Sunday, 28 November 2010

Bristol Socialist Party meeting 30/11/2010 7.30pm

The Student Movement and British Perspectives -  a talk by Matt Gordon

Cheltenham Road Library, Cheltenham Rd, Bristol, BS6 5QX - Tuesday 30/11/10 7.30pm

Find us here

On Tuesday we will be holding our monthly aggregate, or all-regional, meeting of the Socialist Party. I will be introducing a discussion on 'British Perspectives', based on the recent National Committee meeting of the Socialist Party. I will try to give a  Marxist analysis of the economic, social and political situation today and the prospects for the rising Anti-Cuts movement. I will be looking in special detail at recent events around education cuts and counter-reforms and the student response to them - how we can build the movement, link up the campaigns of workers and students, defend ourselves from the police and the State, and ultimately break up the ConDem coalition and defeat the cuts once and for all. Now is the time to get involved so please come along. Email me to find out more.

Protest in central London against higher tuition fees and education cuts , photo Suzanne Beishon

Ireland - New 'United Left Alliance' formed

A newly-formed alliance of existing parties has said it will lead a campaign of sustained resistance on the streets.The 'United Left Alliance' is formed by the People Before Profit Alliance, Socialist Party, and Workers and Unemployed Action Group. The group has said it will become an alternative to a Fine Gael/Labour government following the next General Election.

The ULA has said it expects to run around 20 candidates in the election. Socialist Party MEP Joe Higgins said it is his view that there is no need for cuts, adding that working class people should not be expected to pay for the mistakes of the wealthy. 

Read More

The official website is new, but check it out here -

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Heavy handed policing on 24 November

By Frankie Langeland, Bristol Socialist Party

A large game of cat and mouse, is the term that has been adopted by many to describe the demonstration against tuition fees and education cuts that took place in Bristol on Wednesday.
However being on the demo myself, it was a fantastic day which pulled together over a week's worth of activity from students across the city.

4,000 students and workers took to the streets of Bristol, in coordinated action that united students, lecturers and pupils from the University of the West of England (UWE), University of Bristol, City of Bristol colleges and secondary schools. The march began at Bristol University's Senate House. Students began to march, surrounded by riot police. We marched from Senate House, down Park Street and onto College Green, where the police expected us to stop our protest. Students however wanted to march into the city centre, we broke though the first barrier they made but were prevented again quite quickly and were unable to get though to the city centre.

Students demanded "let us march" to the police, but soon people on megaphones called for the demonstration to turn back in an attempt to take one of the side alleyways into the city.
However these roads were also blocked off and the protest was forced back up to the top of Park Street by the police. Students continued to chant and wave homemade placards with slogans such as 'thought is not a commodity' and 'Adopt a Prof.for X Mas.' The liveliness of the demo did not die down nor did the anger directed towards the Lib Dems and the Tories.

We attempted to march along another route past the BRI hospital, we were again blocked by riot police who were this time more forceful in keeping us from marching. It seemed that the police were ready for a fight, however the students on the demo just wanted to protest peacefully.

It soon became clear that we had been kettled by police. Some students sat down in protest, then a trickle of news came though that some students had managed to occupy the University of Bristol's student union building. In solidarity with these students, the demonstration went to march to the student union, but the riot police went to move to block our way.

Luckily a section of demonstrators acted as a diversion and ran in the opposite direction causing the police to follow them, leaving us free to join the occupying students. The police however pushed through the demo and refused to allow any more students to join the occupation, kicking students back away from the doors. The protest again turned around and headed back to park street, running down the road back towards College Green and to a nearby college.Around 300 students were able to get into this college in an attempt to occupy. However this ended quite suddenly when the fire alarms were activated and the building was evacuated.

I don't like writing about this demo and putting so much focus on the police actions, however their heavy handed actions unfortunately did define it to an extent. This was repeated up and down the country at other local demos, certainly a response to the national demo on 10 November.
But still this demonstration only came together because of the anger and energy of students in Bristol, also the large number of school pupils who came out in their school uniforms in protest at the abolition of EMA, which has been largely unreported in the mainstream media. The nature of this demo is certainly linked to the fact that this is a generation that has not protested before.
However this is a generation that is taking a lead in saying NO to the Con-Dem government.

Frankie Langeland

Friday, 26 November 2010

UWE SU votes to support occupation

A victory for the students - the student union AGM has voted to support the occupation, and all other student strikes and sit-ins around the country. But that will not be enough, the NUS is not the body to co-ordinate a national campaign - something must be built from the ground up. Read more about UWE here:

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

4,000 protest in Bristol against education cuts

Thousands of young protesters took to the streets today in Bristol, as part of a nationwide wave of student strikes, occupations and demonstrations against the rise in fees and the EMA cut. But as the chants and placards showed - against the ConDem cuts as a whole. As usual the police were heavy-handed, refusing to let the demonstration march to the centre, trying to kettle the protestors in as small an area as possible, charging on horses and also using attack dogs.

