Marxist Mondays - short videos on current political issues from a Marxist perspective - This week "The Right Don't care About Free Speech"
Protests at new level as thousands march across Britain against police bill
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of London and towns and cities around Britain on Friday and Saturday to show their anger at the Tories’ protest-smashing police bill. Up to 5,000 protesters gathered at Speakers’ Corner in London carrying placards with slogans such as, “No protest, no progress.” Meanwhile, up to 3,000 people had joined Bristol’s fifth protest against the bill. In Manchester around 700 people marched around the city and blocked roads. And hundreds also joined a rally and march in Oxford.
The state has shown is is prepared to use violence and the courts to intimidate the protesters even before the bill has been passed. During a 5,000-strong protest in central London on Saturday, the Metropolitan Police made 107 arrests. This included two independent legal observers. Police kettled and arrested protesters, and claimed to have discovered a small number “intent on remaining to cause disruption” as justification for their actions.
The protests at the weekend were powerful. But they are still small compared to what will be needed to win. A demonstration by 5,000 people is good. A militant protest by 5,000 that takes over the streets and refuses to surrender to police threats is better. A strike by 5,000 workers can be even more challenging.
Everyone needs to push for bigger protests. And to grow it must continue to bring in wider issues in society that people are angry about. The pandemic and the government’s failures can play a huge part in mobilising more people to the streets.
It’s vital that workers are at the centre of it. Workers’ involvement should be about class anger rather than a round of statements from unions that would not take anything forward. Every trade unionist should be on the protests and demand that their union leaders actively back them. There should be mass publicity against the bill and clear calls from the unions to turn out on the streets.
Arguing for workers’ involvement isn’t about reducing the movement to the blandness and hesitations of the union leaders. It’s about taking the radicalism of the movement into the workplace and using workers power to add to the movement. In France, some of the most militant strikes in 2019-20 followed the interaction of workers and the Yellow Vest movement.
This week's Oxford and Thames Valley SWP branch meeting - all welcome
7PM Wednesday 7th April
Meeting ID: 861 2001 6477 Passcode: 967537
One year ago Sir Keir Starmer took over from Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader after winning a decisive victory in the leadership election. While the left’s candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey lost, the majority of the left decided to “Stay and fight” and to “hold Starmer to account” on his soft left policy pledges. One year on and Starmer has shifted the party to the right. He has cosied up to big business, the police and security apparatus, dumped radical action on climate change and thrown working class people under the bus during the pandemic. Meanwhile, Corbyn isn’t even a Labour MP anymore.
Can the left in the Labour Party turn this around? Is there an alternative? Join the discussion.
The Paris Commune 1871 - When Workers Were "Storming Heaven 7PM Wednesday 14th April
Meeting ID: 861 2001 6477 Passcode: 967537
The Paris Commune, where workers briefly took power and created the first workers’ government, was born 150 years ago.A workers’ movement ran the city for 72 days between March and May 1871, with freedom and democracy at its core.
Revolutionary Karl Marx described the Paris Commune as, “The first revolution in which the working class was openly acknowledged as the only class capable of social initiative, even by the great bulk of the Paris middle class—shopkeepers, tradesmen, merchants—the wealthy capitalist alone excepted.” And the revolutionary Frederick Engels later wrote, “Look at the Paris Commune. That was the dictatorship of the proletariat.”
Join us to discuss the lessons of the Commune for today.
Sat, 8 May 2021, 12:00 – Sun, 9 May 2021, 17:00
The last year has thrown the crisis of capitalism into sharp focus. The system promises us a future of pandemic, climate change, racism and economic chaos. Covid 19 has exacerbated the existing faultlines in society - oppression, inequality and the divide between rich & poor. But there has also been resistance.
In the last year we have seen inspiring movements against sexism, police violence and to demand Black Lives Matter. People have taken to the streets to confront the worst symptoms of the society we live - and also to demand system change. The choice before us is, as Rosa Luxemburg once said, socialism or barbarism.
Join us for Marxism Festival online to discuss how we can fight back against a system in crisis - and build a radical alternative. Register @ bit.ly/marxism21
Stand Up To Racism
7 PM Tuesday 6th April
Zoom meeting ID: 836 3302 1072 Passcode: 805835
Open to all who want to build a mass movement against racism.
Oxford Stand Up To Racism is holding a stall from 5pm in Bonn Square to distribute a leaflet hightlighting the increased attacks on Roma, Gypsy and Traveller (GRT) communities. If the new Police, Crime & Sentencing bill passes it's final reading it is oppressed groups such as GRT who will be affected. The new law will change trespass from a civil offence to a criminal offence this is on top of other new laws that target these communities. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help.
Starting Saturday 22nd May Details tbc
Due to the risk of infection we cannot distribute Socilaist Worker as normal and are encouraging supporters to take out a subscription to support Socialist Worker being an independant voice for the working class. You can subscribe online here