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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 June 2020

Readers' opinion

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Young footballers speak for a generation

These young black footballers telling their truths - of mums struggling to make ends meet; of estates that feel like open prisons and the police beating you back in; of hunger, real hunger through the summer holidays, and a desperation to escape the cycle of poverty and deprivation.

Some make it out, most don't. These words are the clenched fist salutes of a generation who grew up under the spectre of the foodbanks and feel the truth of the Black Lives Matter movement.

They are doing what no Labour MP can do - use an external movement to force change. Johnson could lose on free school meals if the opposition pushed forward now. This could be a real tangible victory for hundreds of thousands of hungry children.

Black Lives Matter could chalk up a class victory, why not? The Black Panthers fed children.

They reckon the amount of hungry children could fill Wembley stadium many times over. I feel like organising a march myself.

Join the Socialist Party and fight for a way out for everyone. All our boats should rise together.

Nancy Taaffe, Waltham Forest

Beautiful mural destroyed by Blairite austerity

Part of the Newport chartist mural depicting workers struggles which was smashed up by council developers, photo Dave Reid

Part of the Newport chartist mural depicting workers struggles which was smashed up by council developers, photo Dave Reid   (Click to enlarge)

The Chartist mural in Newport, a beautiful 200,000 piece mosaic in memory of working-class struggle, was destroyed in October 2013. But unlike the hated Colston statue in Bristol, Newport's mural was destroyed completely legally - not by any protesters, but by Newport's Labour council.

This disgraceful act of vandalism sneakily pre-empted a planned protest to save it later that day. It was destroyed to build a new shopping centre.

The mural was built in 1978, a 35-metre wall depicting an 1839 march from the Valleys to Newport by Chartists - the world's first mass working-class movement. They rose up to demand democratic rights for the working class. The mural also depicted the moment the march was fired upon and 30 workers were massacred by the army.

The council could have saved and moved the mural. They pleaded the high cost, but the council had spent millions on the new shopping centre. I remember seeing and learning from the mural many times as a child on trips to Newport, likes generations of others.

The authorities, capitalists and defenders of statues of slave traders and racists like Churchill (who twice sent troops into South Wales and killed working class people!) scream blue murder about 'vandalism and destruction'. But in Newport in 2013, they happily destroyed a beautiful and visible expression of working-class people and struggle. In the same way they have destroyed our services.

Scott Jones, Loughton, Essex

Capitalism conscience?

What's this, capitalism developing a conscience? International bank Standard Chartered has expressed support for America's black community and revulsion at George Floyd's death.

But they are facing the other way over human and democratic rights in China and Hong Kong. Standard Charter has praised the national security law because "it will maintain the long-term economic and social stability of Hong Kong."

The Financial Times says these double standards are perfectly logical from a business point of view. "To make capitalism work in a more divided society, where climate change threatens the world for future generations and racism inflames large sections of the population, bosses have twigged that they must look like they care.

"Hiring the best staff and attracting decent investors will depend on it. Backing Chinese repression is less uplifting but similarly expedient."

Big business say what is necessary, to keep governments and investors onside, but don't mean a word of it. They don't care about us and won't let anything come in the way of their profits if they can help it.

Time to sweep these hypocrites aside, nationalise their companies and run them democratically in the interests of the masses.

Heather Rawling, Leicester

Ten years prison

I didn't think there was much more Labour could do that would shock. Ten years prison for vandalising a war memorial!

That's more than people get for sexual assault or manslaughter. If you are a company giving evidence at the Grenfell Tower enquiry, you get immunity from prosecution. You'd get less for hate crime and assault.

Evidently property is more important than human life.

Sue Powell, Gloucester

'Peaceably if we may, forcibly if we must'

People have been asking Bristol council to remove the statue for decades. Nothing had been done. It has now.

The Chartists had a slogan: 'Peaceably if we may, forcibly if we must.'

Removing the statues is a start. Removing racism will take longer but as the song says, we shall overcome.

Derek McMillan, Worthing

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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.
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In The Socialist 17 June 2020:

What we think

Which way forward for Black Lives Matter protests?

Oppose racist symbols and the racist system


Capitalism = inequality. Fight for socialism!

Black Lives Matter: more youth protests take aim at capitalism

Contact tracing fiasco: You can't believe a word the government tells us


Youth without a future: fight for jobs and homes - fight for socialism!

Workplace news

Resist relaxation of Sunday trading laws

Debenham's protests: Workers must not pay price of Covid-19

Battle with BT management needed to win real pay rise


Tories retreat on free school meals

Parents' protests against Welsh schools reopening

Cumbria: Teachers, parents and socialists fight reckless school reopening


Tears and anger over the treatment of the Windrush generation

Film: Da 5 Bloods - entertaining but politically constrained

Campaigns and party news

Why we joined the Socialist Party

20 days. One town. Four domestic violence murders.

Fight for a socialist future!

Lessons from history

Reform or revolt? How was the slave trade abolished?


Scotland and coronavirus - a catalogue of government failure

Readers' opinion

Three years on: No justice for Grenfell, no peace from BLM

Two-metre rule under 'review' - Another case of profit before safety

The Socialist inbox


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