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8 December 2021

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Mail attacks tube strikers by stealing socialist's image

The Daily Mail's distain for working-class people will not surprise many of our readers, neither will its shoddy journalism. The right-wing rag has used Socialist Party member James Ivens' image, taken from Twitter. In response James has written to the Mail:

The photo of the RMT picket line at Leytonstone stolen by the Mail to attack the strike Photo: James Ivens

The photo of the RMT picket line at Leytonstone stolen by the Mail to attack the strike Photo: James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Dear Daily Mail,

I am writing to you to demand that you remove a photograph that is my intellectual property and you have used without my permission - without even attempting to seek it, in fact.

The photograph is of an RMT picket line in Leytonstone on the evening of Friday 3 December. You took it from Twitter, which you wrongly credit as holding the copyright. The photograph is mine, and its publication on Twitter does not put it in the public domain, as any competent journalist would know.

If you were using the photo to support the heroic struggle of tube workers, I would take no issue. This strike is defending the terms and conditions of night tube workers - many of them parents or women who need part-time work with decent pay - against cuts by right-wing Labour mayor Sadiq Khan. This is round one of his brutal onslaught on the whole London transport network, caused by him accepting Tory government funding cuts rather than even trying to lead a mass campaign against them.

Your rag has used my photo - without permission - to try to smear striking drivers as responsible for a dangerous accident. Years of underfunding and underinvestment - especially cuts to station staff, the real issue here - have reduced safety on the network. The fault lies with Johnson and Khan, not RMT members who have fought their attacks. Management's cavalier insistence on allowing strike-breaking drivers to run a much-reduced and therefore crowded and unsafe service during the strike is also to blame.

If you were really concerned about passenger safety, you would support the strikes to keep the night tube grade and prevent knackered drivers becoming the norm.

You must remove my photo immediately, and I trust that you will.

You should also withdraw this shameful article and apologise for it, but I don't hold out the same hope given your long record of hatred for the working class.

Regards, James Ivens

I'll just add - workers need an independent political voice. The Tories and their rags like the Mail ain't it. Labour under Starmer and Khan ain't it. The unions should stand their own, independent candidates to fight for working-class interests. The RMT is part TUSC - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition which is a step in this direction.

Victory to the strike!

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In The Socialist 8 December 2021:


Unite to fight for pay and NHS we deserve

Government social care plans: Where is the money?

Uni staff and students must unite to end marketisation and for free education

Covid news in brief

What we think

Workers' politics needed to exploit Tory scandal and splits

People's Budgets

Building People's Budgets: An alternative to Tory and Labour cuts

International news

Chile presidential election - stop the far-right candidate

Unprecedented floods in British Columbia

Wider working-class and union struggle needed to win St Vincent nurses' strike

Defending abortion rights in the US

Workplace news

Universities strike - build the action and stand united to win

Thousands of Tesco warehouse workers to strike

Sandwell bin workers beat Serco and win pay rise

Panasonic workers break company pay freeze

Clarks strikers defeat 'fire and rehire'

Organise to win the NEU's 8% pay demand

Yorkshire Stagecoach bus workers' week-long strike

Worksop Wincanton logistics workers on strike

Newham Sixth Form College begins strike against academisation

Sheffield Just East couriers picket and march for pay rise

Napo ballots for trade dispute

Campaigns news

Affordable housing for all

Challenge cutters and evictors in Waltham Forest Council

Remembering Tony Davison

Fighting Fund: Help us reach over 50,000

Defying unjust laws - a rich history of struggle

Mail attacks tube strikers by stealing socialist's image


Film review: The Harder They Fall


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Article dated 8 December 2021

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Coventry bin workers on strike, January 2022, photo by Dave Nellist

Socialist Party members joined the picket lines of striking bin workers in Coventry fighting for better pay. January 2022

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