Socialist Worker

LETTERS - Collective action is the best way to push a radical agenda

Issue No. 2684

Jeremy Corbyn speaking to a rally in Gateshead during the 2017 election campaign. Big rallies help boost Labours radical message

Jeremy Corbyn speaking to a rally in Gateshead during the 2017 election campaign. Big rallies help boost Labour's radical message (Pic: Jenny Goodfellow/Flickr)

Dave Jones (Letters, 4 December) says there isn’t any difference between saying vote Labour in Socialist Worker and “campaigning with the Labour Party to tell your neighbours to vote Labour”.

His letter doesn’t seem to acknowledge that members of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) had already been doing a lot of campaigning.

SWP members have campaigned in shopping centres and at train and Tube stations, as well as alongside Labour members in their workplaces and campaign groups.

One weekend in south London saw a coalition of housing, health, education, environmental and anti-racist groups jointly organise leafleting in two local shopping centres. SWP members were centrally involved.

The SWP campaigned for a Labour victory, which is not the same as canvassing for the Labour Party. This isn’t a clever play on words.

Millions of people are angry at ten years of Tory rule and want something radically different to what’s been offered by the Tories and previous Labour leaders.

A victory for Corbyn would raise the confidence and aspirations of these people.

It’s great to know that Dave and hopefully many others are “encouraging people to get more involved”. But the overwhelming message I hear from Labour members is that the “involvement” is primarily about becoming a member and supporting—or opposing—the local MP at constituency meetings.

Like Dave, SWP members want more people to become union reps. But we also want to help build a mass movement against austerity that doesn’t rely on the people in power to act for us.

If Dave’s invitation to go canvassing for Labour meant going door-to-door, then we should ask ourselves a question.

Is the radical message of Labour’s manifesto best served by approaching voters as isolated individuals on their doorsteps, vulnerable to a biased media?

Or is it through the collective expressions of support that we saw in Corbyn’s 2017 campaign?

Then mass rallies, such as when tens of thousands turned out to hear Corbyn in Gateshead, helped Labour break from old routines.

They helped create an insurgent campaign that inspired millions to go out and vote for an end to poverty, racism and inequality.

It would be much more fruitful if Dave had joined us in calling on Corbyn to undertake similar rallies this time around.

Chris Kelly, South London

I’ve found on recent demos and leafletting that people really want to talk about issues.

The more upfront we are and open about where we stand as socialists, the more people are drawn to us.

People are angry but a docile, timid campaign or organisation does not relate to that anger.

People often quote stuff they’ve read in the media. But they are interested in the facts that show the media to be wrong if we take the time to share them.

Julia Richardson, Swansea

Donald Trump is a vocal racist who has lost no opportunity to vilify Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants and black people.

Yet a Channel 4 news journalist asked Trump if he thought lifelong anti-racist Jeremy Corbyn could “do more” to combat antisemitism in the Labour Party.

What next?

Approaching the Grand Dragon of the Klu Klux Klan to see if he thinks Corbyn could “do more” to combat antisemitism in the Labour Party?

Sasha Simic, North London

No justice for the 96

I was angry to hear the verdict in David Duckenfield’s trial over the Hillsborough disaster last week.

For those families who over many years have become comrades and friends, there was bitter disappointment. But there was no surprise.

I wasn’t at Hillsborough, but have campaigned for justice for a long time.

My personal belief has always been that no one will go to jail. The main reason I think this is because it’s class war.

We are not alone. Ask the families of anyone who has ever died in police custody or by state-sponsored paramilitaries.

The establishment and the state are there to serve the interests of the rich, the powerful and the bosses.

The police are the armed militia of the state. They are not neutral.

Neither are the judges, press, courts, prisons or laws. It’s very rare they let one of their own be found guilty.

Even if they sacrifice a lone scapegoat, they will make it almost impossible to get justice. You can’t beat them in the courts or vote away their power.

Hillsborough went to the very top of the British establishment.

Until we systematically change society there will be more Hillsboroughs, Bloody Sundays, Ballymurphys, Sean Riggs, Christopher Alders and Orgreaves.

The establishment engages in class war and we need to fight back. Justice for all.

Phil Rowan, South London

The Sun had a headline last Saturday saying, “Still No Justice”.

It is trying to make out it has always supported the fight of the Hillsborough victims’ families and taken their feelings into account.

Don’t be fooled.

Will Counsel, Peterborough

Students back UCU strikers

Solidarity with Queen Mary University of London staff highlighting discrimination, workloads, bullying, physical/mental health, job insecurity.

Most students pay £9,250 per year and struggle to make ends meet.

Universities made a £1 billion surplus last year. It shouldn’t be this way.

@emdad07, On Twitter

Is it too late to fight back?

I’m afraid it could now be too late (After CWU loses court appeal—start the reballot, 4 December).

This was our big chance to make a stand against this now very badly run management.

@tdevo42, On Twitter

Imperialism spawns terror

I was glad that Socialist Worker pointed out the links between terror attacks and imperialism (Socialist Worker, 4 December).

If these links aren’t made then terrorism makes no sense, and racist ideas about Muslims and Islam can fill the gap.

Kay Dwight, Leicester

The media-fuelled hatred of Muslims doesn’t help either.

Graham Jones, On Facebook

Bombing Muslim countries should stop. That’s another form of racism from the West.

Andres Viveros, On Facebook

Brexit Party health lies

The Brexit Party has been allowed to use the original Barnsley Save Our NHS Facebook page in its general election campaign.

This follows a former member who set up the page blocking other group administrators.

Hijacking our original page is a deliberate act to imply that the Brexit Party has a record of health campaigning in Barnsley, which is not the case.

Barnsley Save Our NHS

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