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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 June 2016

Tamil Solidarity Day

Tamil Solidarity Day, 4.6.16

Tamil Solidarity Day, 4.6.16   (Click to enlarge)

Fighting oppression and for workers' rights internationally

Bharathi Subramanian

An intense and energetic fightback against oppression. That best describes this year's Solidarity Day - organised by Tamil Solidarity at the Unite headquarters in London, on 4 June.

Three packed sessions saw a wide range of discussion and exchange of ideas. It brought together a very diverse audience: activists from numerous ethnic backgrounds fighting for the right to self-determination, trade unionists, socialists and many Tamil youth.

The day had a kick-start with a discussion on the Vaddukoddai Resolution (VKR) - on the 40th anniversary of when Tamil groups in Sri Lanka united to call for a secular, socialist Tamil homeland and an end to exploitation. This was driven by radicalised youth, under the influence of mass workers' and anti-colonial struggles internationally.

Significantly, the guest speakers included a journalist and activist from the majority Sinhalese population of Sri Lanka, alongside a Tamil participant at Vaddukoddai.

This session not only discussed the VKR's historical importance, however. It addressed what we can learn to help take the fight for the right to self-determination for Tamil people forward today.

Following some excellent Tamil food, another unique line-up took to the platform. Akther Khan spoke on the land grab taking place in Bangladesh, where thousands of people are being driven off their land by a government in league with US and UK coal-mining multinationals and the Chinese regime.

Faria Attique gave a moving account of the national oppression in Kashmir -occupied by India, Pakistan and China. Campaigner Indira Prasad and writer/activist Meena Kandasamy detailed the brutality of the caste system, and the oppression which is prevalent in South Asia - but also in diaspora communities, including in Britain.

Solidarity Day was rounded off with a rally for youth and workers' rights. Among the speakers were Ian Hodson, national president of the bakers' union (BFAWU), and Dave Semple, PCS activist - from two unions leading the struggle against low pay and austerity. Their message hit home with young Tamils at the sharp end of the poverty pay onslaught.

Rosie Isaac, a junior doctor - and Tamil Solidarity founding member - joined us by skype and outlined the ongoing battle to defend the NHS.

It was an inspiring event. The three sessions complemented one another, and summed up the aims of the Tamil Solidarity campaign. That is, to link up the struggle for Tamil rights with the organised workers' movement and with other oppressed people internationally.

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In The Socialist 8 June 2016:


EU referendum

No to Tory and EU austerity

Youth must fight for their future

Northern Ireland: Biggest trade union supports EU exit

Letter to the Socialist: EU referendum

The socialist case against the EU: TUSC tour continues


Socialist history

China's 'Cultural Revolution' 1966-67


Socialist Party review

Music review: No to TTIP


Socialist Party news and analysis

Athens bus workers clean up

Exploitation Britain: Unionise and fight for a living wage

Muhammad Ali 1942-2016

Housing: Let's reclaim our right to dream again!

Nationalise the rip-off drug companies

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Link the strikes - come to the NSSN conference

Momentum Youth and Students: Witch hunts won't take movement forward

Tamil Solidarity Day

Student nurses march to oppose bursary cut

Pensioners fight ageist Tory cuts

Dangerous, dirty and damp: the unseen world of temporary accommodation


Socialist Party workplace news

RF Brookes walk out over pay cut

Pennine Foods strike: "Business NOT open as usual - Again!"

Junior doctors' dispute: New offer falls short

PCS campaign against Land Registry privatisation

Workplace news in brief


 

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