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London post-demo NSSN meeting
Trade unionists crammed into a pub room for the National Shop Stewards Network's post-demo meeting on 10th July, spilling out on to the pavement.
It's becoming a bit of a tradition for activists after a strike demo in London to come for a drink with the NSSN, talk over the day and discuss 'what next', and have the opportunity to get up on a chair to speak.
We always also involve new trade unionists, new reps, many of whom have never before had this sort of opportunity to discuss what needs to be done, and who enthusiastically respond to the ideas of the NSSN and of socialists.
This time we joined up with a delegation from the GMB, including general secretary Paul Kenny, who made a welcome impromptu speech and promised further coordinated action in the autumn.
Striker and NUT NEC member Martin Powell-Davies chaired the informal meeting, and Rob Williams, chair of the NSSN, Suzanne Muna branch secretary of housing Unite branch 1111, and Bryan Kennedy, victimised Unite convenor, also spoke.
As well as strikers and other trade unionists, the speakers included Socialist Party general secretary Peter Taaffe, who explained about the fantastic movement in America for $15Now. Peter condemned the Labour leader Ed Miliband for refusing to back the strikes and called for trade unions to take a step towards a new party that represents working class people.
The GMB stewards especially agreed with Peter's call for union organisers to come from the workplace instead of unions always recruiting organisers straight from university. "Today we have seen the potential power of the working class".
Dean Gilligan (GMB regional committee) who reported on a successful strike was so enthused he agreed to come on to the NSSN national steering committee.
The room was abuzz with discussion about how to build towards the general strike action that is necessary, and lots of new workers signed up to the NSSN.
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 14 July 2014 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.