Socialist Alternative

Revolutionary Ideas: Building the fightback among workers and young people

Even before the pandemic, workers and young people in the UK were in a crisis. Housing prices in urban centers were skyrocketing, zero-hour contracts and precarity were haunting the future of young workers and even the most earnest trade union leaders had largely abandoned any idea of a large scale fightback based on the membership instead placing their hopes on the tragically concluded Corbyn project. 

And despite the government’s promises that ‘we’re all in this together’ their actions have shown the opposite – exacerbating the immense inequality in UK society. As redundancies rise at the fastest rate on record, disproportionately affecting BAME and young workers – the government is winding up the furlough scheme and offering nothing in its place leaving open the question of how we are going to continue to pay exorbitant rent and other bills. In the workplaces, heroic frontline workers like nurses are refused a pay rise while Tory MPs vote to put more cash in their own pockets. And at the same trade union leaders like TUC head Frances O’Grady think what we need is “We need a national council of reconstruction to rebuild the country.” instead of a militant mass movement initiated by the trade unions to fight for our livelihoods. It’s clear that whatever concessions the government gives us with one hand will be taken away with the other.

However, there’s an explosive mood among workers and young people across Britain. It’s been shown in the BlackLivesMatter movement, the recent conflict in Greater Manchester around funding and the growing number of demonstrations in schools and universities by both workers and students. So how do we build on the energy of these types of struggles to fight back for genuinely affordable housing, better pay and conditions in the workplaces and more decisive militant action by the trade unions? Bring your ideas to these sessions at the Revolutionary Ideas Festival to discuss and hear what Socialist Alternative has to say!

The following discussions will be part of the Revolutionary Ideas Online Festival of Resistance and Socialism (both on Saturday 28 November 2-4 PM)

The looming housing crisis: fighting evictions and high rents 

Covid-19 and economic crises – fighting back in the workplace and trade unions

Register now!

Further reading:

Housing crisis

The housing crisis: how can we fight back?

Fighting back against the housing crisis

Capitalism’s Housing Crisis

Capitalism’s Housing Crisis and the Socialist Alternative

Workplace and TUs

Frances O’Grady, we need a national trade union movement to fight for the working class

Britain’s jobs crisis – how can we fight mass unemployment?

Tech workers unite!

UNISON accepts local government pay offer – militant leadership needed

The struggle for a living wage in Sweatshop Britain

“Pay us what you owe us!” Unions must prepare to coordinate industrial action

The PCS union and the way forward during Covid-19

Revolutionary Ideas Festival: ‘Crisis and revolt: A world to win’

All around the world, the capitalist establishment is in an immense crisis. Sitting atop the worst economic crisis since the 1930s and the worst pandemic since the 1918 ‘Spanish flu’ – the political authority of many capitalist governments and figures are at their lowest point in the modern era. In the US, this summer’s burning of a police station during the Black Lives Matter rebellion had more public support than either major presidential candidate. In the UK, Johnson’s bumbling has led to the Tory government limping from scandal to scandal in less than a year since the fanfare of the general election. In Lebanon, the horrific explosions in Beirut have rocked the corrupt regime to its core. In almost every country inequality and the immiseration of the working and poor masses is growing or on the edge of a potential cliff.

But since 2019 we have had a fightback growing on an international scale – more combative and determined than anything we have seen in decades. From Chile to Iraq, from Belarus to Hong Kong, explosive struggles have emerged that have rocked the very foundations of the regimes of the ruling class. On top of that, the ticking time bomb of the climate crisis and the ongoing ravaging by Covid-19 adds to an explosive situation for the bourgeoisie and their system globally. And for the first time since the end of World War 2, there could be an open war between the major imperialist powers – which undoubtedly would provoke mass and even revolutionary uprisings.Yet despite this historic crisis and explosive movements, as of yet nowhere has the question of overturning the rule of the capitalists through the seizure of power by the working class yet been posed. 

Crisis and Revolt: A World to Win will be the main rally at the Revolutionary Ideas Online Festival of Resistance and Socialism

6pm Saturday 28 November

Register now! 

Join us for this important panel session with speakers who are activists from International Socialist Alternative in Britain and around the world to talk about these monumental developments and how we can link them to the fight for a new, better and socialist world!

“The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.”

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto

Further reading:

2019 || A Turning Point

World Relations || Inter-Imperialist Conflict and a New Cold War

Coronavirus || Socialists and the Covid-19 Pandemic • ISA

Covid-19: as virus spreads to the neo-colonial world, humanitarian catastrophe threatens

Socialist Alternative Issue 4 editorial: “the 2020s will be a decade of opportunity to change the world”

Colombia || New Waves of Protest over Police Murders

Crisis in Belarus || Lukashenko’s Throne Shaking

Lebanon || Mass Fury over Beirut’s Explosion Heightens Political Crisis

US cities erupt at the racist murder of George Floyd

US || Foresight 2020: Looming Political Storms of Capitalism

World to Win || China/Hong Kong Special! Socialists Speak Out