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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 November 2021

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Starmer dismissing BLM made me quit Labour

Socialist Party at Black Lives Matter

Socialist Party at Black Lives Matter   (Click to enlarge)

Isabelle France, Sheffield Socialist Party

In July last year, I was laid on my sofa doing my daily doomscroll when I stumbled on a video of Keir Starmer dismissing Black Lives Matter. Starmer, in his usual high and mighty centralist tone, nearly made me throw my phone across the room in frustration.

He then went onto to describe BLM as a 'moment'. It was then and there I decided to cancel my ten-year-long Labour Party membership.

I had been a Labour member since I was 17. I wasn't even out of school before decided to pledge my allegiance to this party - volunteering, voting, organising, supporting and cheering along their victories.

But in that swift moment, the accumulation of the years of Labour denying its members and the left wing our voice became unbearable. So I left. No pun intended.

Summer 2020 had been difficult enough - the desperate desire to be on the streets to connect with and protect one another during the Black Lives Matter mass social movement, yet simultaneously needing to stay apart in order to protect one another from a deadly pandemic.

When I left Labour, I felt alone in a different way. But looking around, I could see others were too.

So many people I knew were homeless politically. We were all angry, but had nowhere to direct that to.

I knew we needed organised direct action. But where was I meant to find that?

I thought about joining litter-picking groups, but would I scare off the old folk with my anti-capitalist rants? I thought about joining theory groups. But would we ever do anything?

Luckily for me, someone had been putting up Socialist Party posters. It wasn't long until one caught my eye.

I'd had no idea of the Socialist Party. I found them on Twitter, and immediately followed them.

Shortly after, local member Alex contacted me, asking if I fancied coming to a meeting. I think my answer was fairly obvious.

I joined after a couple of branch meetings, and a few meet-ups at protests. But I'd have probably joined then and there after receiving that first Twitter message.

I feel calm to be part of a group which is outspoken in its beliefs, and unafraid to name the beast of capitalism. The Socialist Party doesn't shy away from fighting for reforms, and we have an outright commitment to dismantle capitalism, and in its place rebuild a better system - socialism. A breath of fresh air.

It's a million miles away from Starmer telling me 'BLM is just a moment, and soon the status quo will be restored'. Why should we be asked to put more energy into propping up this failing status quo when, instead, together, we could tear it down?

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In The Socialist 17 November 2021:


NHS

Cuts drag NHS to brink

NHS workers must take action now to save our NHS

Outsourced Barts health workers in strike ballot for a pay rise

Health and care staff shortages worsened by Tory vaccine sacking threat

Fund the fight for socialism


News

London MPs' second home swindle while workers and students struggle

Tory sleaze scandal continues, an ex-workers' MP responds

University bosses' pay piles up while workers are forced to strike


COP26

Youth fight for well-paid green jobs and socialist change

Sunak's climate finance agenda typifies capitalism's COP26 failure


China

China: Bureaucracy grapples with new crises


International

Ten years on - where has Podemos's radicalism gone?

Belarus refugees - caught between a rock and a hard place


Workplace news

S Wales Stagecoach bus drivers win 10.50 an hour

DVLA ballot turnout falls short of threshold

Striking Scunthorpe steel scaffs up the ante

Leeds cab drivers protest against taxi rank move

Fresh strikes on East Midlands Railway

An appeal to trade union members to stand as anti-cuts candidates

Clarks workers fight 'fire-and-rehire' pay cut

London couriers take action

St Mungo's report fails to address bullying and victimisation of workers


Campaigns

Resisting evictions in east London

Leeds solidarity protest says stop Sudan coup

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Why am I coming to Socialism 2021?

Birmingham People's Budget


Readers' opinion

Readers' opinion


 

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