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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 January 2019

Bringing socialist ideas into movements on women's rights

Socialist Party women's meeting 5 January, photo Mary Finch

Socialist Party women's meeting 5 January, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Over 40 women members of the Socialist Party met on 5 January to discuss the important work we do in fighting the attacks on women and raising socialist ideas with women and men who are becoming politically active on these issues.

Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party, introduced the first discussion on political perspectives for 2019. Hannah invited the meeting to discuss the processes burrowing beneath the surface of society.

Capitalism's inability to offer a way out of the misery is building up enormous reserves of public anger. But at this stage people don't have a mass outlet.

Mass anger

Internationally, the emerging movement and mass anger against women's oppression are important developments and the Socialist Party is organising to participate fully.

The discussion looked at how the understanding of what sort of struggle is needed is developing, under the hammer blows of austerity, including within the 'gilets jaunes' (yellow vests) movement where workers can begin to see the need to build unity. The Tories are not confident to launch a frontal attack on women now but austerity attacks through a million ways.

In her reply to the discussion, Hannah pointed to our role in providing ideas to fight.

For example, we should call for Labour councils to commit to using their existing powers, reserves and borrowing potential to prevent those affected by Tory Universal Credit suffering hardship while building a mass campaign to get the Tories out.

In the afternoon, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge and Amy Cousens introduced discussion on how we put our ideas into action.

The Women's Lives Matter campaign to defend domestic violence services and refuges, which originates in the campaign to save Doncaster Women's Aid from closure, is a key campaign that we want to help build.

The central demand of the campaign is to fight all cuts and it has adopted the demand for needs budgets.

A petition calling on John McDonnell to guarantee that an incoming Labour government would replenish any reserves a Labour council used to avoid cuts to these services now, and underwrite borrowing made for the same purpose, is being launched.

The lessons of the Socialist Party's key role in the historic Campaign Against Domestic Violence were brought out in the discussion too.

All Socialist Party branches should get political and organisational reports on this meeting.

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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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In The Socialist 9 January 2019:


What we think

Brexit vote round two: Corbyn must fight for a socialist alternative to the Tory deal and bosses' EU


News

Tories Out. End austerity. Mass working-class action for a general election

'Fat Cat Friday' shows where all the money's gone

Javid's migrant 'emergency'

Death in a doorway: struggle can end homelessness

Them & Us

What we saw


Workplace news

PCS Left Unity assistant general secretary election rerun

Far right attack on Manchester rail workers' picket line - trade union fightback needed

Grayling's attacks on rail workers wages 'un-fare'

Solid strike by Arriva bus drivers

Ferry workers protest against 2.45 an hour pay

UCU Wales suspends FE strike action


German revolution 100 years on

Heroic martyrs of German Revolution


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Disruption of Leeds Socialist Party meeting shows need for unions to lead real struggle

Bringing socialist ideas into movements on women's rights

Tremendous effort sees Socialist Party smash fighting fund target in 2018

NHS funding crisis: Tory 'super-plan' is a super-con!

Linking LGBT+ rights to the fight for socialism

North Tyneside Campaigning to save our footbridge

Carmarthenshire council: Unison demands no-cuts budget


International socialist news and analysis

Protests continue to rage in Sudan

Blocked for years, but the Socialist Party of Nigeria is now standing in elections


Opinion

Theatre review: Women of Aktion - the heroic story of how World War One was ended

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Women:

triangleWomen and the criminal 'injustice' system

triangleWomen's health matters

triangleUS right to abortion under threat: Mass campaign to support the right to choose must be built

triangleTV review: Three Families is excellent. But protest movement is missing

triangleNew law ignores economic barriers to escaping domestic abuse

Socialist:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Building our party after lockdown

triangleMansfield Socialist Party: Save our NHS! Campaigning for NHS and care workers' pay

triangleBuilding back better? Fight for a socialist recovery

triangleFighting Fund target smashed!

Socialist Party:

triangleLondon Socialist Party young members' day school

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: NHS - the next steps after the 3 July protests

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Brexit so far and in the next period

The Socialist:

triangleUrgent need to build alternative to pro-capitalist politicians

triangleNational finance meeting

Domestic violence:

triangleDomestic Abuse Bill: So much still to fight for

Hannah Sell:

trianglePreparing to build a working-class force for May's local elections

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