Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/786/17648
Building the fightback - building the Socialist Party
Socialist Party branches across England and Wales have been carrying out recruitment weeks of action, concentrating their weekly stalls and meetings on asking people to join the Socialist Party, as opposed to a particular campaigning issue. Here are some reports from the week, to go alongside the reports in issue 767.
See socialistparty.org.uk/main/contact for details of Socialist Party meetings in your area
Southampton Socialist Party held a meeting as a follow on to our 'join the socialists' stall of the previous weekend.
Phil, who is one of our newer members, explained what had prompted him to join the Socialist Party. He gave a heartfelt speech about his anger regarding the inequalities he saw in society and the appalling treatment being meted out to those in receipt of benefits.
An outline of what we do was given which ranged from our role in helping to build the National Shop Stewards Network and leading the call for a 24-hour general strike, to our successful involvement in local campaigns and in particular our support for the two Southampton 'rebel' councillors, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas and their refusal to vote for cuts.
This led on to the importance of standing anti-cuts electoral candidates under the banner of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.
After this introduction, everyone joined in a lively and enthusiastic discussion.
Three young people, Charlie, Georgia and Rory, attended their first meeting. What better way to end an excellent evening than to hear that all three of them wanted to find out more about socialism and had decided to attend the Socialism 2013 weekend.
Over the past two weeks Leicester Socialist Party has recruited three new members, with four more people in discussions about joining.
This has been helped by hard work done during and since the universities' fresher fairs.
We also started a Friday campaigning stall, in addition to our Saturday stall, in an area where public sector workers come out at lunchtime.
This has proved really successful and we've met several people who have shown interest in joining, two of which have already attended a meeting.
Last Saturday we tried a 'join the socialists' stall, which two of our new members took part in. Three 'join' cards were filled in with eleven copies of the Socialist sold.
We've also been instrumental in gaining a new member in the South West. Fighting the cuts came up in a Leicester member's phone discussion with a relative.
We sent the relative a copy of the Socialist; they contacted the regional organiser and have now joined. It just goes to show that you never know where the next SP member will turn up!
A previous attempt at a 'join the socialists' stall was postponed due to bad weather, so on Saturday 26 October Newcastle Socialist Party members were eager to replicate the success of other branches.
Alongside papers, we were all armed with 'join' leaflets and recruitment cards. Also, our stall looked very smart. We were raring to go.
From the onset there was a definite buzz about the stall. Some of us used petitions, others called to passers-by: "Join the fightback! Join the socialists!" Most importantly, all of us were getting stuck in.
Two join cards were filled in, and another person gave a £5 donation.
Another remarked that she often signed our petition. When asked if she had considered joining us she said no - but she would now give it some serious thought.
On a picket line last week, in driving rain, alongside interviewing strikers for our reports, we also asked if they'd considered joining the Socialist Party.
One said he'd seen us supporting their strikes on numerous occasions, was impressed by our commitment, and although he'd never thought about it before would consider joining. He bought a paper, took a recruitment card and details of our website.
Another said she'd been impressed that we always showed up on picket lines, and had thought about joining us.
She bought a paper and has said she'd try and get along to public meetings, and may join us in the future.
The week highlighted that workers are looking towards us - we have to always ensure they know we want them to join!
In The Socialist 30 October 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party NHS campaigning
Readers' reviews and comments