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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 July 2019
Durham Miners' Gala: Strength and history of unions on show
Part of the crowd listening to speeches at the Durham Miners' Gala, 13.7.19, photo by Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Emma Dawson, Newcastle Socialist Party
An estimated 200,000 people attended the 135th Durham Miners' Gala on 13 July, one of Europe's biggest celebrations of trade unionism and the labour movement.
Dozens of bands and banners flooded the streets, with the first marching band starting just after 8.30am. The procession continued well into the afternoon as it made its way towards the racecourse.
Speakers included Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey and Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn's speech focused on the effects of austerity and the failures of the current Tory government, as well as his commitment to an inquiry into Orgreave (see the Socialist, issue 1048) on day one of a Labour government. He also touched on support for the nationalisation of rail, mail and water services, which was well received.
Numerous stalls lined the racecourse including those from major trade unions, as well as from a variety of groups including Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners.
The Socialist Party stall offered a variety of political literature which proved popular with people. Socialist Party members were armed with petitions and newspapers, with around 200 copies of the Socialist being sold and £100 raised for the fighting fund.
Although I had been aware of the gala for a long time, the 2019 gala was in fact my first. The scale and sheer size of the event is hard to appreciate until you are among the crowds. It's a testament to the strength and history of the trade union and labour movement and its future. The stalls provided a good opportunity to stock up on books and badges and meet people behind various campaigns.
Despite the occasional heavy rain, it was a really good day and one which will leave many, including myself, looking forward to next year's gala.
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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.
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In The Socialist 17 July 2019:
What we think
Stop Boris - general election now
Fraudsters thrive and claimants suffer in despicable Universal Credit scam
Wales: chronic NHS underfunding exposed
Them & Us
Imperial typewriters dispute
The 45th anniversary of the strike
NSSN conference 2019: at the heart of trade union struggle
Health visitors strike for the first time ever
Bradford NHS workers strike against privatisation
Victory for Stagecoach bus strikers!
Newham housing repairs workers announce strike dates
Council seeks to take budget deficit out on school staff and pupils
Moon landing 50 years on
50 years since Apollo 11 - 'One giant leap': how political conflict launched the moon landing
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist change to end climate change
Residents mobilise to stop eviction
Stop the fire service cuts
Durham Miners' Gala
Campaigners force U-turn over NHS privatisation
Leicestershire - No more austerity!
Excellent response to building fund appeal
Socialist Party Fighting Fund
International socialist news and analysis
Greece elections: Syriza ousted amid voter disillusionment
Sudan masses mobilise against state repression
Interview: protests over killing in Israel
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 17 July 2019 |
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