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Posted on 31 March 2010 at 22:44 GMT

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition launch in Coventry

The Socialist Party in Coventry officially launched its election campaign on Sunday afternoon, with well over 100 people cramming in to the venue.

Though this was the 'official' launch, campaigning for both the local and parliamentary elections has been taking place over a number of months.

Many different workers and ages were represented in the audience - postal workers, workers from the local authority, members of the RMT rail workers unions, school and university students, pensioner activists, veterans of the Anti Poll Tax campaign, the unemployed, and many more were present.

Dave Nellist also attended the national TUSC Launch rally in London, photo Alison Hill

Dave Nellist also attended the national TUSC Launch rally in London, photo Alison Hill   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Nellist, who will be parliamentary candidate for Coventry North East against Defence Minister Bob Ainsworth, gave a rousing speech outlining the present political situation, and how the three establishment parties disagree only on the detail of the timing of the huge cuts that will be taking place - the main difference between Tories and New Labour is that the Tories want to take six years to make the cuts and Labour want to do it in seven!

This has been reflected in events on Coventry City Council - the Tories proposed 72 million of cuts over the next 3 years and they were dutifully supported by the 'opposition' New Labour group - every single 'Labour' councillor voted for these cuts - with only the Socialists Dave Nellist and Rob Windsor voting against.

It is this sort of tweedle dum - tweedle dee situation which has motivated leading trade unionists to come together to form the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which we see as the beginning of a process that could lead to the formation of new independent party for working class people.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT was scheduled to speak, however due to the impending strike taking place on the railways, he was unable to attend.

However, the audience heard from Manjit, a member of the TSSA union, who will be striking alongside their brothers and sisters in the RMT just after Easter.

He thanked the Socialist Party and Coventry TUC for their support in the recent dispute with Virgin Trains.

The meeting closed with Dave Griffiths outlining our election plans - we are aiming to stand in all three parliamentary seats in Coventry as well as an extended challenge in the local elections - this includes defending Rob Windsor's seat in the St Michaels ward.

After the meeting, many attendees signed nomination forms for our candidates, volunteered for leafleting and canvassing and also applied to join the Socialist Party.

We would urge people reading this to consider how YOU can help the Socialist challenge!

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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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