Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/413/4695
Rally for socialism
A weekend of debate and discussion organised by the Socialist Party, 12-13 November
Rally for socialism
6-9 pm Saturday 12 November
Friends Meeting House - 173 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ (nearest tube and mainline station Euston)
"YOU AND your idealised socialist world" fumed Sir Digby Jones, director general of the CBI, as he launched an assault on Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the civil servants trade union (PCS) on Channel 4 news last week.
Sir Digby claimed to be fighting for private sector workers as he 'spat blood' at the audacity of public-sector workers using the threat of strike action to force the government to partially withdraw their plans to launch an onslaught on public sector pensions.
The truth is a bit different. The biggest gap in pension provision is not between public and private sector but between the few at the top and the rest of us.
In the private sector top executives retire on six-figure sums, while millions of workers receive no contributions from their employers at all.
In the public sector government ministers and Whitehall Mandarins are looking at very comfortable pension packages, while the average civil servant currently retires on less than £4,000 a year.
For Sir Digby, if you dare to oppose the relentless drive of the multinational companies to maximise their profits, you are dreaming of a 'socialist paradise'. The conclusion that many workers are starting to draw is - if it is socialists who are leading the struggle to protect our pay and conditions - let's find out more about socialism.
Socialism 2005 is an opportunity to do just that. The centrepiece of the weekend will be the Rally for Socialism from 6pm-9.30pm on Saturday evening.
Mark Serwotka (left) will be speaking alongside many other socialists and campaigners.
They will include a representative of the US anti-war campaign Military Families Speak Out whose brother is serving in Iraq, a live-link up with socialists working in the earthquake zone in Kashmir, Joe Higgins, the Socialist Party MP in Ireland who recently went to jail for a month for leading a campaign against unfair taxation, Peter Taaffe general secretary of the Socialist Party, and many more.
If you want to know more about socialist ideas - make sure you come to Socialism 2005 - and particularly the Rally for Socialism.
Lessons of the Gama dispute - how to build trade unions amongst immigrant workers. Introduced by Joe Higgins, Socialist Party TD (MP), Ireland.
Over the last few years immigration into Britain has increased. Around 14,000 workers are arriving in Britain from Eastern Europe every month. The vast majority are suffering extreme exploitation in low paid work.
One of the key tasks for trade unions in Britain is to reach and organise these workers.
In Ireland, the Socialist Party played a leading role in a struggle to defend a group of Turkish construction workers who were being paid only £1.50 an hour and working up to 84 hours a week!
As a result of the heroic struggle of these workers, assisted by the Socialist Party, they were able to win all the back pay they were entitled to.
Joe Higgins explains how it was done and what the lessons are for trade unionists.
Venue for all other sessions and workshops University of London Union (ULU), Malet St, London WC1. Sessions will be between 2 - 5 pm on
Saturday and between 10 am and 4.30 pm on Sunday.
Ticket costs: For waged: £10 for rally and £20 for weekend. For unwaged and minimum wage: £5 for rally and £10 for weekend. Make cheques payable to 'Socialism' and send to PO Box 24697, London, E11 1YD.
For regular updates on the agenda and speakers go to:
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In The Socialist 27 October 2005: