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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 March 2021

Socialist Party LGBTQ+ members meeting

Fighting for LGBT+ liberation means fighting for socialism, photo Paul Mattsson

Fighting for LGBT+ liberation means fighting for socialism, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Maddy Steeds, Manchester and Salford Socialist Party

The Socialist Party LGBTQ+ group met on 14 March to discuss our programme on LGBTQ+ rights, and how we can intervene in the upcoming Pride season for these rights. The meeting was one of the biggest we've had, with attendees from across England and Wales, and 16 contributions during the discussion. The meeting involved many new Socialist Party members enthusiastically engaging in the discussion.

As with all political discussions in the current period, there was an emphasis on the impact of Covid on workers. For LGBTQ+ people, the pandemic has posed unique challenges. Through lockdown, some LGBTQ+ people have had to live with unaccepting family members or housemates, causing them to essentially be forced back into the closet.

Pre-pandemic, LGBTQ+ people were more likely to suffer from mental health issues, and this has been compounded by the toll the pandemic has had on mental health. Furthermore, the ongoing discourse surrounding trans rights has led to backward steps in the legislation protecting trans people, and current government consultations surrounding access to toilets threatens to further oppress trans individuals.

One of the main themes of the discussion was how we can link the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights to the wider problems in capitalist society and explain the need for a socialist transformation. One example of this was the question of LGBTQ+ venues, which are at risk of closure. Many people in the discussion raised how, during the pandemic, independent gay bars have been at risk of closing for good due to lack of revenue.

But the threat to LGBTQ+ spaces existed prior to the pandemic. The gentrification of areas has led to increased rents which are untenable for many small businesses. Furthermore, non-alcoholic LGBTQ+ services which were under council control have been closed alongside many other services due to cuts and austerity.

Austerity measures and cuts to services have led to a false belief that there is not enough money for the needs of all to be met, and that oppressed groups are in competition with each other for resources. We know that the money exists in society. However, it is being hoarded by the 1% while working-class people face austerity.

The meeting allowed us to discuss our programme, and boost new members' confidence in our ideas. We plan to develop our demands further in future discussions and publish a more detailed programme. We want the meeting to be reported in Socialist Party branches, as the topics discussed will help inform all of our work in the trade unions and other campaigns.

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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.

  • 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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In The Socialist 17 March 2021:


End violence against women

Violence against women - we will not be silenced


NHS

Rich pickings for private companies - peanuts for health workers

NHS workers map out strategy to win 15% pay rise


Review

Judas and the Black Messiah - taste of Fred Hampton's politics, with lessons for fighting oppression today


Media

Can the capitalist media prevent socialist change?


Workplace news

British Gas strike at crucial stage

Electricians protest against deskilling and lower wages

Goodlord workers continue strike against 'fire and rehire'

Thousands of BT workers to ballot for strike action

Government's bus plans fall short of making up for the cuts

Reinstate Moe - stop trade union-busting at Abellio!

PCS members at Swansea DVLA to strike for safety


Elections

Council funding crisis - We need a workers' programme to restore the stolen millions

We need a fighting strategy to win funding from the government - why I'm standing for TUSC

Standing for TUSC in Worcester

Help fund the Socialist Party's election campaign as part of TUSC


Campaigns news

Build for the Socialist Students day of action on 21 April

I couldn't just stand and watch! - Why I joined the Socialist Party

Socialist Party LGBTQ+ members meeting

Selling the Socialist


International news

Myanmar: workers brave brutal military crackdown


 

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Related links:

Lgbtq:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Aids, section 28 and equal marriage - lessons for the fight for LGBTQ+ rights today

triangleBirmingham Pride - revitalising political struggle

triangleUS: "We've had to build a huge culture of resistance"

triangleNorthern Pride's a success

Socialist Party:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Does capitalism really encourage innovation?

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Abortion rights under attack

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Housing is a right - Stop the evictions!

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Northern Ireland - what lies ahead?

Socialist:

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: A report from NSSN conference

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: The life of Black Panther Fred Hampton

triangleNational finance meeting

Austerity:

triangleNational demonstration: 'After Covid - Demand a New Normal'

triangleWe will not pay the cost of Covid! Defend the right to protest

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