The UWE occupation continues, and insofar as I know Bristol Student Union is being occupied.

We must defend any of those protestors arrested, while organising ourselves in a mass, democratic campaign on a national-scale.

Read articles about the occupation on the Socialist party website and the Bristol Evening Post

Update to the date info about protest around the country here

Youth Fight For Jobs will be holding public meetings in Bristol and calling for further nationwide action on December 11th. 

UWE Occupation continues - join the protest!

Click here to read the Indymedia report

A group of students have been in occupation of a canteen on the Frenchay site since Monday afternoon - Lecturers and students, join the national walk-out today and show the ConDem's that they will not get away with the destruction of our futures - a free and quality education for all!

Marxism and Anarchism - Reading

For those that would have like to go to last nights branch meeting but were unable to attend, I would reccomend this pamphlet by the great American Trotskyist James P. Canon. It is taken from the website which is always an excellent source for any material relating to the Marxist and Trotskyist movement.

The I.W.W. by James P. Canon

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Bristol Central Socialist Party meeting 23/11/2010 7.30pm

'Anarchism and Marxism' - a talk by Paul Moorhouse

Cheltenham Road Library, Cheltenham Rd, Bristol, BS6 5QX - Tuesday 23/11/10 7.30pm

The Bristol Central Branch of the Socialist Party will discuss the history, theory and practice of the anarchist movement - from the split in the First International between 'Marxists' and 'Proudhonist' until the present day with theories of 'spontaneity' and 'direct action', and spelling out the lessons of why genuine Marxism represents the historic science of the working class and is the only way to reach a free society where Marx's dictum can come true - 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need'.

There will be questions and debate, and all are welcome. 

Monday, 22 November 2010

Bristol & UWE students - walk out over education cuts Wednesday 24th November

UWE students have gone into occupation on Monday at 4pm - well done to the small number prepared to to build on the momentum from the last big demo in London, what we need now is a mass campaign of occupations and walk-outs up and down the country.

The fight goes on - Bristol and UWE University students are planning to stage a walk out on Wednesday 24th - as part of a national strike against savage education cuts and a fee rise of up to £12,000. Groups are organising at both universities in revolt against Tory cuts.

St. Matts and Frenchay Students - walk out at 11:00am Bristol University Students 12: noon. Meet up and put pressure on the traitorous and spineless Libral council, voted into office on the cynical pretext of supporting students - now they breaking up decent and accessible education as we know it.

UWE students email to find out more:

Bristol students contact:

Bristol Youth Fight For Jobs 

UWE Against the Cuts

1,000+ on Gloucestershire Anti-Cuts Demonstration

The demonstration called by the newly formed Gloucester District Trades Council was attended by well over a thousand lively, but quite rightly angry, demonstrators and by all accounts showed a strong fight the ConDem government, and 'little' axemen in the councils, against every cut and every attack. Gloucestershire County Council plan savage cuts, as the article from the Socialist Party below explains. Workers facing the axe, and students whose futures are torn to shreds, should link up for an organised fight against the ConDem cuts.

Gloucestershire Socialist Party report from the demo
Allegedly, 5,000 people (out of 600,000 living in the county) opted for cuts in youth services and libraries.
However, they got a different answer over the last week: scores of county employees lobbied a GCC Cabinet meeting on Thursday.
Then on Saturday 1,000 protesters joined a march and rally in Gloucester organised by the recently-formed Gloucester Districts Trades Council.
When the protest date was set no-one knew the true extent and savagery of the GCC cuts. But it's a scorched earth policy as far as youth services and libraries are concerned. Scarcely a youth club will remain, the library services face 43% cuts, legal aid and trading standards are to be ransacked.
One thousand county council jobs will go, plus police officers and firefighters. Gloucestershire is a rural county so the 40% cuts to bus transport and road maintenance will have a dire effect, especially if people need to travel further for other services.
Defying the cold and rain, trade unionists, library staff, youth workers and groups of people wanting to save their libraries, youth clubs and centres for the disabled turned out with an array of placards and colourful banners.

