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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 April 2021

Super league defeated

Protesting works - Unite to defend the right to protest

Defend the right to protest: demo in Sheffield, Saturday 3rd April , photo A Tice

Defend the right to protest: demo in Sheffield, Saturday 3rd April , photo A Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Nick Hart, Black Country Socialist Party

The past fortnight has been a perfect example of the power of protest. Football supporters gathering in their thousands outside stadiums defeated the plans for a money-grabbing European Super League barely two days after they were first made public.

The lessons of these demonstrations won't have been lost on the millions of working-class fans who agree with them. As former player Ian Wright put it, just imagine what could be achieved if the same energy went towards stamping out racism and inequality.

No wonder then that the Tories want to criminalise protest. The Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing Bill could see football fans protesting against greedy owners, NHS workers marching for a living pay rise or women demanding an end to harassment jailed for up to ten years if they're judged to have caused "serious annoyance".

The police will have the power to impose times, routes and maximum noise levels on demonstrations. And if you're taking part in them as a striking worker, you'll have had to jump through hoops on ballot thresholds and picketing that form part of the most restrictive trade union laws in Europe.

It's not hard to see why the Tories are bringing in these new laws. The budget has promised a further 16 billion worth of cuts, below-inflation pay rises for key workers, and a phasing out of furlough and other measures which have so far prevented mass destitution on the back of the pandemic.

The ruling class want to make ordinary people pay for this crisis, but at the same time fear the uproar this could create. As the relief at the vaccine being rolled out and the better aspects of normal life returning turns to anger at job losses and 'fire and rehire', the Tories could face an enormous backlash.

However, this won't come from the Labour Party, which to begin with didn't even oppose the anti-protest bill. No wonder, when Keir Starmer's intention is to become a prime minister who acts in the interests of big business, and Labour councillors are repeatedly voting to cut public services.

That's why we need to build a new mass workers' party that backs protests rather than trying to ban them.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is standing over 300 candidates on Thursday 6 May as a first step towards creating that political alternative.

If you agree, join us in building a socialist organisation that doesn't just fight for the right to protest, but for an end to the problems created by capitalism which we find ourselves protesting against.

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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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In The Socialist 28 April 2021:


Elections

Vote TUSC to oppose sleazy capitalism

Why you should vote for TUSC

Campaigning for a no-cuts, socialist Liverpool mayor


International news

India's health system in meltdown under Modi's misrule


Campaigns news

Socialist Student action marks the way for a national student movement for free education

South West regional conference shows that socialist ideas can grow

To get Socialist ideas out there, we need to have the funds


News

Protesting works - unite to defend the right to protest

No trust in billionaire football owners - kick them out and reclaim the game

Private sector is stealing the NHS

39 'postmasters' cleared - now clear the rest

Generation eviction


Workplace news

Usdaw's virtual annual conference - a mockery of union democracy

PCS ballots members in Jobcentres over safety

Goodlord strikers fight fire and rehire as part of day of action

Devonport tugboat crews strike against rota changes

St Mungo's workers walkout

Thurrock bin strike in third week


Ireland

How partition of Ireland derailed a revolutionary struggle for national and social liberation

Irish police aid strike-breaking at Debenhams store in Dublin


Welfare state

Poverty increasing. Welfare state in crisis. Do we need a new Beveridge Report?


Environment

What councils can do to protect the environment


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


May Day Greetings 2021

International Workers' Day - struggle, solidarity, socialism


 

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