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ASF- Torture In Indian Jails

April 15, 2021
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Huge thanks to Peter Lindgren who sent us money specifically to buy a copy of this pamphlet put out by the Asian Socialist Forum.

Torture in Indian Jails is a 16 page A5 pamphlet printed and published by Asian Socialist Forum however, a sticker has been placed over this changing the publisher to “CRIPP” which is the acronym for Campaign for the Release of Indian Political Prisoners.

Similarly, an invitation to “subscribe to the monthly South Asia Newsletter” has been changed to “Buy CRIPP Badges- now on sale 15p”

The front of the pamphlet too bears the words “A SPECIAL CRIPP SUPPLEMENT”

UPDATE- Thanks to Mike for finding a reference to CRIPP in Red Weekly no156, page 10.

ASIAN SOCIALIST FORUM Publications

Photographic memories…

April 15, 2021
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The wonderful photo below graced the cover of an issue of Red Weekly and depicts IMG stewards in helmets and masks on an anti-fascist demonstration.

We previously posted it in relation to tributes to Mick Gosling as we believe Mick is pictured prominently in it in the white t-shirt. However, other comrades have since questioned this identification.

So, we were pleased to receive from Tam another photo taken at the time, from a different angle and not published until now:

Tam writes: “I am in the middle, (red crash helmet, leather jacket) exchanging words with George Anthony- CP hardliner & N London AEU- (specs, plastic briefcase), with Mick offering his twopence worth from the left.”

Also pictured, to Tam’s right- white helmet with dark stripe is a young Chris Bambery.

Both pictures come from the mass rally at Speakers Corner to prevent the National Front gathering. See reports in Red Weekly no67 12th September 1974

And here is Tam again, whipping the crowd to a frenzy…

Irish Solidarity Campaign Bulletin

April 14, 2021
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We recently posted Phil Hearse’s pamphlet on the International Socialists and Ireland which was produced as a fundraiser for the Irish Solidarity Campaign.

I have now found a copy of Irish Solidarity Bulletin no2.

No date but internal evidence (report of the founding of the SDLP) says 1970.

This would appear to be a specifically Birmingham bulletin.

It is not clear whether there was a national Irish Solidarity Campaign bulletin or other materials. If you do have such, let us know.

Farewell to Mick Gosling

April 9, 2021
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The death of Mick Gosling, after a long illness, was announced yesterday.

Some readers will know Mick as a long time member of the IMG, its London organiser, and later a member of the Communist League. He was victimised at Ford Dagenham in the late 1980s.

Thanks to Keith for sending this copy of Hackney Union News– page 7 reports on Mick’s dismissal.

Later he was a member of the National Union of Journalists working as press officer for hackney Council and for the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom. He was treasurer of Hackney Trades Union Council.

Comrades who knew him will give their own appreciations and we will post any obituaries here.

Red salute to comrade Drake.

Inner London Teachers Association research project

April 7, 2021
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Red Mole Rising is pleased to encourage the involvement of our readers in the Inner London Teachers Association (ILTA) research project, which is currently being promoted by Bernard Regan, who, amongst many other activities, has taken an interest in the work of Red Mole Rising.

The IMG had a (relatively) significant presence in the National Union of Teachers and members in Inner London always played a leading role.

See below for details:

Inner London Teachers Association (ILTA) research project

We are looking for anyone who was involved in ILTA to let us know about their memories and campaign stories via our simple form here: https://forms.gle/bjZrSdh3c3zShqLV8

Please share in all your networks and encourage as many of those involved in the Inner London Teachers Association to contribute to our research project.

We hope we can develop a resource that can be used for generations in the future as we try to map our past to inform our future.

In memory of Upali Cooray (1939—2009)

April 6, 2021
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Yesterday we posted about the Asian Socialist Forum which prompted Skanthakumar to alert us to this obituary of Upali Cooray which gives much background detail about the ASF, and the IMG and FI, in the late 1970s.

We reproduce it in full below.

