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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 January 2019

East Midlands conference: Getting ready for the big upheavals in 2019

East Midlands Socialist Party, photo Mike Barker

East Midlands Socialist Party, photo Mike Barker   (Click to enlarge)

Clare Wilkins and Sebastian Motley

34 delegates attended in the recent East Midlands Socialist Party conference in Nottingham to discuss the political situation and prospects for building the party in 2019. It was lively and full of discussion and debate, many giving their views and reports of what they've done - a great way for members to connect.

Rob Williams from the executive committee introduced the morning discussion on political perspectives - in which he touched upon the developing crisis in Venezuala, the 'gilets jaunes' (yellow vests) movement in France, the slowdown and contradictions in the world economy and, not least, the crisis in British politics over the Brexit impasse. This latter crisis could go on for weeks and months but we need to prepare for an early general election.

Rob emphasised that the worker's movement must lead movements against the Tories and austerity or else this can leave a political vacuum for the populist right to exploit.

Regional organiser Tessa Warrington introduced the afternoon session on party building and regional secretary Steve Score summed up the discussion.

Tessa praised the party branches' involvement in local community campaigns, and their interventions in Pride events, anti-Trump protests, Corbyn rallies, and industrial disputes, including the UCU strike.

Successes

The number of party public stalls has increased and we raised 187% of our fighting fund target in the last quarter. The conference financial appeal raised a magnificent 531.16.

31 people joined the party in the region last year and branches must ensure that new members are fully integrated into the party campaigns and structures.

Examples of party initiatives aimed at encouraging young people to join were given, which included the establishment of Young Socialists and Socialist Students groups.

The gilets jaunes movement has shown that struggles against the capitalist system can arise at any time. We must be ready. We have the commitment, consciousness and dedication to build the Socialist Party in the East Midlands.

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Finance appeal

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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 30 January 2019:


What we think

Venezuela: resist the pro-imperialist coup!

Join the fight to defend women's lives


News

Austerity out, Tories out

Tory on homeless: "tear down these tents"

Liverpool Travelodge digger wrecking

Fresh inquest into killer air pollution: nationalise energy and public transport!


International socialist news and analysis

International solidarity with the struggle of the Sudanese people

Brazil: Hundreds die in avoidable dam collapse

Belgium: Movement against climate change grows

Germany: School student walkouts reject Coal Commission proposals


Workplace news

Tesco changes threaten thousands of jobs

PCS Left Unity chooses Chris Baugh - unite behind the left AGS and NEC slate

Leicester college staff strike against low pay

Teachers vote 83% for strikes

Unison union campaigns for school support staff action

Trade unions protect rail workers' picket line in Hull


Campaigns and party news

Councils can fight cuts!

Coxford ward byelection: No to cuts - defend our vital services

Keep profiteering developers out!

A strategy to fight the far right

Want to oust the Tories and change the world? ...Then give us the resources to do it!

Socialist Party Wales conference

East Midlands conference


Opinion

Exhibition: Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War

Fiction: Tombland "The power of common people fighting for justice in the 16th century"

The Socialist Inbox


 

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