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Finance to fight for the future
Heather Rawling, Leicester Socialist Party
A central theme of the East Midlands finance school, held on 5 October, was the need to prepare for the future.
The US, Scotland and elsewhere have shown that big upheavals will develop - before or after the next election. We need to be on a sound financial footing to be ready for these struggles.
Naomi Byron, from the Socialist Party's finance department, spoke about Socialist Alternative, our co-thinkers in the United States. In particular how they have organized to respond to a radicalization of American workers, along with the successes and problems this has thrown up.
Socialist Alternative raised $160,000 (around £100,000) for Kshama Sawant's election campaign. This came mainly from a large number of small donations. Activists asked for raised specific amounts for specific things, eg $10 for a yard sign.
They emphasised that the campaign got no money from the corporations, and contrasted Kshama's record with that of the Democrats. Money used was for raising the profile of the campaign, which in turn helped raise more money.The discussion on these lessons was inspirational and set the tone for the rest of the school.
The task begins with developing organisers who can develop other organisers. Understanding the need to raise finance for the party stems from understanding our theory, perspectives, programme and tactics.
We discussed recruitment and how to discuss subs (membership dues) with new members, to lay the basis for the possibility of them raising their subs in the future.
Every active member should have a discussion about paper selling, fighting fund raising and increasing subs where possible. Everyone should be asked what they can do to help build and finance the party.
After a report back from the meeting at the Leicester branch committee, several members have pledged to increase their subs by £164 per month between them. All branch committee members took responsibility for discussing with others in the branch about whether they can raise their subs.
In The Socialist 8 October 2014:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns