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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 June 2020

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters during the coronavirus crisis

The Covid-19 pandemic is a world social crisis which touches every aspect of life. The iniquities and failings of the capitalist system are being exposed, and workers and communities are organising in response.

Send us your comments, reports, anecdotes and thoughts, in not more than 200 words (we reserve the right to shorten letters), to [email protected]

George Floyd

A mural of George Floyd in Mauerpark, Berlin, photo Singlespeedfahrer/CC

A mural of George Floyd in Mauerpark, Berlin, photo Singlespeedfahrer/CC   (Click to enlarge)

The horrific, brutal, racist murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery add more fuel to those elements of a civil war situation developing in US society. There is huge class polarisation and anger, amid economic depression, which the ruling class will seek to undermine and divert through repression and whipping up poisonous division.

Demands around working-class community control of the police and justice against racism should be explicitly linked to a united fight against the common misery of job losses, lack of access to healthcare and social security, food poverty, and homelessness and evictions.

For all the unions' current weaknesses, organised labour - where all workers can organise together in struggle - can play the key role. A fundamental break with the two-party system is needed, with a mass campaign for a workers' party. These are the most effective methods of battling the racist Trump administration and the US ruling class.

Matt Dobson, Glasgow, Scotland

The US is a tinderbox: on top of huge poverty, there's a yawning wealth gap, and now mass joblessness among a generation which has been thrown out of precarious working contracts by the Covid shutdown. Then there's the increasingly authoritarian and anti-democratic course of President Trump.

The video capture of the racist murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police only set light to the touchpaper.

President Trump appears content to fan the flames, and has repeatedly indicated his willingness to send in the National Guard. The Democrats, themselves complicit in racist government for decades, are largely absent from the field.

This moment is pregnant with dark possibilities. We must stand in solidarity with all those who are putting themselves in the line of fire in the fight to end racism and poverty, and for fundamental change.

Donal O'Cofaigh, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

What's happening in the US is what happens when you throw a match on top of decades of racist police brutality, poverty, austerity, and a succession of presidents who have all sided with capitalism over improving the lives of the poorest in the US - disproportionately black.

Riots are what working-class rage with little working-class leadership looks like. But let's hope this is just the beginning of a movement, and united working-class struggle in the US.

Amy Cousens, Leeds, Yorkshire

School reopening

The Tories trying to open up the schools to more children, and two weeks later open up more shops and businesses, is designed to act like a pincer movement on working-class parents.

Their bosses will put pressure on them to send their children back to school. They will lose their furlough pay, potentially.

School staff and parents must collectively stand together to resist the Tory plans. Lives in our communities depend on our success. There is a huge tidal wave of support. Stick together. Collectively we can keep our communities safe.

Heather Rawling, Saddington, Leicestershire

Food riots

Apparently, my paternal grandparents were in the Birkenhead riots. These were the food riots that emerged out of the mass unemployment of the 1930s. The working class didn't just accept what was meted out to them by diseased capitalism.

'Idle Hands, Clenched Fists' by Stephen F Kelly depicts the fightback. When you think about the mass youth unemployment that could emerge in post-Covid times, we need to make sure that we fight for work that pays and gives working-class communities dignity and pride.

Riots are not the methods of Trotskyists. However, when communities do rise up and don't accept their fate, it is better than just acquiescing and accepting never-ending poverty. We shouldn't accept another decade of austerity, poverty and want. Join the Socialist Party, and fight for a world without hunger.

Nancy Taaffe, Walthamstow, east London

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Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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 special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 3 June 2020:

What we think

Battered Tories face divisions and growing anger

Protect every job, nationalise don't subsidise

Council finance disaster: set emergency no-cuts budgets and fight for funds!

George Floyd

Fight racism and class inequality, fight capitalism!

USA - another cop killing of unarmed black man sparks widespread protests


Stand firm for workplace safety

Schools... no going back until it's safe

Workplace news

Coordinated union struggle needed to save jobs and nationalise JCB

Reject the university employers' offer on pay, workload and casualisation

Fight continues for safety on London buses

PCS pay claim: Vital work unrecognised

Equity union general secretary election

Coronavirus news

"Test, trace, isolate, support" - the Tories' scheme fails on all counts

Furlough: We are not 'all in the same boat'

Hospital closed following rampant spread of Covid-19

Labour Party

Socialism Today special issue: Lessons from the Corbyn experience

Blairite general secretary elected - Starmer's takeover of Labour Party consolidated

Readers' opinion

Football in the time of coronavirus - reclaim our game!

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters

Socialist Party reports

Pandemic doesn't stop Socialist Party educating organisers: northern meeting


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