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Socialist Party summer camp
Preparing for a 'hot autumn' of action
The Socialist Party's summer camp took place on the August bank holiday weekend in the beautiful surroundings of Epping Forest. Around 80 people and their families came to the event, usually taking place after what is a quiet period in terms of political activity.
However, as the rally on the Saturday night was titled, 2011 has seen a 'hot summer' with the explosion of anger among young people in Britain, providing plenty of issues to discuss.
Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, introduced the main rally outlining our response to the rotten propaganda about 'broken Britain' that has flooded the news this summer.
Lynn Walsh introduced an interesting discussion on the crisis in the world economy and how it is the basis of the upheavals across the world today. Bob Labi opened the international rally on the events in Libya, almost as they were unfolding.
We discussed the need for fighting trade unions in Britain, especially in the face of the government attempting to increase the anti-trade union laws.
Another session looked at how the problems of capitalism are reflected in sport, with strikes taking place by the National Football League in America and the links with big business being exposed in the run-up to the Olympics in Britain. This shows the need for sport to be reclaimed, with democratic control, by working class people.
Against the backdrop of the emergence of the 'slutwalks' - young women taking to the street in protest - we looked at whether society is becoming more sexist. Women, in particular single mothers, are among the hardest hit by the cuts but are also demonised in the media and by the government. Even the riots were being being blamed on 'bad parenting'.
While the weekend was relaxing, sitting around campfires and walks to admire the scenery, there was also time to consider the important role that the Socialist Party can play in response to all of these issues.
The lack of an alternative being put forward by the Labour Party, who echo the government's line on 'broken Britain' and the case for cuts, shows the vital need to build our party, to promote our ideas to as many people as possible by selling the Socialist and ultimately to argue for a socialist society.
The support for these ideas was reflected in the finance appeal at the camp which raised £1,514.74.
The camp was brilliant, bringing together members and supporters from across the country. It also helped to prepare for an even hotter autumn as the struggle against these attacks escalates among workers and young people.
In The Socialist 31 August 2011:
Fighting public sector cuts
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party review