Adam Powell-Davies, Lancashire Socialist Party
The Socialist Party held its national youth summer school in London on 7-8 August, bringing together over 40 young organisers from branches across England and Wales.
The weekend was one of lively and inspiring discussion, with a range of commissions aimed at raising members’ political level and confidence to organise in the workplace, at school and in universities, and within our own Socialist Party branches.
For most, it was also the largest in-person gathering of genuine, like-minded young socialists they had been in since the beginning of the pandemic – or ever, in the case of newer comrades like me!
The weekend opened with a speech on political perspectives for Britain by Socialist Party general secretary, Hannah Sell, who stressed the instrumental role to be played by young people in this coming period of class struggle.
Throughout the pandemic, young people in Britain have spearheaded social movements against racism, sexism, and state oppression – all tools that the capitalist class relies upon to prop up its crisis-ridden system.
As young socialists, we must continue to throw ourselves into mass movements, while making links to the workers’ movement in general.
The youth school also came at an important time following the relaunch of Youth Fight for Jobs last month. In a dedicated organisational commission on the Sunday, members shared their plans for building locally ahead of the Youth Fight for Jobs marches on 9 October (see below).
We discussed the need to target young workers on the question of jobs and homes, with a clear socialist programme – including demands for rent controls and council homes, £12 an hour minimum wage as a first step to £15, and proper training, under trade union control, on a full-wage, and with a guaranteed job at the end.
We also discussed the need to put pressure on trade unions nationally, to demand a coordinated union fightback on the youth job crisis. With one-in-five employers planning redundancies post-furlough, youth unemployment is set to worsen as part of a wider attack on working people in general.
Trade unions should affiliate with Youth Fight for Jobs as part of a mass movement, to show young people what can be achieved through the power of the organised working class.
Everyone attending agreed that the meeting was a success, and those young members who couldn’t make it this time should definitely attend future such events.
March for jobs on 9 October
Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) is a youth organisation fighting for good jobs for all, and to make the super-rich billionaires pay for this deepening capitalist crisis.
YFJ was initially formed in 2009 in response to the rise of youth unemployment caused by the 2007-09 financial crash. We won the support of seven national trade unions, and organised a 330-mile march for jobs from Jarrow to London.
Today, the need for a fight against youth unemployment and underemployment is huge. We want young people to get involved with the campaign in your local area, and help build local marches for jobs on 9 October.
If you’re a trade unionist, can you help get support for the campaign from your trade union branch, youth body or any other forum?
- Visit youthfightforjobs.com to get involved with the campaign, and for resources such as model motions and letters.