Upali Cooray, who passed away on 21 August 2009, was a revolutionary socialist; trade unionist; anti-racist; partisan of anti-colonial and national liberation movements; human rights lawyer; university teacher and much more. 


 Upali Cooray: His militancy had no match

Upali Cooray (17 September 1939—21 August 2009) was a friend and a comrade of mine for over 40 years. Our joint political work, mainly in the Asian Socialist Forum (ASF) in Britain, was between 1975 and 1985. I came into contact with Upali in the ASF, which I learned of through an advertisement in Time Out magazine. Our offices were at 22 Boundary Road in St. John’s Wood. It was a squat to begin with, but later became short-lived community housing. I lived there for two years as a full time worker for ASF.

Although Upali and I had both been politically active in Ceylon/Sri Lanka in the 1960s, we did not know of each other then. I was a member of the Communist Party (CP) and after the Sino-Soviet split joined the pro-Peking wing (‘Shan’s group’). Upali was in the Trotskyist Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) and after it split in 1964, he joined the LSSP (Revolutionary), led by Bala Tampoe and Edmund Samarakkody – which was recognised by the Fourth International (FI) as its section.

Upali emigrated to the United Kingdom in the mid-1960s. Naturally he joined the British section of the FI – the International Marxist Group (IMG). He played an active role in the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign, which was led by the IMG. Much later he became politically distanced from the FI: which he charged with not seriously relating to revolutionary struggles in the Third World. He over-stated this in my view.

Read more…

Happy Easter (1967)

April 5, 2021
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Two wonderful photos from Phil Hearse.

Phil Writes:

“Easter Monday 1967. These very poor quality photos recently discovered in my parents’ archives, show the small but highly effective Vietnam Solidarity Campaign contingent on the 1967 CND Easter March.

The unmistakable Pat Jordan at the front (top pic) with glasses and tie.

I am on the far right of the lower picture with light coloured collar and trousers.”

The Asian Socialist Forum

April 5, 2021
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I know very little about the Asian Socialist Forum.

[UPDATE- thanks to Balasingham Skanthakumar for pointing us to this obituary of Upali Cooray which gives all the necessary detail on the ASF: http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article50091 ]

An SWP internal bulletin (left), found via Hatful of History refers to the ASF simply as an independent organisation ‘promoted’ by the IMG.

We do, however, have three Asian Socialist Forum pamphlets, all of which are reproductions of other pamphlets.

What is Trotskyism by Mandel, is a direct copy of an Irish Revolutionary Marxist Group pamphlet.

The Origin Of the Family by Kathleen Gough has been similarly lifted and then stamped on the back:

The third pamphlet Class Consciousness and the Leninist Party also by Mandel is a reprint of the Spark Publishers version and even maintains the Colombo, Sri Lanka address although the Spark Publishers imprint on the front has been changed to “Asian Socialist Forum pamphlet no1”

One additional ASF pamphlet is known to exist. Titled “Torture in Indian Jails” there are copies for sale at Amazon and Abe Books for ridiculous prices. Does anyone here have a copy they can lend us to scan?

ASIAN SOCIALIST FORUM Archive

Basic Documents of the IMG- 1967

March 29, 2021
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We previously looked the the pamphlet Basic Documents of the IMG which reprinted texts from the 1968 IMG conference.

Tidying up yesterday I came across a second issue of the pamphlet and was about to add it to the duplicates pile when I just noticed it was not actually the same document but an earlier one, published in 1967 and consisting of policy statements adopted since the election of the 1966 Labour government.

The main articles by Peter Peterson (Pat Jordan) analyse the left (Labour Left, CP, SLL and others) after the 1966 election with appendixes on the left shift within the Labour Party.

This is followed by an argument for application of a Transitional Programme in Britain, also by Peterson and a Perspectives document by Kork (Ken Coates).

The last few pages are the constitution of the IMG.

Police Attack Womens’ March

March 14, 2021
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Thanks to Evan Smith for finding this piece from Socialist Challenge, November 1978, by Jude Woodward on the attack by police on a Reclaim the Night march in Soho.

Plus ça change.

The full article is here on page 7

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