With four weeks to go until the end of the quarter on 6 July, most Socialist Party branches are making last minute plans for raising enough money to meet their fighting fund targets.
Alex Gounelas, fighting fund national organiser
We have scheduled a week of action, 22-28 June, when stalls and other activities should be planned for every day if possible. This includes fundraising socials, which can include members and supporters that cannot take part in regular stalls. As college and university exams come to an end, younger SP members are once again free to take part in more local campaigning stalls.
With many important trade union conferences taking place at this time of the year, we have produced a large amount of SP material including leaflets and conference bulletins. All this has had to be paid for by our fighting fund.
Our involvement at the G8 summit protests in Rostock, Germany, has also required additional resources. As a party that is based on and represents ordinary people, we depend on the pounds and pence we raise on the streets to fund our activities.
Stoke Central branch has been campaigning against the closure of the Crown Post Office in Hanley. Alongside gathering 4,000 signatures against the job losses and privatisation that the closure would cause, they have managed to raise 135% of their fighting fund target. The anger against the closure resulted in Socialist Party members marching alongside 120 pensioners on 4 June from a pensioners’ convention meeting to WH Smiths, one of the companies hoping to take over the postal service.
Reading raised £93 at their car boot sale with another car boot planned for next week. Three party members raised £103 on a two-hour weekday stall in Ilford in London. Bristol branch has been supplementing its Saturday stalls with regular estate sales and stalls before the branch meetings.
Walthamstow branch petitioned to “Save Whipps Cross” after a Private Finance deal – one of Labour’s favourite ways to sell off our services – to rebuild the hospital was abandoned, leaving the hospital’s future in doubt (see page 4 for more on the crimes of PFI). Over £40 fighting fund was raised with 47 copies of the socialist sold. One woman who signed the petition said: “I was born at Whipps Cross and it’s an essential local service. It would be awful if most of the hospital gets closed down.”