After a week of sunshine on Tyneside it was grizzly rain on Saturday 18 May. It was tempting to just call off our regular public sale of the Socialist and go for a coffee. Fortunately we didn't... and what a response we got!
For the Socialist Party, alongside all our other activities, paper sales are a way of gauging the public mood and testing our ideas.
For a short while in Newcastle we've struggled against an 'anti-politics' mood as working-class anger has festered over the Brexit shenanigans in parliament.
But on Saturday we saw that mood beginning to break, and people are again starting to look for answers to the problems they face.
Loads of people came to speak to us, agreeing with our campaign to scrap Universal Credit and to get rid of this rotten Tory government.
Many of those who came to our stall were themselves on benefits and had suffered sanctions and a feeling of hopelessness at living in grinding poverty.
Our leaflets calling for the scrapping of Universal Credit were snatched up. We sold 17 papers and collected over £10 for the fighting fund and, most importantly, raised the prospect of a socialist alternative.