Further to Marian’s email about the AGM I thought I should add the following information. While the AGM was a well attended event with a good number of useful motions and discussion there was one final motion that caused much more controversy that expected.
The controversy this year was in relation to a motion calling for building a campaign non cooperation with war crimes – through building support for the Gaza protestors and groups or individuals like the EDO decommissioners; work within trade unions drawing attention to war crimes; making sure Israeli war criminals visiting britain get no peace. The motion effectively called on the PSC to step up a lot of its existing work and coordinate it around the understanding that we have the power to stop Britain’s support and complicity with Israeli war crimes.
While a similar motion was almost unanimously passed at the Stop the War AGM earlier this year the PSC exec came down against the motion creating much discussion and resulting in the motion being dismissed. The reasons for not supporting the motion varied from ‘it being too long’ and ‘too prescriptive’ to it resulting in ‘workers loosing their jobs’. None of these arguments stand up to much when considering the role we have in supporting the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. Please have a read through this short report which gives fuller response to the arguments put against the motion: http://blog.cpgb-ml.org/2011/02/08/what-is-the-psc-afraid-of/
In previous years there had been much discussion about Histadrut, the Israeli organisation of trade unions, and whether PSC should call on British trade unions to boycott Histadrut. Previously, despite the shameful statements put out by Histadrut supporting the attacks on Gaza, the PSC exec would not support motions calling for a boycott of Histadrut, for ‘tactical’ reasons within union work. However, this year, following the example of Unison’s and UCU’s decision to boycott, a stronger motion calling on union members to call into question their unions support for Histadrut was supported.
It does make one wonder how many more unions may have called for boycott of Histadrut had the PSC work within the unions been directed towards boycotting rather than merely suggesting unions ‘consider’ their relationship with Histadrut.
Opposing the motion above regarding non-cooperation is a missed opportunity. PSC is growing within a climate of increasing opposition to injustice – from the attacks on Gaza to the attacks on student tuition fees. Building a campaign that supports people in their opposition to war crimes can only strengthen our movement.