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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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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:

triangleThe fight for LGBTQ+ equality

triangleStonewall attacked by the establishment

triangleWhy I'm coming to Socialism 2021

triangleReclaiming Pride as protest in Nottingham

triangleLondon Pride cancelled - pandemic shows protest Pride is necessary

Socialist Party:

triangleGloucestershire Socialist Party: Lessons of the anti-poll tax movement

trianglePamphlet: What the Socialist Party stands for

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Was Stalinism Inevitable?

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The housing crisis

Socialist:

triangleObituary - Ethan Bradley 1993-2021

triangleObituary - Pauline Wall

triangleNorth London NHS - "It's going to be us who saves it"

Austerity:

triangleTUSC appeals for widest possible anti-austerity socialist unity for May elections

triangleSouthampton People's budget Building an alternative to Tory and Labour austerity

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