Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2809

All on the streets for 18 June demo—march, strike and revolt

Take to the streets and strike to kick the Tories out and to stop the horrific assaults on living standards
Issue 2809
Tories anti-racism protest

Everyone must come together to beat the Tories (pic: Guy Smallman)

Every worker, trade unionist, campaigner and activist must be on the streets of central London on Saturday as part of the TUC union federation’s march. Whatever its particular slogans, it can focus all the rage against the Tories and the accelerating social emergency of soaring prices and falling wages, pensions and benefits.

This government is rotten to the core. But it’s not letting up in its attacks on working class people and the stakes are rising. Either we smash them or they will inflict horror after horror on us. After the march, the key question will be how much real struggle our side mounts.  A fightback on the streets and workplaces is the only way to beat back Boris Johnson and his murderous Tories, and to tackle the assault on our lives.

And when people march on Saturday they will know there is a real prospect of a major battle we can win. The rail workers’ strikes have the government worried. They can’t brush off the power to halt major transport routes and squeeze the movement of goods.

Some government ministers may welcome the strike as a chance to replay Margaret Thatcher’s defeat of the miners.  But that loss was not inevitable, and this time we should all fight to win. Everyone must go away from the march with a plan to build solidarity with the rail and tube workers. But we need more than just a rail workers’ victory. We need others to follow them. 

It’s good to see groups from bin workers to university workers hitting back, BT workers balloting for strikes and Royal Mail workers and civil servants set to join them.  Millions more need to be part of a new strike surge. 

Far too often trade union and Labour Party leaders have held back resistance or missed opportunities. How else did the Tories get away with paying out NHS workers a contemptible below-inflation pay deal in the middle of a pandemic? They must not be allowed to do the same again, and every worker needs a real pay rise. That requires an increase above the 11.1 percent RPI figure. 

It means encouragement and solidarity with every piece of resistance and fighting until victory rather than pretending that a five  percent “rise” is anything but a pay cut. When we resist, the Tories try to divide us. So we need to fight racism, sexism, the attacks on LGBT+ people and all the oppressions that are used against us. This isn’t an optional extra. It’s at the core of building an effective movement.

We need a big shift, a leap, in the level of struggle, And Keir Starmer’s Labour Party won’t deliver that. Starmer and his acolytes have let Johnson off the hook repeatedly and are obsessed with beating the left and with parliamentary manoeuvres rather than real resistance. And Labour has always been wedded in practice to a capitalist system that increasingly drives us to disaster. 

It means poverty, war, environmental collapse and recurrent pandemics. We have to fight on all those issues but also overthrow that system itself. It’s clearer than ever that capitalism causes multiple crises, and none of the parliamentary half‑measures can tame it or eliminate it. We need a revolution that can abolish poverty, tear out the roots of bigotry and confront climate chaos.

All workers—black, white, gay, straight, male, female and non‑binary—have to unite as a class to fight for a better world. We have more in common as a class than we do with those rulers pumping out their lies. Winning a socialist solution would see a world that brings people together rather than keeping us apart.

And to win that vision of socialism means joining and fighting for a revolutionary organisation that can help to unify the struggle and push it forwards to victory. The only way to defeat the Tories and their system of crisis is to fight together, demand a new world and join the revolutionaries who want to and can make that happen. March in big numbers on Saturday, strike together afterwards and join the Socialist Workers Party.

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