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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 January 2009

Debate and meeting in Dublin

Last week on a bitterly cold winter's evening 150 people packed into the ballroom of Wynn's Hotel in central Dublin for the Socialist Party public meeting: " Capitalism in crisis - The Socialist Alternative".

Cillian Gillespie and Joe Higgins, Dublin

Chaired by Joe Higgins, the speakers were Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the Socialist Party in England and Wales, Clare Daly, Socialist Party councillor and shop steward at Aer Lingus and BATU striker and Socialist Party member Susan Fitzgerald.

The relevance of the topic was shown that very day by the announcement that 1,900 workers in the Dell factory in Limerick city are to be sacked. Clare Daly graphically showed that while ordinary people had not created the crisis, we are the ones who are being made pay. She explained that the layoffs at Dell will have a devastating effect and would be the equivalent of 40,000 workers being made redundant In Dublin.

The rotten role of the trade union leadership was clear from the speech of Susan Fitzgerald. Six staff and organisers have been on strike for nine months against the union that employs them.

Peter Taaffe explained that contrary to what capitalist commentators said a few months ago this crisis is devastating "the real economy", not simply finance. Peter illustrated the seriousness of this "mother of all" crises by pointing to the job losses in the car industry in Britain and the US. Peter's explanation of how organised struggle and socialist policies are the only way forward, as well as a few jokes, got a very warm response.

Eight people indicated they want to find out more or join the Socialist Party and over €500 was raised for our campaign fund.

On the evening before, Peter Taaffe was the principal guest speaker in a debate in Trinity College, hosted by the college Historical Society. In the past speakers such as Theobald Wolfe Tone and Oscar Wilde have addressed the society. Joe Higgins, former Socialist Party Member of the Dáil (Irish Parliament) also spoke in the debate on: 'This house would abolish private property'.

Although both Peter and Joe were well received, the response from the 70 or so students who attended reflected the relatively privileged strata of society from which many of them came. However, Peter explained how the massive crisis of international capitalism is only at its beginning and as it develops, it will be disastrous for the future prospects of young people, including university students.

He referred to the widespread radicalisation of young people in Greece and predicted that young people in Ireland and Britain would be similarly challenged in the coming years. Growing numbers would come to support the ideas of socialism.

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Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 14 January 2009:


War and occupation

Stop the Israeli state terror

100,000+ on Gaza protests


Socialist Party editorial

British economy heads deeper into crisis


Vote for Robbie Segal

Stop job cuts


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight for your future

Fight for free education

Building ISR and Socialist Students in 2009

Fight for your future: what ISR campaigns for


Socialist Party campaigns

The 2012 Olympics legacy

Heathrow expansion protest

Defend threatened Saudi Arabian trade unionist

Wirral: Marching to stop the cuts

Fast News


Socialist Party feature

The NHS today - can it meet everyone's health needs?


Socialist Party workplace news

Conference: 'The crisis in working class political representation'

GlaxoSmithKline: The fightback starts here

Tube cleaners protest against victimisation

Job cuts announced at Nissan


International socialist news and analysis

Jobs meltdown hits Ireland

Debate and meeting in Dublin

Sri Lanka -: Vicious attacks on media and killing of newspaper editor

Bangladesh: Protesters denounce global mining corporation


Socialist Party review

Che


Socialist Party feature

Why Manchester rejected the congestion charge


 

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