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From: The Socialist issue 1034, 20 March 2019: Youth strikes show the way - mass action can oust Tories

Search site for keywords: Youth - Tories - Strikes - Socialist - Climate change - Rich

Youth strikes show the way - mass action can oust Tories

  (Click to enlarge)

Tom Baldwin, Socialist Party national committee

On 15 March, young people marched out of their schools and colleges and took to the streets for the second youth strike against climate change. The inspirational protests brought out tens of thousands of people across the country in a mass action repeated at over 2,000 sites around the world.

In Bristol, the strikers chanted "system change not climate change". The system change needed is socialist change. With just 100 companies responsible for over 70% of climate emissions, it is clear that big business is killing our planet. Capitalism's incessant drive for profit has been put ahead of even the future of life on earth.

Climate change is not the only threat to the future of the young protesters. Capitalism has left a wasteland of prospects. Low-paid, insecure jobs are becoming the norm, as is over-priced, privately rented housing. Those seeking a university education are being saddled with enormous debts.

The Tories' and Blairites' austerity programme has made this situation worse. They've deliberately picked the pockets of ordinary people, young and old, in order to give even more to their super-rich mates.

People are growing increasingly frustrated with the spectacle of parliament. Out-of-touch politicians are scrapping over the details of Brexit while the main issues facing people's lives go unanswered.

Theresa May could be forced into seeking a delay to Brexit, underlining her complete lack of authority. However, this government by the rich and for the rich has little prospect of bringing forward anything significantly different. While they remain in office, a delay will only prolong the arguments without answering any questions.

That's why we need mass action to force the Tories out. The youth strike is a great example and an inspiration to follow. Strikes of workers are even more effective, as they hit the bosses' profits. We're strongest when we stand together.

A coordinated series of strikes and protests could rapidly finish the Tories off. Corbyn should be using his position to make the call for such action and mobilise working-class people to fight back.

And we must fight not just the Tories, but also to end the profits-at-all-costs capitalist system that they support. We need a socialist alternative, where the wealth of society is owned collectively by the working class which creates it. Only then can the future of our planet and the people living on it be properly prioritised, as part of a democratic, socialist plan of the economy.

See recent editorial of the Socialist:

Only socialist planning can save the environment

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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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