Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/6590

Posted on 13 November 2008 at 0:00 GMT

Socialism 2008

Making the case for socialism

Socialism 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

Socialism 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

IN FRONT of a stage backed with the words: 'Socialism 2008, making the case for socialism', 900 people gathered in the main hall of Friends Meeting House, Euston, for the centrepiece event of Socialism 2008.

Socialism 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

Socialism 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

The rally got off to a rousing start with the showing of a specially-made film covering the recent upheavals in the world economy and the political consequences and reactions. Then the rapt attention of the audience was held through the course of eleven invited speakers (interspersed with more film), all of whom added without exception to the event's success.

Robbie Segal, who recently gained 40.6% of the vote in an election for the general secretary of shopworkers' union Usdaw, was the opening speaker. She explained that 360,000 households - mainly of low paid workers - had received her socialist message during the election, and she thanked Socialist Party members and supporters who had distributed her leaflets in their local shops. >>View video of Robbie's speech (8:24 mins)>>mp3 audio of Robbie's speech

Janice Godrich, president of the Public and Commercial Services union, spoke of how craven the leaders of most of the Labour-affiliated trade unions are in the way they support Labour's pro-market agenda and just accept scraps that are thrown back in return.

She reminded the audience that it is not a natural progression of events for trade union leaders to sell out their members, and that the PCS leaders are different. Although the national PCS strike planned for 10 November was called off to allow talks to take place, the action will be restored if necessary. >>View video of Janice Godrich's speech (11:14 mins)>>mp3 audio of Janice Godrich's speech

A Fords worker from the Southampton Fords plant outlined the struggle that has taken place so far to save the plant from closure. He paid tribute to local and national Socialist Party members for their help in the campaign. (No filming was allowed.)

Tony Mulhearn, the president of Liverpool Labour Party during its battle with the Thatcher government in the 1980s, said that Gordon Brown bringing back Peter Mandelson into the cabinet is like inviting Dracula to be in charge of a blood bank or Billy Bunter to take charge of the school tuck shop. As socialists did in the 1980s, it is urgent again now to campaign for jobs, homes and a future for all young people. >>View video of Tony Mulhearn's speech (14:46 mins) >>mp3 audio of Tony Mulhearn's speech

Natalie Powell-Davies, 14, made an excellent and moving speech about the election campaign which led her to become the deputy youth mayor of Lewisham in London. She said that although young people don't like careerist politicians, they are interested in politics and will vote for real change. >>View video of Natalie's speech (3:19 mins) >>mp3 audio of Natalie's speech

Onay Kasab, one of the four Unison members being witch-hunted by their own union, said that the four were only guilty of demanding "democracy not bureaucracy". He outlined the recent admirable work of his Greenwich council union branch in defending a worker who was sacked for being pregnant and another worker who is disabled. >>View video of Onay Kasab's speech (10:05 mins) >>mp3 audio of Onay Kasab's speech

International

Nicos Anastasiadis, from Xekinima in Greece, reported on the new left formation in Greece, Syriza. Over the last two years Greek workers have come to the fore in what has been "the most determined movement since the start of the 1990s". Both the main political parties are falling in standing, and Syriza has great potential, especially if it adopts a socialist programme. >>View video of Nicos Anastasiadis' speech (14:12 mins) >>mp3 audio of Nicos Anastasiadis' speech

Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the Socialist Party, voiced most people's relief at the departure of US president Bush and described the victory of Obama as "a defining moment". He made a number of points about the world economic crisis, and called for "the nationalisation of the whole British banking system and a state monopoly of foreign trade". We are witnessing "a generalised crisis of capitalism. .... The whole situation is crying out for socialist ideas". >>View video of Peter Taaffe's speech (33:38 mins) >>mp3 audio of Peter Taaffe's speech

David Redelberger, a German school student, described the scope of the present movement in his country's schools. There will be school strikes in 40 cities on Wednesday 12 November. He had needed to "look up on a map" where some of the new student committees are springing up. >>View video of David Redelberger's speech (9:52 mins) >>mp3 audio of David Redelberger's speech

Christel Dicembre from the group 'Lotta' in Italy also spoke of a huge movement against education cuts. One million school students demonstrated in Rome on 6 November and two million university students are expected to demonstrate on 14 November. It is the biggest student movement in Italy for 30 years. >>View video of Christel Dicembre's speech (5:13 mins) >>mp3 audio of Christel Dicembre's speech

Fang Guoli, a Chinese socialist, in the final speech of the rally gave a flavour of the tens of thousands of strikes and demonstrations that are taking place in China every year, and explained that although the highly repressed Chinese workers' movement is still relatively unorganised, the power of workers is "increasing by the day". (No filming was allowed.)

There were lots of interesting discussions and some inspiring speakers. I went to the session on the 1918 German revolution and it gave me an insight into a period of history that isn't widely known, even in the labour and trade union movement. We can all learn important lessons from it for the future.

Claire Laker-Mansfield, Brighton

I was very impressed, especially with the talk about how the Socialist Party is campaigning for free education. I very much liked hearing about the campaigning work for socialism in China as well.

Dan Collins, Worcesteshire

Because I had to go to a wedding I could only make it to the session on Pakistan. It was insightful, unintimidating and everyone was drawn into the discussion. I learned a lot. You can quote me on that!

Kay Shipley, Walthamstow

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Socialism:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Young people need socialism!

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: Why do women need socialism?

triangleWhy do young people need socialism?

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: What is Socialism?

Socialist:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: "You can't have capitalism without racism" (Malcolm X)

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

triangleWarrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangleWirral Socialist Party: Lessons of the 1936 French Popular Front

Socialism 2008:

triangleDrop the witch-hunt in Unison fight to Defend trade union democracy

triangleVideos of the debate between the Socialist Party and the SWP

triangleVideos of Socialism 2008 Rally

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/10/17

Cleaners

Justice for Tube cleaners demo

11/10/17

Salford

Salford Unison condemns pay cuts

11/10/17

Royal Mail

CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

11/10/17

Carlisle

Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP

11/10/17

Green

Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

11/10/17

Fire

No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

11/10/17

Cardiff

Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

11/10/17

John McDonnell

Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation

11/10/17

Orgreave

Join the Orgreave Halloween rally

11/10/17

Union

Workplace news in brief

11/10/17

Democratic rights

Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

6/10/17

Northern Ireland

Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

5/10/17

Runcorn

Too much to cross the Mersey

4/10/17

Royal Mail

Set for national strike action

4/10/17

London

Supporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2