Now you should join too
Nadia Ditta, Southampton East Socialist Party
When the war on Palestine started, I felt helpless. I started going to the London protests.
I would hold up placards with the Socialist Party sign. I would see campaign stalls everywhere. When I attended vigils in Southampton, I saw the same placards.
At the time, the call for a ceasefire was being asked. Being from Bevios ward, I had already emailed our Labour councillors and MP asking where they stand. Out of the four, only two replied. The same generic email most people were getting nationwide.
My MP voted ‘no’ for the ceasefire, which further added to my frustration.
No one was listening. No one was listening to the people who voted them in. At this time, a friend invited me to a Socialist Party meeting.
After the meeting, I realised that I had finally found a party that was for the working class. Who were out here fighting for our basic rights. Whose every single policy I agreed with.
Here in front of me was an amazing alternative. I started telling all my friends and family about the Socialist Party.
We don’t have to constantly be stuck between Labour and Tories. People either don’t vote or go for who they feel as the lesser of the two evils.
The more I attended meetings, the more I understood. The more I came to the realisation that my area, and people of my area, needed this positive change.
My area has been neglected and deprived for 20 years. With every single cut, everyone was made to just accept all services being taken away.
It’s been a Labour safe seat for decades, and no changes are made.
I arranged a meeting for the community, so I could introduce the Socialist Party and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). We spent weeks distributing leaflets, door knocking, and speaking to locals.
The sheer frustration is so relatable. During this, I realised if I wanted the best for my area, if I wanted change, I had to lead the way, and show people the change. The only way would be to stand as a candidate.
This was welcomed by so many of my community. There has been a buzz of hope since then.
From that day, I haven’t stopped.
I have, as a local resident, been a part of the ‘Save The Venny’ campaign. It is the only green space we have for our whole area. This has been fully supported by the Socialist Party.
It’s been neglected, and not been invested in. Before the consultation to close the park ended, we protested outside, and held a community meeting. We were on two radio stations, and front page of the local paper, Daily Echo.
The Labour council claims it’s closing The Venny due to antisocial behaviour. But the council is not providing an alternative. It actually needs investment to make it into a safe space for our children and youth.
This has made people of my community realise that unless we speak up, unless we demand our rights, then nothing will change.
In order for anything to change, we have to change. We need a voice.