Amid the stifling narrowness of official politics in Britain, there are some very welcome signs of change this week.
It’s not the latest hyped and spun manoeuvres over Brexit that give hope, it’s the fact that tens of thousands of people are going to take to the streets.
On Friday school students were set to spearhead a revolt over climate change.
It couldn’t be more urgent. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last week produced a terrifying prediction.
They said that if it’s “business as usual” then in 50 years’ time well over half a billion people will experience humid heat waves that will kill even healthy people in the shade within six hours.
Welcome to capitalism 2070.
On Saturday demonstrations against racism will take place in London, Glasgow and Cardiff organised by Stand Up To Racism—and by other groups in cities across the world.
It won’t be the vile slogans of the fascists that fill the streets. Instead there will be a sense of international fighting unity. There is widespread fear and anger over both climate chaos and over the rise of racism and the far right. But unless there is action, a sense of paralysis and powerlessness spreads.
Large numbers raging against those in power and fighting back gives collective confidence.
Marches can be a launchpad for the larger protests and strikes that can break the hold of those at the top of society.
That is why everyone needs to be part of energetically building and supporting both mobilisations this week. And we need many more of them.
Constant surrenders never win anything. It’s one of the most frustrating and inexcusable aspects of the slurs against the Labour Party’s leaders that instead of hitting back they simply capitulate to many of the false arguments thrown at them.
That leaves the initiative with people such as deputy leader Tom Watson, and it leads to retreats such as the abandonment of free movement for workers.
But this flows from the logic of the “unity of Labour” and of prioritising elections.
Rather than confront the Labour right, or be accused of failing to look like a government in waiting, Labour’s left shrinks from urging mass resistance.
Whatever happens now over Brexit, the grinding reality of austerity continues. As analysts pick over the latest scheming in parliament, millions of ordinary people’s lives are being wrecked.
The trade unions and the Labour Party have to fight much harder, and when they don’t activists have to try to fill the gaps.
To guide such movements we argue for a different sort of politics—revolutionary socialist politics that can offer an alternative to the disasters and cruelties of capitalism.