Not of our making

Trevor Hall, regional organiser for Unite, told us: "The crisis is not of our making ... why should we pay? The super rich must pay their taxes like you and I do. This is just the start ... the first of many big protests".
Billy Hayes, general secretary of the CWU also praised the big response. He said that his members are not just facing Tory cuts and lying Lib Dems, but also Royal Mail is under the renewed threat of privatisation.
He urged us to show the coalition government what we think of it at the ballot box. People around us muttered "too late", at this idea of waiting nearly five years for the next general election.
Fortunately, John McInally, vice president of the PCS spoke next, echoing what previous speakers had said about the nature of the crisis before reminding us that cuts and privatisation had been on Labour's agenda too.
Now Labour authorities in Wales are threatening to dismiss ten thousand council workers if they refuse new contracts.
He said that the government could be defeated but it would require coordinated strike action linked to community initiatives and local anti-cuts unions.


His words struck a chord at the rally, the anger was palpable. Every point he made was applauded.
In fact, all of the fighting speeches - and there were several - got a lot of support. Parmjit Dhanda, Gloucester's former Labour MP, looked a bit forlorn - it wasn't the weather, he'd got the message.
And he's aware that his broken pledge to defend the post offices has not been forgotten.
For local people one of the most important speakers was a campaigner from the Forest of Dean. Half of the forest (owned by the state since nationalisation in 1924) is to be sold off. Campaigners understand how this is linked to the cuts and demolition of the welfare state. The people there are livid. Strong local resistance thwarted Thatcher's attempt to privatise the forest in the 1980s, so this campaign will be big and militant.
Forty-five people heard John McInally speak at a meeting held immediately after the rally to discuss how to set up anti-cuts unions.
Phil Jordan, secretary of the trades council and FBU regional chair also spoke, and Sue Powell spoke from Gloucestershire Socialist Party.
Anti-cuts groups are being set up across the county and it is important that the trades council provides effective coordination through the anti-cuts alliance that it founded in October.
Community action will be crucial in the fight to defend youth services and libraries.
The GCC has launched its Big Offer - a cousin of the Big Society - which is a scheme to hand over 30 properties and assets.
The Tories say they are being "given back to the community" but in reality it's still privatisation.
Groups will be given grants to run facilities using volunteers; as one library worker said: "volunteering for my job".
One of our tasks will be to make this clear to charities and the voluntary sector.
County Council leader Mark Hawthorne has an appetite for cuts, clawing even more money back than the county has lost through Westminster's local government cuts.
In September the Road Shows were announced as the "community's chance to Meet the Challenge". Judging by last week's protests and the mounting campaign in the Forest of Dean, they might regret that offer.

Gloucestershire Socialist Party 22/11/10

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Anti-Cuts News - Gloucester Protest Sat 20/11/10

There was a lively protest in Bath on the 16th November, and Socialist party members were there to show support. We call for a nationally co-ordinated cuts campaign that will leave the Tory-Liberals nowhere to hide, and support the National Shop Steward Network conference on 22nd Jan 2011.

There will a protest in Gloucester this Saturday 20th November 2010, not least over plans to privatise the Forest of Dean and make the larger aim of making Gloucestershire as a whole a so-called 'EasyCouncil' - by selling off everything that moves and cutting the rest. The March is supported by the Gloucestershire Anti-Cuts Alliance, Gloucester Trades Council, and other trade unions and local groups, and will be setting off at 10am from Gloucester Park. If you live in the area please come along, or email if you want more info or help with transport. The Socialist Party will be there, including a delegation from our Bristol branches, fighting to stop every cut.

Click here for more info on Gloucester

Click here for the Bristol Anti-Cuts Alliance

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Daily Mail Song

Another example of why you should read The Socialist! For an independent workers' press and a workers' media!

Monday, 15 November 2010

New book - Women and the Struggle for Socialism

Women and the Struggle for Socialism
It doesn't have to be like this
Christine Thomas

What consequences will the economic crisis and its aftermath have for women? Will the important changes for women that have taken place unwind? Are inequality, discrimination and oppression inevitable in our lives?

Price £5.99 - Available from Bristol Socialist Party

Latest videos on Socialist Party South West channel

New videos from the recent PCS Question Time event and South Bristol Against the Cuts public meeting

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Bristol Central Socialist Party meeting 16/11/2010

'Mental Health and Socialism' - a talk by Jack Jeffrey

Cheltenham Road Library, Cheltenham Rd, Bristol, BS6 5QX - Tuesday 16/11/10 7.30pm

A talk based on a discussion at this years Socialist Party event - Socialism 2010 - will be given by Jack Jeffrey, to discuss what effects the Con-Dem cuts will have on mental health provisions for those in need. It will also discuss how 'mental health' is constructed by capitalism, how medical science based on profit and not need will worsen these problems. The Socialist Party calls for a genuinely public-owned and democraticlly run health service, free at the point of need, as the only solution for the ills of capitalist-society.

There will be questions and debate, and all are welcome.