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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 March 2021

Online meeting -

Ending violence against women, the socialist approach

Glasgow women on strike for equal pay, photo Public Services International/CC

Glasgow women on strike for equal pay, photo Public Services International/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Hannah Davis, Black Country Socialist Party

Women's rights, and our oppression under the capitalist system, have been thrust into the spotlight by the events of the last few weeks.

From International Women's Day, to the murder of Sarah Everard and then the horrific, yet all too familiar, acts of police violence at vigils held for her. Across the media, and at demonstrations, women have not just shared their stories, but begun to point the finger at the system that has done nothing to change the inequality we experience.

The Socialist Party held a virtual meeting on Friday 19 March entitled 'Ending violence against women, the socialist approach'. There was a fantastic turnout with over 120 participants.

Police violence

We discussed the police violence at recent vigils, but attendees also contributed on a range of other issues - from cuts to vital local services such as childcare and housing, to the way the capitalist media perpetuates and reinforces the oppression of women. In addition, Boris Johnson's recent proposal to put plain-clothed police officers in nightclubs was strongly criticised.

There were contributions about 'spycops' scandals, where women activists have been spied on by police officers falsely developing personal relationships with them. Students also spoke about safety on campuses, commenting on the silencing of victims, and the lack of support for those who seek it.

Crucially, the meeting did not just highlight the struggles women face, but put forward how a socialist programme, including building the trade unions, and fighting for a socialist planned economy, would offer solutions.

Members from several unions including the National Education Union and PCS civil servants' union, spoke about how, through collective action, workers can fight for women's rights and against discrimination in the workplace.

The meeting was an important opportunity to repoliticise the women's struggle. To ensure that women are not just presented with the issues we are already aware of, but to show how through workers' struggle and socialism, there is a real alternative to oppression.

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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 24 March 2021:


Protest

Protesting is not a crime

Defying the anti-protest restrictions

Police attempt to silence mothers

Police invade student homes


NHS

NHS pay: 15% now

Fighting NHS privatisation

Haringey: Hands off our GP practices


Elections

Battle for a fighting, anti-austerity Liverpool mayor

Why I am standing for TUSC

Help fund the Socialist Party's stand as part of TUSC


Fighting Sexual Harassment

Fighting sexual harassment and gender violence on campus

Justice for Blessing Olusegun

Film Review: Moxie


Paris Commune 150 Years

150th anniversary of the Paris Commune


2011 Pensions Strike

Lessons of the 2011 pensions strike: when workers showed their power


Workplace News

PCS elections: increased support for Broad Left Network

Engineering workers strike against 'fire and rehire' in Leicester

'Sleep-ins' ruling must lead to a huge campaign for social care workers' rights

Shrewsbury Pickets win: Convictions overturned

Sparks continue protests against deskilling

Beal High school strike as management refuse to negotiate over fair sick pay scheme

Preparing to organise workers in Enfield

Support victimised bus driver reps and Socialist Party members Declan and Moe

Goodlord workers continue all-out strike


Campaigns

Save John Carroll - fight is far from over!

Stop evictions and drop the debts

Online meeting - Ending violence against women, the socialist approach

Socialist Party regional conferences meet online


Readers' Opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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