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From: Article posted to home page Notebook, 8 November 2017: Brief articles and notes on the Socialist Party website

Search site for keywords: Russian revolution - Revolution - Socialist - The Socialist - Socialist Party - Tamil Solidarity - Kshama Sawant - Peter Taaffe - Chris Baugh

Mass rally to commemorate 1917 Russian Revolution

Saturday 11 November 2017

6.30-8.30pm in the Institute of Education, Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

www.socialism2017.net

A Socialist Party press release

The Socialist Party defends the legacy of the 1917 October Revolution and will commemorate it with a major public event: Socialism 2017.

Socialism 2017 on 11 & 12 November will be attended by over 1,000 students, trade unionists, Corbynistas, socialists and those who are socialist-curious, and the legacy of 1917 will be a major theme - see details below.

We will also be discussing why the Soviet Union degenerated into dictatorship and what the lessons are for socialists in 2017.

Socialism 2017 organiser Sarah Sachs-Eldridge said: "It's said that when the Tsarina moved from the winter palace in St Petersburg to her summer palace over 25km away the first of her procession of carriages carrying her clothes and jewellery arrived before the final one had left.

"Enormous inequality was an ingredient in the 1917 revolution. The Paradise Papers expose how the world's super-rich try to hide their obscene wealth while telling us we have to have austerity.

"But they can't stop the interest growing in socialist ideas. We have never sold so many tickets at this point for our annual event.

"People want to know about socialism - the Sanders and Corbyn movements show that - and they want to know about revolution."

The Russian revolution brought into existence the first workers-led government to hold power for any length of time. It was the most democratic form of government ever embarked on. All major decision-making was to be exercised though a system of elected councils ('soviets') - of workers', soldiers' and peasants' delegates - at a local, regional and national level.

Socialism 2017 Saturday rally speakers:

Kshama Sawant

A 2 September Guardian article about the growing interest in socialist ideas in the US said: "There are few socialists elected to public office in the US today.

"The most prominent is Kshama Sawant of the Socialist Alternative party, who won a seat on Seattle's city council in 2013 and drove through an increase in the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour.

"She was re-elected two years ago promising a tax on the rich in a state with no income tax. In July, the city council unanimously passed a 2.25% city tax on people earning more than $250,000 a year."

Last year Kshama rose to prominence with her call for Bernie Sanders to run as an independent candidate against the racist bigot Trump and the defender of Wall Street Hillary Clinton.

Kshama is a member of Socialist Alternative.

Ian Mearns

Ian Mearns MP is a Corbyn supporter. He is the leader of the RMT parliamentary group

Peter Taaffe

Peter is the general secretary of the Socialist Party. Before that he was the editor of Militant, famous for leading the successful mass campaign that brought down the poll tax and Margaret Thatcher.

His recently published book, From Militant to the Socialist Party, deals with the Blairite takeover of the Labour Party.

Juan Ignacio Ramos

Juan Ignacio is the general secretary of Izquierda Revolucionaria, the sister party of the Socialist Party in the Spanish state.

Last July Izquierda Revolucionaria in the Spanish state, Mexico and Venezuela re-unified with the Committee for a Workers' International, the socialist world organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated.

Juan Ignacio and IR members in Catalonia have been to the forefront of the struggle for a Catalan socialist republic.

They have written extensive analysis which can be read at www.socialistworld.net

Chris Baugh

Chris is the assistant general secretary of the PCS civil service union and is a determined trade union activist who, as well as playing a key role in a number of disputes such as the National Gallery campaign, has also specialised in making environmental issues trade union issues, along with many other issues.

Isai Priya

Isai is an activist with Tamil Solidarity and has been working closely with the new Refugee Rights Campaign.

Isai will be launching a new campaign to fight for the right to work of refugees and asylum seekers which is supported by Tamil Solidarity, the TGTE and the Socialist Party.

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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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