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Strikes and protests show how to build the resistance

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Issue 2683
University strikers at Goldsmiths
University strikers at Goldsmiths (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Three things in the past week have offered some inspiration and excitement away from the election grind.

One is the university workers’ strike. Some 43,000 UCU union members at 60 universities across Britain waged an eight-day strike.

They’re defending their pensions, but they’re also fighting against inequality, insecurity and low pay.

Then at the start of the week train guards on South Western Railway began 27 days of strikes.

They’ve defied abuse from the media and right wing politicians to defend their jobs.

And then there are the school climate strikers.

They’ve inspired ordinary people, and put politicians and union leaders on the spot—forcing climate change to the top of the agenda.

The Labour Party had to run to catch up with the movement. Some in Labour would like the climate strikers to get in line behind them.

But the anger and determination of most of the strikers has a life of its own.

If Labour wins the election, we’ll need strikes and movements like this on a much bigger scale to fight the forces that want to crush the government—and to hold Corbyn to his word.

If it loses, they’re the alternative to defeat and demoralisation.

Either way, we need to build the resistance now.

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