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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 October 2020

Southampton: Coxford community condemns racist attack

Black Lives Matter protesters June 2020, photo Socialist Party

Black Lives Matter protesters June 2020, photo Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Sue Atkins, Southampton Socialist Party and former TUSC candidate in Coxford

On 8 October, two people walking in the residential area of Coxford, Southampton, were surrounded by six people on mopeds who taunted them with racist abuse, stole the woman's phone and injured her, and then stabbed the man. Fortunately he survived.

Coxford Labour councillors, Tammy Thomas and Barrie Margetts, organised an anti-racist rally at short notice in the local shopping centre. 40 people attended.

Tammy Thomas said: "It was important to us as ward councillors to send a clear message to the family: we support you and walk with you. And to the perpetrators: we will not tolerate racial hatred in our community.

"We acknowledge the underfunding and overstretched police, the lack of youth services and provisions, we want to create community cohesion."

The Socialist Party believes that 'community cohesion' between all sections of the working class can be forged by fighting for decent jobs and pay, affordable and secure housing, fully funded healthcare and free education. When these basics are denied, it opens the door to racist division.

This is not an isolated incident. Serious knife crime has more than doubled in Southampton since 2013. We're experiencing in sharp relief the effects of ten years of austerity.

The only youth club in the area is no longer supported by the council, but was handed over to a charity 20 years ago. In April, its funding will come to an end and the youth centre will close. 35% of Southampton children are growing up in poverty.

Tammy and Barrie rightly point to the cuts imposed by Tory governments, but they are part of the local administration that has cut 1,000 jobs and 124 million from the budget since Labour came to power in Southampton. The Labour council has 'saved money' by handing over local services to the precarious world of volunteers and charities.

If Tammy and Barrie are serious about their opposition to the further cuts, they should join forces with the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in demanding that the council use its reserves and borrowing powers to provide the services we need, while building a campaign to demand the return of the millions stolen by the government. This would gain them unstinting support in our community and help cut across racist divisions that arise.

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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.

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In The Socialist 21 October 2020:


Lockdown

Health before profit - Work or full pay

Wales 'firebreak' lockdown fails to protect workers

Liverpool lockdown: suspicion and anger

Newcastle lockdown: stress and breakdowns

Leicester lockdown: disillusionment and anger


Unison

Why the Socialist Party is backing Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary


International

Nigeria protests: 'This movement needs to fight the whole rotten capitalist system'

Horrific murder in Paris: fight intolerance and racism!

South Africa: Mass day of action for permanent jobs and a living wage


News

Tories reduce winter homeless funding: reverse the cuts,use the empty homes!

World capitalism's terrified strategists abandon austerity - for now


Coronavirus

Test and Trace U-turn on stopping local case reporting

Oxbridge gets private Covid tests: pool resources to test us all!

Millennials disillusioned with 'democracy'

Under the microscope


Workplace

RMT: Programme to fight redundancies and cuts

Action on Covid transmission in schools now

FCC dismiss Unison activist Tony Smith

Optare workers strike over pay broken 'promise'

Solidarity with Deliveroo Couriers in York


Campaigns

NHS workers

Students: Give us our money back

Fight for your future at the online rally

Southampton: Coxford community condemns racist attack

Socialism 2020: Will you help our finance appeal?

Selling the Socialist: increase in NHS anger

Truth about Zane: Cover-up Tories crack

Kent: Chaotic privatised asylum process

Teignmouth hospital closure threat ... again!


Readers' opinion

Books that inspired me: For Whom the Bell Tolls

Beware the billionaires bearing gifts

Disabled students let down by "rotten education system"

The Socialist Inbox


 

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