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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 November 2014

Leicester party building school

Caroline Vincent, Leicester Socialist Party

Our party is not funded in the same way as the mainstream parties - we don't get corporate handouts. We rely on the money we raise through campaigning.

On 11 October, Leicester branch posed the question "why do we do stalls?" We were holding a day school on building a revolutionary party. We assembled at a cafe in Leicester town centre, ordered coffee and bacon sandwiches, and kicked off the discussion.

Fundraising

Members made many suggestions, such as raising the profile of the party, promoting upcoming events and testing out our ideas. Our key reasons for doing stalls were meeting potential members, selling the Socialist newspaper and collecting donations for our fighting fund.

The economic situation means the majority we meet are earning minimum wage or little more, are in precarious employment, or are affected by government cutbacks in some way. For this reason we can sometimes be shy when asking for cash. But since donations from the working class are vital to our work, we agreed to be both sensitive and bold.

We also went through logistical and organisational points, including dressing appropriately for the weather and bringing pens that actually work! Then we turned theory into action, and took our ideas to the street with a two hour town centre stall.

Using petitions for a 10 an hour minimum wage, we asked for donations by giving concrete examples of how money would be spent, such as printing material. We enthusiastically sold the Socialist, pointing out the front page article on striking to end poverty pay. Even the rain couldn't dampen our spirits - fortunately some of us had brought umbrellas, displaying how well prepared we are!

Three people had expressed an interest in joining, ten papers were sold, and an impressive 32 fight-ing fund had been raised. Clearly our bold approach had been a success!

Recruiting

After ordering more coffee (with cake this time) we discussed recruitment. We gave examples of things to say when we phone potential members, and how best to arrange a meeting for discussion. Contact details were assigned, with a plan to phone them all within 48 hours.

We ended the day with a social event where homemade curry raised a further 20 for the fighting fund.

The day left us full of renewed confidence and fresh ideas - and a good start towards hitting our branch's fighting fund and paper sales targets for this quarter.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 12 November 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

We can win 10 an hour

Socialism '14: infused with contagious confidence

'A magical fairyland' of corporate tax avoiders

What recovery? Thousands more jobs axed

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Afghanistan war: A legacy of death and destruction

Mid-term elections do not mean shift to right in US


Socialist history

25 years after the Berlin Wall fell


Socialist Party youth and students

Build the education fightback

Fight for our future!


Socialist Party workplace news

St Mungo's strikers celebrate victory

Care UK workers to ballot on 2% pay deal

Sheffield recycling: 'We're out until the boss is out'

Crane drivers tell HTC: It's time to pay up!

Fight JCB's 150 job cuts

London RMT: Vote John Reid


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Leading Scottish trade unionists back TUSC

Leicester party building school


Reviews and readers' comments

Exhibition review: Disobedient Objects

Theatre Review: United We Stand

Little charity from high paid care bosses

Labour - the singer or the song?

Flawed maths of the bedroom tax


Obituary

Heulwen Davies 1960-2014


 

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Related links:

Leicester:

triangleThe story of Joe Clough - Britain's first black bus driver

triangleStriking Brush workers continue to protest 'fire and rehire'

triangleLeicester private healthcare tragedy

triangleLeicester University workers strike against redundancies

triangleSave Leicester General Hospital

Fighting Fund:

triangleWe need funds to fight Tory NHS attacks

triangleFighting Fund target smashed!

triangleNational finance meeting

trianglePalestine protesters donate to fund socialist material

Socialist Party:

triangleCumbria Socialist Party: Socialism - from Utopian to Scientific

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Cuba protests - what do they represent?

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Defend a woman's right to choose

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