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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 May 2021

News in brief

Anti-racist activist Sasha Johnson shot

Sasha Jonson. Photo: Amnon Cohen

Sasha Jonson. Photo: Amnon Cohen   (Click to enlarge)

Sasha Johnson, a London-based black activist, was shot in the head in the early hours of 23 May. Sasha was a prominent figure during the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020, and is now a member of the Taking The Initiative Party (TTIP).

Reports say that four men entered the garden of a party in south London and discharged a firearm, but police say there is "nothing to suggest" it was "a targeted attack". TTIP report that Sasha had recently received death threats but the police have dismissed these threats as "not credible". TTIP adds "Surely, to end up in hospital having sustained a bullet shot to the head, makes a death threat more credible."

Sasha spoke to the Socialist during the Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020; she said: "I'm fed up of oppression and the working class feels the same. We have to challenge all injustice. We won't accept lip service from the councillors and the police, who say they support us but who stop young black men and strip them to their pants in the street."

"We have to start our own system, as the working class we are working to survive. We have to dismantle the system to get equality."

At the time of publishing Sasha remains in hospital in a critical condition. We hope that Sasha makes a full recovery to join us in the working-class struggle against injustice.

Britain's drone strike secrets

Does the Ministry of Defence (MOD) deploy drones to carry out air-strikes outside of formal armed conflict? This is a question raised after a number of drone strikes killing British citizens abroad.

Even MPs can't get an answer, because the MOD refuses to share its targeting guidelines. Apparently, important information cannot be released because a senior US official wants it redacted. If elected politicians don't have oversight of the use of Britain's nine 'Reapers', and soon to be another 16 Protector drones, who does?

Covid data cover-up

From 17 May, the government no longer required secondary school children to wear face coverings in school. You would presume this was a safe move, approved by public health officials.

However, a Public Health England report published on 13 May had a page missing. Journalists at the Observer report that data on the spread of the new Covid variant in schools was now missing from what they saw in the 'pre-print'.

More evidence that the government puts profit ahead of health, and why we need democratic, trade union-led control of Covid safety.

Bashir brings BBC attacks

Martin Bashir, when employed as a BBC journalist, used falsified documents in an interview with Princess Diana. Dishonest capitalist journalism is widespread across media.

The Tories will undoubtedly try to use these revelations to further attack the BBC in an attempt to drive it more to the right and pressure it to perform increasingly as a mouthpiece for the Tory government.

(See 'This is the BBC: fight the cuts - and the capitalist media')

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 26 May 2021:

What we think

Palestinians need a new socialist intifada


Our lives, our jobs, our future - Not safe in Tory hands

Fight for the right to protest

Great British Railways shake-up offers no end to profiteering

Organise to oppose Tory academisation plans

Lancaster Greens do deal with Tories

News in brief


Organise for 3 July NHS pay protests

Scottish Independence

Where now for the Scottish independence movement?


Metroline London bus workers win huge victory

Goodlord sacks strikers - fight the penny-pinching, bullying bosses!

Thurrock refuse workers beat council and bin pay cut

RMT: Support Alan Pottage for assistant general secretary

NUJ leadership pushes through subs increase but left lands blows at conference

CWU elections: Vote for a fighting, campaigning, socialist EC member

'Fire and rehire' attempts spread - coordinated fightback needed

Cadent Gas plans 200 job losses


Mexico City subway train collapse - negligence, corruption and capitalism

US right to abortion under threat: Mass campaign to support the right to choose must be built


Stop Israeli state terror against Palestinians

Leicester protest against arms supplies to Israel

Palestine protesters donate to fund socialist material

Cladding anger builds - protest on 5 June

Readers' Opinion

Get up, stand up - don't give up the fight!

Film review: Nomadland

TV review: Three Families is excellent. But protest movement is missing

The Socialist Inbox


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