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International Socialist Resistance
Fight for your future
What does capitalism mean to young people? More than ever it compels us to fight back if we want any kind of future. We are the first generation since World War Two to be facing a worse life than our parents. And the frustration and anger at this situation is taking its toll both in Britain and internationally.
France was wracked by riots against unemployment, poverty and the racism of the French state at the end of last year. Sadly, one young woman in London has taken her life under the pressure of student debt. To avoid more lives being wrecked we have to fight for an alternative.
Oxfam claim that the Make Poverty History (MPH) campaign mobilised a generation of politically active young people. But it's the conditions we live in that are forcing us to become politically active and to try to understand why things are the way they are. MPH has changed nothing - we need to know how we can change things.
Liz Leaver, Oxfam's youth co-ordinator says "More young people than ever want to take action, and are now looking for the best way to get involved." The best way to get involved is through ISR and Socialist Students. We try and fight back, through the campaigns we initiate and are involved in.
Lambeth Socialist Students has played a key role in initiating a canteen boycott involving students across four campuses and gaining 1,500 signatures on a petition demanding affordable healthy food. In Exeter, when Socialist Students announced their plans to launch a campaign against the arms trade at Exeter University the management crumbled straight away! In Cardiff, we have been recruiting young workers to the trade unions by explaining that by standing together we can achieve much more.
At the ISR and Socialist Students conference there will be a speaker from Bolivia on the fight-back against privatisation of the water, an anti-fascist student activist from Belgium, the convenor of the PCS youth section (personal capacity) and an eye-witness report from the World Social Forum and the revolution in Venezuela.
Most importantly, there will be time for us all to exchange ideas and experiences, to vote on our campaigning priorities for the next year and to plan how to take the struggle forward.
This week we will be stepping up the campaigning in the run-up to the conference. We will be making sure that everyone we know who is fed up with the way the world is knows that they can come along and get involved.
In Bath, we've met college students who want to join us in the fight to stop the sell-off of the NHS. In Reading, we will be 'guerrilla' leafleting young workers in low-paid work places with the Know Your Rights at Work cards. In Plymouth, where the BNP have been putting up posters, we have been meeting up with young people who want to make sure there is a clear socialist alternative in the city.
New members of Leyton ISR, Emily and Edith say "ISR is the way forward, for freedom of speech, to say what you feel. They are the only ones who listen to your views and actually try to make the world a better place for young people".
International Socialist Resistance and Socialist Students
Saturday 4 March, 10am-5pm,
Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1
In The Socialist 16 February 2006: