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Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/23305

Posted on 1 August 2016 at 13:33 GMT

Jeremy Corbyn rally in York, 29.7.16, photo Nigel Smith

Jeremy Corbyn rally in York, 29.7.16, photo Nigel Smith   (Click to enlarge)

Jeremy Corbyn attracts 1,000 in York

There was a large rally in St Helen's Square, York on Friday evening, 29th July. Jeremy Corbyn was greeted by the crowd of about 1,000 people with enthusiasm and spoke confidently and fluently for about 45 minutes.

He should be congratulated for his approach of holding public meetings in public spaces and although there were a few negative heckles made by passing shoppers, these only served to strengthen the mood of support in the crowd.

He addressed a wide range of subjects, including: the war in Iraq, the arts, appropriate use of social messaging, housing and last winter's floods. He expressed the view that austerity is not necessary and that there should be a mass programme of council house building as well as control of prices in the private rented sector - his most concrete proposal.

He linked this to the ideas behind the founding of the Labour Party and the appalling housing conditions and high rents at the time. He didn't mention Trident or how he is planning to fight the attacks from the pro-capitalist right in the Labour Party in any detail.

While the points in his speech were very welcome, it lacked specifics and this was commented on by some members of the crowd who had hoped for something more programmatic.

We held a Socialist Party stall which was well received, with lots of copies of the Socialist bought.

Nigel Smith

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 1 August 2016 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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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.
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