A teenage lad came over to say get the “Tories out”. And, both he, and one of his mates, donated to the Socialist Party fighting fund as well.
They had remembered us from last time. So they took our leaflets, a Socialist paper, and some updated Socialist Party LGBTQ+ charters, saying: “We should be fighting for equality for all.”
Swindon: “Keep up the fight”
After supporting the picket line in Swindon – part of the national rail strike – we held a Socialist Party campaign stall in the town centre. We focused on our upcoming Socialist Students work that we’re planning at the local college.
We met a former Labour councillor, who was dismayed at the state of that party. We discussed the history of Swindon’s workers’ movement with a lifelong trade unionist; and one man who simply stopped to shake each of our hands, and tell us to keep up the fight!
New Socialist Party members – young college students – got to join us on campaign activity for the first time.
Like all Socialist Party campaign activity, they got to meet all manner of workers and youth on the stall and picket line. There’s no better place to learn about the class struggle than in the Socialist Party!
Dewsbury: Fighting Kirklees council cuts
Socialist Party members have been campaigning against Kirklees council cuts in Dewsbury town centre.
Over the weeks of campaigns the scale of the cuts has seemed to get worse, with arms-length leisure service providers ‘Kirklees Active Leisure’ now guaranteeing to keep only Huddersfield and Spen Valley leisure centres open. This time last year it ran 13 centres across Kirklees!
On our first stall we found that many people were still shocked about the proposals, but a week later there was far more awareness of the cuts and a bigger mood to discuss what we could do about them.
We promoted the upcoming lobby of the council on 18 October, but also explained the need for the council to fight for the funding needed to keep services open. Many people agreed that an incoming Labour government could pledge to restore council funding, making these cuts by a Labour council totally unnecessary.
Dewsbury is among a number of towns to have been granted £20 million from the ‘levelling-up fund’, but this money hasn’t been granted for keeping public services running; instead it’s for ‘sprucing up’ town centres. As one person signing our petition commented: “What’s the point in putting planters in our town centre to make it look nice if we don’t have a leisure centre or anything else people want to come here for!”
Coventry: Scrap hospital parking charges
We got over 100 signatures on our petition to scrap hospital parking charges. One nurse, who signed the petition, told us she can barely afford them.
When NHS workers are struggling like never before, it is absurd that a hospital car park charges nearly £700 a year for staff to park there. And over £1,500 a year if they don’t have a pass. It’s all just so a private company can keep making profit.
Alongside anger at the charges, more workers are looking for an alternative to crisis-ridden capitalism. We also had a striking worker ask about joining the Socialist Party.
And more people are doing that, alongside getting a regular copy of the Socialist delivered, and coming to our regular meetings.