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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 September 2020

Dover: Solidarity with refugees - applause and cheers for socialist ideas to unite working class

Eric Segal speaking to the crowd at the demo

Eric Segal speaking to the crowd at the demo   (Click to enlarge)

Kent Socialist Party

Trade unionists, anti-racism and refugee rights campaigners rallied in Market Square on 5 September in Dover to show solidarity with refugees, fleeing war and persecution, who have faced vile racist abuse from Tories and the far right in recent weeks.

Kent county council Tory leader Roger Gough had said: "Increased numbers arriving, particularly during lockdown... put an inevitable strain on Kent's finite social care resources."

Eric Segal, secretary of South East Kent Trade Union Council (TUC) and Socialist Party member, answered this when he spoke at the rally: "The cuts didn't happen because handfuls of people crossed the channel fleeing from war, poverty and starvation. Austerity cuts began under Tory and Labour administrations, because capitalism doesn't want and can't afford to keep our services.

"Those cuts are set to continue unless we fight back. Councillor Gough was responsible for gleefully shutting down Pent Valley school in Folkstone.

"A-level students showed that when you fight back you can win. We need to build a socialist alternative to capitalism and mount an electoral challenge to councillors, whatever the colour of their rosette, who intend to carry out council cuts in next year's elections.

"Any attempt to overhaul the asylum system must be linked to the fight against austerity, with a campaign for jobs, homes and services for all."

Eric's bold and clear message was interrupted with applause and cheers. After he finished speaking, he was thanked by many there.

A large number of young people joined the rally from all over Kent. Many signed the Socialist Party petition and supported our message: Don't blame asylum seekers for Tory cuts.

Later in the day a small group of far-right racists tried to block the main road into the port to promote their divisive message. As the economic crisis worsens, these racist views must be combated politically. Union leaders, backed up with mass mobilisations, can show a clear alternative to those who fear losing their jobs, like the 600 sacked P&O workers in Dover.

The response to Eric's final words - "a world without passports and persecution is only possible if we create a socialist world" - shows what is possible. The Socialist Party will work with all those who seek to build a democratic, mass, working-class, anti-racist movement - including standing anti-cuts candidates across Kent.

Those who bought the Socialist and signed up for more information are an encouraging sign that many others will join us in the months ahead.

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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 September 2020:


Coronavirus news

Fight the schools Covid crisis

Safety overridden in drive to bolster the economy

Caerphilly lockdown puts profits before safety

Under the microscope


Campaigns and party news

Jobs, training, pay, we want a future!

Dover: Solidarity with refugees - applause and cheers for socialist ideas to unite working class

BLM: Socialist alternative to racist capitalism

Big push to hit finance target


News

15% now - unions must fight for NHS pay rise

Callous Tories threaten not to uprate the minimum wage

XR blockade: Don't let the Tories criminalise protest

Grenfell fire inquiry stops victims attending

Video game developer attacks Black Lives Matter


What we think

U-turn Tories' splits are growing


Workplace news

Fight Amazon's anti-union spies

NSSN rally: Workers must not pay the price of Covid

Nottingham City Council: The (mis)adventures of Robin Hood Energy

Covid-19 pandemic increases financial pressures on Welsh local government

Ireland: Debenham's workers occupy stores

Hull: Defend Tony Smith!

Reinstate Richie Venton


Unison

A critical election for Unison general secretary


TUSC

Back at work! TUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians


International news

Belarus: Mass opposition continues to defy repression by Lukashenko's regime

Strike wave marks new stage in revival of Iranian workers' movement


 

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Related links:

Dover:

triangleKent: Chaotic privatised asylum process

triangleP&O: defend every job - nationalise the ferries

triangleFight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

triangle1987 Zeebrugge disaster

triangleConvoy to Calais: Outrageous blocking of aid for refugees

Unite:

triangleRolls-Royce Barnoldswick factory future secured following strike action

triangleHospital security staff on strike for 12 an hour

triangleUnite launch ballot over sacked London bus rep

triangleChristmas redundancy shock at L&Q housing association

Working class:

triangleMay elections: Tories and Labour's Khan both vying to slash public services

triangleUSA in crisis - the need for a socialist alternative

triangleThe Tory blame game: scapegoating the working class - 100% pay for all now

Solidarity:

triangleProtests in solidarity with Indian farmers

triangle

Solidarity with Brighton UCU strike - we won't pay for Covid crisis

Socialist:

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Socialist feminism

Refugees:

triangleFight for jobs and homes for all - defend the right to asylum

Cuts:

triangleSocialist Party national women's meeting

Kent:

triangleDon't blame asylum seekers for Tory cuts

Socialist Party:

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Why does capitalism keep failing?

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