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Fight the cuts: how we beat the Tories last time!
Hannah Sell, Socialist Party deputy general secretary and author of the new Socialist Party pamphlet 'How a fightback can stop the cuts'. Part one of five. (See below for more).
Around 80 people, many of them young workers and students new to the Socialist Party, attended our London Socialist Party and Socialist Students meeting on 6 October.
Paula Mitchell, London Socialist Party
Lots of meetings have taken place in and around the central London universities over the last couple of weeks about fighting the cuts.
However, our meeting was different as it was not just a declaration of how terrible the cuts will be, or a general exhortation to fight back, but was a serious discussion about how the cuts can be fought, drawing on the lessons of battles against the Tories the last time they were in power.
The meeting watched an excellent film of the campaign of Liverpool City Council in the 1980s for more government funding, and the battle against the poll tax that started at the end of that decade.
Both of these achieved victories against the Tories - winning extra funding for Liverpool council services, defeating the poll tax and bringing down Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
In both, the forerunner of the Socialist Party, Militant, played a key leadership role.
Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party, spoke as the author of the new Socialist Party pamphlet 'How a fightback can stop the cuts'.
Hannah herself played a leading role in the massive school student strike in the mid-1980s against the Tories' youth training scheme.
Contributors from the floor reported on local anti-cuts campaigns in communities and in universities.
The importance of the 23 October London anti-cuts demonstration was stressed. Socialist Party members in the National Shop Stewards Network have played a central role in working with the London committees of the RMT, FBU and PCS unions to call the demonstration - the next most important step in building up the campaign against the cuts and keeping up the pressure on the TUC to act.
Most of those present who were new to the Socialist Party asked for information about getting involved in the party, and over £3,000 was raised in the Fighting Fund collection.