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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 July 2021

"It's great to be back": Come to a Socialist Party in-person meeting

We're using the opportunity of easing Covid restrictions to organise safe, socially distanced Socialist Party meetings. Find socialist in-person and Zoom meetings near you at socialistparty.org.uk/whatson.

Swansea

Eleven attended in person the first physical meeting, with ten on Zoom. Our community centre meeting room is well ventilated and large enough for two-metre social distancing, which more than satisfies any concerns members have, some of whom nevertheless continue to wear a mask during meetings.

Everyone agrees that it is great to get back to our in-person meetings, where comrades can exchange ideas much more easily, have a bit of banter, and an informal drink and catch-up after. Our political discussions are much more fruitful in person, and our weekly activities a lot easier to plan and organise.

We all feel more of what we actually are - an activist party, rather than Zoom 'cyberspacers'. And that is reflected in more of our members coming out on Socialist Party campaign stalls, and going down to support the growing number of picket lines.

The handful of members who still feel uncomfortable about attending in person, because of health reasons or just waiting for their second jab, are, however, still catered for on our Zoom link. But they are desperate to return too.

They will hopefully start joining us over the summer, as the in-person attendance grows, and the Zoom participants get even smaller. "It's great to be back", was the unanimous response of members as we wiped down the tables and chairs and headed home, via the pub, for even more discussion.

Linda Thraves

Birmingham and Black Country

Birmingham, photo Nick Hart

Birmingham, photo Nick Hart   (Click to enlarge)

Since the end of May, we have been enjoying the chance to meet together in person again, as well as a return 'home' to the working-class suburbs, where we have a long record of campaigning.

Socialist Party members - who have previously only seen each other from opposite ends of a webcam, because they joined during lockdown - have been able to get to know each other that bit better. With discussions on everything from the Russian Revolution 1917 to the latest round of Tory corruption scandals, these meetings have given us motivation to go out and spread the ideas of the Socialist Party, and make sure we have even more new faces at meetings to come.

Nick Hart

Southampton

We sat socially distanced around the kitchen table. The other half of the membership was on Zoom. One member brought a sound amplifier, so everyone could clearly hear the call.

One member provided us with a riveting introduction on the life of Fred Hampton. Very few of us had heard about this amazing Black Panther.

Catherine Clarke

Sheffield

Our first hybrid 'in-person and Zoom' meeting was around the anniversary of the Battle for Orgreave. I spoke about the great miners' strike 1984-85 - 'a civil war without guns'. 24 attended altogether, including many new young members not even born in 1984.

Alistair Tice

Staines

We sat in our garden, with more people joining on Zoom. All our May council candidates were there, and we discussed standing again in a by-election. It was a real breath of fresh air (literally) to see comrades again in the flesh, and discuss without having to stare constantly at a screen.

Paul Couchman

East London

Even those on Zoom were also excited to see us in the room. Those who can pledged to come when they can, and others who can't offered to help pay for the room.

Scott Jones

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In The Socialist 7 July 2021:


What we think

Batley & Spen byelection: Another condemnation of Starmer's New Labour


The Struggle for World Socialism

The struggle for world socialism


NHS

Fight is on to save our NHS

NHS workers' protests


News

Fund the measures needed to stop the Covid spread in schools

Manchester death rate caused by deprivation

Bristol: Police to blame for protest violence


Workplace news

Royal London Hospital strike win

Morrisons private equity takeover proposals - Usdaw needs to move to a war footing

Safety campaign in DWP: What has happened to our ballot?

Striking Brush workers continue to protest 'fire and rehire'

Striking Ealing parking attendants rally outside council

Derby academies closed by strikes against brutal cuts and changes

Oaks Park strikers rally


Socialist history

Terry Fields MP, Prisoner DV 3695 - The jailing of 'poll tax' rebel and Militant


International news

COP26: Socialist change to end the climate crisis

Israel: Hospital ancillary workers strike over pay parity and workload


Campaigns news

Rising against a rigged and rotten system

Why did I choose the Socialist Party?

Housing: Join the service charge 'strike'

Stop environmental destruction in Barnsley

"It's great to be back": Come to a Socialist Party in-person meeting

We need funds to fight Tory NHS attacks

Road closures: Hackney residents have not been consulted


Reviews

The story of Joe Clough - Britain's first black bus driver

Exhibition: What next for the statue of slave trader, Edward Colston?

TV - Statue wars: one summer in Bristol


 

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