Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/455/5558
Why we joined the Socialist Party
BILLY MATHER and AMY TAYLOR have both recently joined the Socialist Party in Southampton. Here they give their reasons why they joined. If you're reading this and aren't already a member why don't you join too? Get involved and add your voice to the fight to build an alternative to this rotten system.
I was furious and upset that Great Britain and America carried out an unjust war against Iraq despite a two million-strong protest in London. I felt as though I had no voice to speak out against injustice.
I managed to turn my anger into something more positive by signing petitions opposing things I felt were unjust. Certain films I'd seen and songs I had been listening to contained socialist themes or ideas and I looked up 'Socialism' in the dictionary. I then found out about a local Socialist Party branch meeting and I went along to find out more.
It is harder to ignore an organised group as opposed to an individual. It is reassuring to know your ideas and feelings are shared with people of many ages and different backgrounds.
Socialism is about equality, justice and compassion for others. The ideals of socialism can be applied in all aspects of life, including learning.
I REALISED that there wasn't much fairness in the world around me. It seemed ridiculous that there are people all over the world that are suffering when the people who run the country live the most comfortable lives of all.
Events like the invasion of Lebanon made me realise how frustrated I was and I wanted a chance to be able to do something about it.
Until recently I wasn't really aware of socialist ideas, but learning about the anti-war campaigns that the Socialist Party was involved in made me want to join and say what I think. We are currently campaigning against war and terror - I am asking people to sign the petition and read our views about the war in Lebanon, and trying to get socialist ideas across.
I went to a branch meeting in my local area and it was exciting to see and hear people sharing the same ideas and concerns that I had. It's easy to be angry at the world, but at the same time it's just as easy to conclude that there is nothing you can do about it.
Being in the party gives me the chance to ask questions, become more aware of what is actually happening in the world, and also gives me the encouragement to do something about it.
Students have a lot on their plate, trying to juggle fees, rent, a part-time job, studies, and also a life outside of all these things. The problem is that if students can't manage, then what can they do about it?
If socialist ideas, including the right to a free education and not being forced to put their studies last, provides an alternative, then I think plenty of students will be interested.
In The Socialist 21 September 2006:
War and occupation
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Youth and Education
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis