Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/938/24805

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 March 2017

Debates on building the anti-Trump movement

Socialist Students members marching against Trump in London, 4.2.17, photo Sarah Wrack

Socialist Students members marching against Trump in London, 4.2.17, photo Sarah Wrack   (Click to enlarge)

Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialist Party national organiser

Protest has been a major feature of the first months of 2017. On 21 January, the day after Donald Trump's inauguration, a five million-strong surge of resistance exploded on to the streets of 673 cities and towns worldwide. And thousands have marched and protested since.

The marchers are predominantly young. For this generation, hit hardest by student debt, lack of housing and unemployment, austerity has been the status quo their whole lives.

In response to the bigoted billionaire's divisive policies, the marchers, largely mobilised through their need to act rather than any specific organisation, raise slogans of solidarity, fighting racism and sexism and defending all our rights. Internationalism is a feature of the movement.

The ideas of mass civil disobedience, including strikes, are starting to be debated in the movement and there is enthusiasm for Socialist Students' call for school, college and university walkouts on 'Day X', when Trump dares to visit.

The Socialist Party's bold socialist slogans found an echo with an important section of this incipient movement. They want an alternative to the capitalist system that Trump, Clinton, May and the Blairites represent and ideas about how to fight them.

Bernie Sanders

In the US the movement to support Bernie Sanders, a self-declared 'democratic socialist', showed the enormous enthusiasm that exists for an alternative to big business politicians. That's why Socialist Alternative (our co-thinkers in the US) called for Bernie to continue his run for president when he failed to win the Democratic nomination.

Here in Britain the support for Jeremy Corbyn's leadership challenges revealed the appetite for a break with austerity and Blairism. Socialist ideas - democratic planning and public ownership of key enterprises to meet the needs of all, and the crucial role the working class can play when organised in changing the world - are needed.

However, there are two rival groupings vying for the leadership of the new potential movement, neither of which offers a clear way forward. On the one hand you have Guardian columnist Owen Jones attempting to build the Stop Trump Coalition.

Hated Republican president Donald Trump, photo Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)

Hated Republican president Donald Trump, photo Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

The list of names Owen has gathered for his coalition includes Tim Farron MP, now leader of the Lib Dems which formed the vicious Con-Dem government with the Tories.

Establishment politicians see the widespread anger against Trump as an opportunity to try to rebuild their authority, proposing a fair capitalism - but no such thing exists. That just eight billionaires own more wealth than half the world reveals the inequality at the heart of capitalism.

In 2003, then Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy spoke to the millions-strong 15 February anti-war demo. But it has since been made clear that neither he nor his pro-capitalist party was anti-war. Against the objections of the Socialist Party representatives on the Stop the War Coalition committee, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and its allies unfortunately pushed the decision through the committee to give a platform to Kennedy without any public criticisms.

They also refused to allow any speaker on behalf of a socialist organisation. This undoubtedly helped to build up the Lib Dems' 'radical' image, contributing to Cleggmania and the formation of the Con-Dem Coalition.

While 'Farronmania' is unlikely, it is a mistake to give these anti-working class politicians an uncritical platform, especially while arguing as Jones does, that Stop Trump is exciting "because it isn't dominated by any groups or sects for their own interest".

Ideas

Leading a movement should mean helping the most effective ideas that get thrown up become widespread and organising to realise them. Owen Jones has already proved himself incapable of this - he called for Sanders supporters in the US to switch to Wall Street candidate Hillary Clinton instead of building a party of the 99%.

When the second wave of support to defend Jeremy Corbyn against the Blairite coup last summer started to coalesce around the call for deselection of Blairite MPs, something the Socialist Party had been putting forward as invaluable in the civil war in the Labour Party, Owen Jones attacked and belittled the idea.

The SWP-dominated Stand Up to Racism is the other campaign attempting to control this new movement. But the SWP, in practice, does not put forward a bold socialist programme and shows itself incapable of a democratic method of organising.

We in the Socialist Party stand for the right of all left trends and ideas to have the chance to be heard and for genuine debate. We have a tradition of allowing other left groups to speak in our meetings.

In the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition - with the Socialist Party, the SWP and the RMT transport workers' union as the constituent organisations - the Socialist Party is a stalwart defender of democratic decision-making methods. These groupings of Owen Jones and the SWP offer no such opportunity.

It is usual for Socialist Party members to be excluded from speaking at meetings the SWP have organised. In the current anti-Trump movement they have taken that method further by attempting to physically block Socialist Party activists from distributing our leaflets, papers and placards. They will not succeed in this but their methods are utterly wrong and, like Owen Jones's, will not be of use to the new movement rising.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 1 March 2017:


Save #OurNHS

Build a movement to save our NHS

Reinstate the bursaries for student nurses now!

Grantham: 1,000 march for reopening of A&E

NHS England missing paperwork scandal

Heart centre closure consultation 'farce'

NHS v RBS


Socialist Party women

International Women's Day

Women's protests and walkouts around the world

Lessons of Russia 1917 for women's struggle today

Why I joined the Socialist Party

How black women fought racism and sexism at Nasa

Fight like Poplar's women councillors to change the lives of family carers


What we think

Byelections: Break with Labour Blairism wasn't on offer


Socialist Party feature

Debates on building the anti-Trump movement


Workplace news and analysis

"I worked from 9am to 11.30pm with only one break"

Warehouse workers walk out over pay and pensions

Derby teaching assistants continue fight against 6,000 a year pay cut

Picturehouse strikers blockade Leicester Square

Ford workers demand answers to Bridgend plant sourcing questions

Hearing into alleged rule-breaking by Unison ends

Leeds: Protest against tip stealing

Mixed Fleet cabin crew announce more strike days

RMT plans protest against 'driver only' Merseyrail trains

Southern Rail strike continues

May Day greetings in the Socialist


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Unions demand that Corbyn-supporting mayor protects services

Bristol cuts: the fight goes on

Tower Hamlets: There is an alternative, Mr Biggs

Spelthorne: we need socialist councillors

York University: socialists prevent far-right hate speech

Socialist Party Wales conference report

Northern region Socialist Party conference


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

The Socialist Inbox

What we saw


 

Home   |   The Socialist 1 March 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Trump:

triangleTory and Trump hypocrisy over murder of Saudi Arabian journalist

triangleUSA: crisis follows Supreme Court justice nomination

triangleTrump's tariffs raise international tensions

triangleThe ongoing capitalist crisis and the struggle for a socialist world

triangleTrump ally prosecutions

Socialist:

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Germany - government divisions and workers' struggles

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleCable makers' pay strike bites as production falls 33%

triangleNo to fat-cat top judges' 59k pay hike - fight for decent pay for criminal justice workers

Socialist Party:

triangleSocialism - the podcast offering Marxist analysis for the movement against capitalism

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: Chile 1973

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: Lenin's book 'State and Revolution'

The Socialist:

triangleTories' Brexit bust-up - general election now

triangleSocialism - the podcast of the Socialist Party

SWP:

triangleWhy we support Chris Baugh for re-election as assistant general secretary

US:

triangleResidents push back Barking estate landlords

Racism:

triangleDemo against far-right DFLA

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangle'Corbyn-council' faces a choice: Implement or fight the cuts

Stand Up to Racism:

triangleBuild an anti-racist workers' movement

Stop the War Coalition:

triangle15 years since the invasion of Iraq: what we said

Sexism:

triangleLibres y Combativas: striking for women's rights in the Spanish state

Donald Trump:

triangleDurham Miners' Gala 2018

Socialist Workers Party:

triangleUnison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

17/10/18

Brexit

Tories' Brexit bust-up - general election now

17/10/18

Universal Credit

Universal credit = universal misery

17/10/18

Engels

The renewed relevance of Engels' classic Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

17/10/18

Mental health

Fully fund mental health services now

17/10/18

Saudi Arabia

Tory and Trump hypocrisy over murder of Saudi Arabian journalist

17/10/18

Pay

No to fat-cat top judges' 59k pay hike - fight for decent pay for criminal justice workers

17/10/18

Fracking

Toxic fracking gets the go-ahead while protesters jailed

17/10/18

Cardiff

Homeless driven from Windsor streets for royal wedding: abolish the monarchy and end homelessness now!

15/10/18

Socialism

Socialism - the podcast of the Socialist Party

10/10/18

Racism

Fight racism: fight for jobs, homes and services for all

10/10/18

Them & Us

Them & Us

10/10/18

Tories

Tories' crisis conference - Corbyn must fight for general election

10/10/18

Amazon

Workers' action wins Amazon pay rise

10/10/18

Capitalism

Workers in UK do 1.2trn of unpaid housework and care

10/10/18

Super-rich

Super-rich flee to Monaco to evade Corbyn

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999