Over 1,000 people packed into the opening rally at the Marxism 2007 festival of resistance in central London tonight. The rally celebrated the struggles of workers and movements around the world against neoliberalism and imperialism.
People were glad that anti-war feeling had chased Tony Blair from office, but clear that the movements and the unions would have to continue to fight against the policies of Gordon Brown.
Postal worker Merlin Reader was cheered as he told of last week’s brilliant strike by the CWU union and the announcement of another 24 hour strike for all shifts from 7pm next Thursday.
Kamal Khalil, of the Egyptian Kifaya (“Enough” in Arabic) opposition movement, received a standing ovation after speaking of the Egyptian strike wave that is rocking the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak.
Mani Tanoh, a socialist from Ghana, spoke of the recent strikes in Nigeria, South Africa and Guinea that proved that while Africa was a “scar on the legitimacy of global capitalism” it is also a continent where people are capable of great resistance.
Lindsey German, the convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, spoke of the disastrous policies that New Labour has inflicted on people in Iraq, Afghanistan and at home, and the need to build a left wing alternative.
Preston Respect councillor Michael Lavallette told the rally about how the successes Respect achieved in May’s local elections showed how it could be an alternative to the major parties.
Earlier meetings on Latin America – the rising of the people, Palestine – the case for a one state solution, the new scramble for Africa and Against postmodernism had been filled with people discussing and debating issues vital to movements of resistance.
Make sure you join the festival. It runs until Monday 9 July. Go to » www.marxismfestival.org.uk for more information