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Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1027, 30 January 2019: Austerity out, Tories out

Search site for keywords: East Midlands - Midlands - Socialist - Socialist Party - Rob Williams - Nottingham - Fighting Fund

East Midlands conference: Getting ready for the big upheavals in 2019

East Midlands Socialist Party, photo Mike Barker

East Midlands Socialist Party, photo Mike Barker   (Click to enlarge)

Clare Wilkins and Sebastian Motley

34 delegates attended in the recent East Midlands Socialist Party conference in Nottingham to discuss the political situation and prospects for building the party in 2019. It was lively and full of discussion and debate, many giving their views and reports of what they've done - a great way for members to connect.

Rob Williams from the executive committee introduced the morning discussion on political perspectives - in which he touched upon the developing crisis in Venezuala, the 'gilets jaunes' (yellow vests) movement in France, the slowdown and contradictions in the world economy and, not least, the crisis in British politics over the Brexit impasse. This latter crisis could go on for weeks and months but we need to prepare for an early general election.

Rob emphasised that the worker's movement must lead movements against the Tories and austerity or else this can leave a political vacuum for the populist right to exploit.

Regional organiser Tessa Warrington introduced the afternoon session on party building and regional secretary Steve Score summed up the discussion.

Tessa praised the party branches' involvement in local community campaigns, and their interventions in Pride events, anti-Trump protests, Corbyn rallies, and industrial disputes, including the UCU strike.

Successes

The number of party public stalls has increased and we raised 187% of our fighting fund target in the last quarter. The conference financial appeal raised a magnificent 531.16.

31 people joined the party in the region last year and branches must ensure that new members are fully integrated into the party campaigns and structures.

Examples of party initiatives aimed at encouraging young people to join were given, which included the establishment of Young Socialists and Socialist Students groups.

The gilets jaunes movement has shown that struggles against the capitalist system can arise at any time. We must be ready. We have the commitment, consciousness and dedication to build the Socialist Party in the East Midlands.

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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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