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Rosa Luxemburg


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From: The Socialist issue 571, 19 March 2009: Fight tuition fees: fight for jobs: fight for a future!

Search site for keywords: Rosa Luxemburg - Women

International Women's Day

Rosa Luxemburg - still relevant today

LONDON SOCIALIST Party's international women's day meeting discussed the huge effect this recession will have on women. The rate of redundancy is higher for women and more households now depend on a single wage. A quarter of all households are led by single parents, 90% of whom are women.

Margaret Trotter

Woolworths closed recently, destroying up to 30,000 jobs from a largely female workforce. Yet there was no evidence of an organised fight-back led by shopworkers' Union USDAW.

By contrast, we watched Bread and Roses - an uplifting film directed by Ken Loach telling of the battle fought by cleaners, mainly female, in America in the 1990s. They won union recognition and secured employment rights.

The meeting's central discussion was on the role of Rosa Luxemburg, a Polish revolutionary living and fighting in the early 1900s.

Her Russian contemporary Leon Trotsky said "by the force of the strength of her theoretical thought and her ability to generalise Rosa Luxemburg was a whole head above not only her opponents but also her comrades. She was a woman of genius."

Rosa lived through the period of the Russian revolution, and was an activist in the German SPD, then the largest workers' party on earth. She died in 1919, betrayed by that party's movement to the right.

Rosa Luxemburg's book Reform or Revolution, written to explain and criticise the reformist swing of the SPD is relevant today in Britain as people search for reasons for the Labour Party's failure to deliver a fair and equal society.

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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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