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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 December 2020

Socialism 2020 feedback

Hannah Sell, photo Josh Asker

Hannah Sell, photo Josh Asker   (Click to enlarge)

The Socialist Party hosted Socialism 2020, a series of online workshops and rallies, from 20-23 November. It brought together over 1,000 socialists to discuss ideas to change the world. We print your feedback about the event; a full report can be found by searching 'Socialism 2020: Growing search for ideas to change the world' at socialistparty.org.uk

I left Socialism 2020 proud to be a Socialist Party member

Being a socialist in a country that has been run by a corrupt capitalist system can be an isolating experience. It's not just the frequent attacks from the media and the ruling elite that are hard to endure, but the constant calls of "Tory enabler", etc, from people who are also appalled by the state we find ourselves in.

When I joined the Socialist Party back in March, I was hoping to find a group of like-minded people who would work tirelessly to achieve what many believe is impossible - an end to capitalism and a democratic form of government that actually works for us and not against us. From my first Zoom meeting in Bristol South branch, I have found that and so much more. A party full of intelligent, passionate people from all walks of life. People that are fighting together for all of us, and who will not rest until we see a new party, a workers' party, that forces capitalism to lay down and die.

Since then I have been proud to be part of a group of socialists who have opened the Dorset branch of the party. We have done paper sales and seen the party grow in numbers. Socialism 2020 was my first party national event, and I leave it proud to be socialist, a Marxist and a party member.

Highlights for me were; Hannah's (Socialist Party general secretary) passionate and eloquent clarion call on the Saturday night rally, and also the many, too many to name, workshops which informed and united us further. I am not ashamed to admit that Niall's lead off on fascism led to a change of view for me, and I believe that admitting gaps in our experience and knowledge is not a weakness but a strength.

We face troubling times and 2021 is set to be no easier, but I believe that there has never been a more important time to wave the red flag high. Socialism is on the march and so are we.

Daniel White, Interim Branch Secretary for Dorset Branch

Your comments

Excellent discussions, with many of the right sort of questions being asked around organisation, political strategy, consciousness and the issues facing workers on the ground. All very comradely from where I was perched. Solid introductions. Well done!

Max Bacharach, Hackney (first Socialism event as a Socialist Party member)

Thanks to all the organisers and speakers at the rally and the sessions, who made Socialism such a great event. The money raised in the finance appeal, and the final number of tickets sold were outstanding, given the circumstances. It just shows that even Covid can't stop the ideas of socialism.

I found the discussions on women's liberation, Scotland, South Africa and LGBT rights, among others, very interesting. We both feel we learnt a lot not just from the speakers but also the contributions many people made. We even felt comfortable to make contributions ourselves and ask questions.

Chris Fernandez and Magdalena Repel-Fernandez, Derby

Socialism 2020 was a chance to analyse and discuss different ideas and perspectives, with a wide array of topics to choose from.

The last discussion I attended was my favourite of the whole event. Weizmann Hamilton from South Africa, showing the international character of the event, gave an incredibly inspiring and moving description of struggles that have taken place, and that continue to be fought in South Africa, where the problems of everyday life under capitalism are tremendously acute.

All in all, Socialism 2020 gave me a greater understanding of the Marxist approach that the Socialist Party uses when dealing with the complex and contradictory nature of the world. The event left me with a real thirst to explore more socialist ideas.

Archie Donovan, Waltham Forest

My Labour Party membership was my moral compass pacifier. In comparison, my Socialist Party membership is like internet explorer on steroids. The weekend event and workshops have literally blown me away. The level of discourse and sharing of knowledge and information has been truly overwhelming. I have so much to learn.

Sonia Latchford, Reading

Though nothing is the same as meeting in person, having tried to make it to the last few 'Socialisms' and not been able to, I really enjoyed this year's event, cats and glitches included! All the workshops I joined were excellent, and I hope this format can be included in coming years for those of us who struggle to attend in person.

We are all looking forward to meeting up. Thanks to everyone who made Socialism 2020 possible.

Elaine Evans, Chesterfield

I found the weekend really engaging! I found the 'Reading he Communist Manifesto' workshop especially informative. I'm at uni at the moment and found these Zoom meetings much more engaging than my university ones, maybe because I'm more passionate, but also they are structured a lot better.

Thank you for all your work,

Alice Murray, North London

I joined the Socialist Party just before Starmer was elected leader of the Labour Party, it has been the most positive thing I could have done, and the Birmingham Socialist Party members have made me feel welcome and at home. Socialism 2020 via Zoom was an excellent event, I look forward to future face-to-face events.

Dave Rees, Birmingham North

It's been great, I went to 'Trotskyism: Revolution Betrayed' (absolutely ace, so much to take in), 'Broken Britain' and 'Smash Racism'. Going to catch the ones I missed tomorrow on YouTube after work. Loving all the shared knowledge, inspiring stuff!

Daryl Clifford, Grimsby and Scunthorpe

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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.
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