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May Day

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From: The Socialist issue 1041, 8 May 2019: Strikes can get results

Search site for keywords: Leeds - May Day

Socialist vision at Leeds May Day rally

Socialist Party members on the Leeds May Day march, 4.5.19, photo Suzanne Beishon

Socialist Party members on the Leeds May Day march, 4.5.19, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Leeds Socialist Party

"If we want a society that doesn't destroy our planet, then it is up to us, working-class people, to come together and fight for it.

"All that this capitalist system does is put the interests of big business and their profits first.

"We need real, socialist change, based on public ownership, democratic control and meeting the needs of the many, not the few."

This was the message from Leeds TUC secretary and Socialist Party member Tanis Belsham-Wray at this year's May Day rally.

Around 300 attended the march and rally with an increased number of trade union branch banners present.

The rally included fiery speeches from Bfawu food workers' union president Ian Hodson and Leeds East Corbynista MP Richard Burgon.

We heard from local campaigning groups such as the LS26 Homes campaign, fighting profiteering housing developers in Oulton on the outskirts of the city.

The rally also heard of the success of the Deal campaign of parents over special educational needs and disabilities (Send) school transport funding and their forthcoming protest against funding cuts on 30 June.

After the demonstration, a question and answer session on trade unions was held with Ian Hodson and local Unison activist and Socialist Party member Ben Mayor.

This discussion was proposed by young delegates on Leeds TUC including Socialist Party members and was a huge success with 45 predominantly young people attending.

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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.
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