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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 February 2013

Socialist Party regional conferences

Building the fightback

East Midlands

East Midlands Socialist Party (SP) held a successful and inspirational regional conference on Sunday 3 February.

We started with a video of campaigns and events we have been involved in during 2012, from picket lines and demonstrations to campaign stalls and public meetings.

Hannah Sell, SP deputy general secretary, introduced 'worldwide austerity and workers fight back'.

We heard about the tragic consequences of austerity on the working class but also about the determination to struggle to stop these attacks.

Particularly inspirational was hearing about the launch of the new mass workers' party in South Africa.

This was linked to building the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in Britain and our demand for a 24-hour general strike, as well as the increase in new international members in the East Midlands.

We held workshops on work in the trade unions, among young people, among women and building SP branches.

A report from regional secretary Steve Score reflected on the campaigns we've been involved in and we discussed plans to develop branches in new areas over the next year.

Karen Seymour, regional fighting fund organiser, gave an excellent fighting fund appeal which raised 180.

Members left the conference feeling our 'batteries had been recharged' and well prepared to take part in and lead bigger movements against austerity this year.

Becci Heagney


Around 50 people attended this year's Yorkshire Socialist Party regional conference, held in Leeds on 2-3 February.

A trade unionist involved in the Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust strike introduced a report from that dispute.

This inspirational struggle against pay cuts shows how workers are prepared to fight back against austerity.

In the session on Britain, London SP secretary Paula Mitchell highlighted the SP's role in leading struggles against the cuts and offering a clear alternative to working class people.

Yorkshire organiser Iain Dalton outlined the key priorities of youth work, SP branch development and trade union work.

Workshops on each of these themes examined how the party can build across the region through political education and branch activity.

The second day of the conference was introduced by Judy Beishon, CWI International Secretariat. Judy highlighted global turmoil and instability arising out of the crisis of capitalism, but also the potential for building mass revolutionary parties, as was demonstrated in South Africa. We held workshops on Greece, Israel/Palestine and South Africa.

The fighting fund appeal raised an excellent 607.

Michael Docherty, Harrogate Socialist Party


On 27 January, SP members from across the southern region met up for a conference in Southampton.

CWI International Secretariat member Clare Doyle spoke on world perspectives with encouraging reports on South Africa and China, among many other important developments taking place in the international arena.

There were three well-attended commissions: youth and student work, trade unions, and women and socialism.

In the commission I attended, trade union work, there was strong emphasis on supporting the National Shop Stewards Network.

Unite's 'community' membership was discussed and it was generally agreed that if it was linked to a programme in defeating the government cuts, it could be valuable in uniting the unemployed and the disabled into the struggle.

James Bibey, Bracknell Socialist Party

Environment book

Pete Dickenson introduced a discussion on his book, Planning for the Planet - How Socialism Could Save the Environment, at the Brick Lane bookshop in Tower Hamlets, London, on 31 January.

Another talk will be held at the Housman's bookshop in Kings Cross on 27 March. Contact 020 8988 8777 for more details and to book your place, or to get your copy of the book.

Order your copy now to get a special offer of 7 including postage and packaging. See

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In The Socialist 6 February 2013:

Socialist Party NHS campaigning

Fight to save NHS

Revolt against pay cuts strengthened at Mid-Yorkshire NHS

Lewisham hospital protests continue

Whipps Cross workers prepare for fight against jobs and pay cuts

Scrap PFI, not our hospitals

Socialist Party news and analysis

Cracks in the coalition - we must take advantage of the divided enemy

As Gove attacks teachers: NUT leaders - delay no longer

Childcare plans spell disaster

Them & Us

Socialist Party feature

Organised fightback needed to save council services

Socialist Party reviews and comments

Cut tax dodging not benefits

Film review: Steven Spielberg's Lincoln

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Brutal cuts announced in Cardiff

Derby Labour councillors 'oppose' cuts - then vote for them

Tamil Solidarity looks at 65 years of 'independence' in Sri Lanka

Support the Socialist with a May Day greeting

Socialist Party regional conferences

Socialist Party workplace news

Workers tell Bromley council: We won't sign up to your plans

Labour cuts better than Tory ones?

Attempts to force Unison branches to affiliate to Labour

London mayor pressing ahead with fire service cuts

Workplace news in brief

International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Battle for control of mining sector


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