go home" to tour the streets of Britain. Ken Clarke has attacked women who chose to wear the burqa and David Blunkett has made an outrageous attack on the Roma population of Sheffield reminiscent of Enoch Powell's notorious rivers of blood speech. This follows the seizure of Roma children from their parents by the Gardai in Ireland on grounds of their blond hair.


3. This meeting further notes that in France the government of Francois Hollande has pandered to Front National voters by attacking migrants and Muslims. However there were mass walkouts by school students late last year in protest at the deportation of their school friends. The murder of an anti fascist activist has also led to major protests. In Greece Golden Dawn has overreached itself by murdering a black  anti-racist campaigner and beating up trade unionists. Following huge protests and a general strike against fascism, the Government was forced to arrest the Golden Dawn leadership.


4. This meeting also notes that in Britain the far right has suffered major set backs. The BNP has lost most of its council seats and the English Defence League's leader Tommy Robinson has left the organisation, throwing it into disarray. This meeting congratulates Unite Against Fascism for its role in building locally based counter protests against the EDL wherever it has tried to mobilise and believes that this work will need to continue.  BNP leader Nick Griffin still holds a seat in the European Parliament. This meeting believes that supporting the campaign to remove this Nazi at the European elections in June should be a priority for our union.


5. This meeting welcomes the call for a European wide day of action against racism on UN anti racism day 22nd March by the Movement Against the Racist and Fascist Threat (KEERFA), the leading Greek anti racist organisation. We further welcome the demonstrations in London, Cardiff and Glasgow to say no to the scapegoating of immigrants, no to Islamophobia and yes to a multi-cultural society called by Unite Against Fascism and TUC and support it has received from most national trade unions.


6. This meeting therefore resolves to:


(a) Publicise the national demonstration against racism in London on 22nd March amongst our members and encourage them to attend;


(b) Purchase publicity for the demo  for widespread distribution;


(c) Work with Unite Against Fascism and appropriate local campaigns to oppose the far right in the European elections in June;


(d) Send a message of protest to the Greek government over its prosecution of KEERFA leader Petros Constantinou for speaking out against the murder of two Albanian migrants by the police