Socialism 2005: Building a socialist alternative

The 800 people that attended the Socialist Party’s Rally for
Socialism were united by their horror at what modern capitalism means
for billions of people and their desire to change the world.

By the end of the night they were also united in having been enthused
and inspired by the event. Their enthusiasm took concrete form when a
magnificent £27,861 was raised in financial collection.

Speakers included the cousins of Jean Charles de Menezes, Mark
Serwotka general secretary of the civil servants’ union PCS, Matt
Wrack general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, Joe Higgins,
Socialist Party MP in Ireland and Peter Taaffe general secretary of the
Socialist Party. As well as speakers there was film of workers in
struggle in Pakistan, Brazil and Ireland.

Some of those who came were longer standing members of the Socialist
Party, who found themselves re-invigorated. One member summed up the
mood when she said:

“It was definitely one of the best Socialist Party events I’ve
been to and I came out feeling inspired and refreshed. If I wasn’t
already a member, I’d definitely join right now.”

Others were completely new to socialist ideas but came away
convinced that the best way to fight to change the world was to join the
Socialist Party. At least 28 people filled in Socialist Party join

The Rally for Socialism was part of Socialism 2005, an annual weekend
of discussion and debate hosted by the Socialist Party. In total over
900 attended this year’s event, more than double the number who
attended last year.

This is an indication of the growth in support for socialist ideas in
general, and of the growth of the Socialist Party in particular.

Many of those who came were young people who have been politicised in
the anti-war movement and have found the answers to their questions
about how to change society in the Socialist Party.

Throughout the weekend there were 36 different discussions on debates
on a wide range of issues – from music and science, to historical
issues, to discussions on how we can fight to defend the NHS and public
housing. Speakers include human rights lawyer Louise Christian, Derek
Wall of the Green Party Executive and many more.

The weekend finished with two superb closing sessions. One – hosted
by International Socialist Resistance and Socialist Students – had a
wide range of speakers, all young, explaining how young people could ‘fight
for their future’. The other rally launched the Campaign for a New
Workers’ Party.

Speakers included Yann Venier from the Socialist Party’s sister
organisation in France – Gauche Revolutionnare, Janice Godrich
President of the PCS and Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist.

Socialism 2005 was an event that concentrated on ideas, on discussion
and debate. However, as Marx once said “philosophers have only
interpreted the world, the point, however, is to change it”.

Everyone who attended Socialism 2005 came away with an increased
interest in socialist ideas (shown by the £1,400 worth of books that
were sold), and more importantly, a determination to put them into

“Looking forward to changing the world” Reports from Socialism 2005