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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 September 2017

Three thousand attend Burston strike commemoration rally

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell speaking at Burston, 3.9.17, photo by Dave Nellist

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell speaking at Burston, 3.9.17, photo by Dave Nellist   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party Eastern region members

The annual Burston School strike rally on 3 September drew well over three thousand trade unionists and their supporters. It commemorates the strike by pupils in support of their loved and respected teachers Annie and Tom Higdon who were sacked for their socialist and trade union views in 1914.

The pupils walked out in support, and from 1914 until 1939 the Higdons ran the 'strike school' providing an education for the local children in this Norfolk village, against the village authorities who had wanted to limit the curriculum. Trade unionists from all over the country donated funds for the new school.

This year's rally was jointly organised and chaired by Socialist Party member Teresa MacKay in her Suffolk County trade union council capacity.

Peterborough Socialist Party member John McGarry was attending his first Burston rally said the most memorable speech was by a McDonald's worker who described how the multinational corporation paid wages of less than 5 an hour and how workers had suffered harassment and racism from local managers.

He mentioned that as he didn't have a fixed address, on certain shifts he often had nowhere but the street to eat his meals. He and other workers at McDonald's in Cambridge took strike action on 4 September.

Other speakers were John McDonnell, shadow chancellor, who appealed to all Labour MPs not to be afraid to use the term socialism, and Len McCluskey, Unite the Union general secretary, who railed against social conditions in the east of England.

Socialist Party members had a successful campaign stall at the event and over sixty copies of the Socialist were sold. Every sale from the stall was also given a card about Socialism 2017.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 6 September 2017:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight council cuts - back the Brum bin strikers!

Historic McStrike: if we don't get it, shut it down!

Problem gambling soars by 33%

UN slams Tories for disabled rights ruin

Them & Us


What we think

Tories weak: time for the TUC to act


Schools and teaching

Schools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay


Socialist Party workplace news

Strike together for better pay

RMT fighting for passenger safety, accessibility and security

Merseyrail strike over safety: Labour mayor and councillors must reverse their decision

Three week Argos strike ends

Fawley refinery canteen strikers tell their employer: "pay up"

College workers ballot for action in Nottingham


International socialist news and analysis

Hurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

Extreme weather events and global warming


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Determined protest against Chatsworth Ward closure

Young people are searching for an alternative - find it at Socialism 2017

Huddersfield A&E closure goes to judicial review

Three thousand attend Burston strike commemoration rally

Bristol's Labour mayor calls anti-austerity march - now stop making cuts!

Demonstrators see off far-right in Keighley

Anti-fracking campaigners' legal fight


Socialist Party comments and reviews

How the Single Market blocks socialist policies

Bosses' pensions robbery

Magic money tree

Warts-and-all account of class war and the struggle for LGBT+ rights

'Let the producers of wealth unite - and what can withstand them?'


 

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