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From: The Socialist issue 505, 11 October 2007: Unity with the postal workers

Search site for keywords: Socialism - Socialism 2007 - Venezuela

Socialism 2007: Debates to sharpen your socialism

Socialism 2007, the annual weekend event hosted by the Socialist Party, is the ideal opportunity to witness and participate in key debates that deal with issues confronting every labour movement activist and Marxist.

Paul Hunt, Coventry West Socialist Party

In the last few years the Socialism weekends have seen wide ranging debates on different subjects with an array of speakers, and this year's event will continue that tradition.

Socialists do not arrange debates and discussions for the sake of it. Debates can help sharpen our ideas, consider other viewpoints and help us clarify our programme and policies.

Latin America has become a key battleground in class struggle, including major movements of oppressed people in countries like Bolivia. In Venezuela, president Hugo Chavez openly talks of socialism and revolution and has introduced measures to improve the lives of working people.

The debate What way forward for the revolutionary events in Venezuela? will take place between Karl Debbaut of the CWI and Jorge Martin, the international secretary of the Hands Off Venezuela campaign. This debate will cover questions like 'should Marxists be part of the new socialist party set up by Chavez?' and 'how can the international working class help build solidarity with Venezuela?'

With the start of the new university year, Socialist Students have signed up hundreds of new members on the basis of opposition to fees and support for free education. Many students ask what the National Union of Students (NUS) is doing about many people being priced out of Higher Education.

In the session Campaigning to Defeat Fees Gemma Tumelty, NUS national president, will be debating with James Kerr of Socialist Students to discuss the way forward. Every Socialist Students member should be at this debate.

All political parties now seem to use the environmental crisis as a way of winning votes, with mainstream politicians attempting to outdo each other by proving how green they are. Clearly none of them can solve the crisis as they defend and represent the polluting multinationals.

But what about the Green Party? In Socialist planning could it save the environment? Pete Dickenson, author of Planning Green Growth will debate with Jenny Jones, a Green Party member of the Greater London Assembly.

Important discussions on the labour movement and initiatives such as the national shop stewards network will also take place during the weekend.

Across the planet workers are organising to fight capitalist globalisation and for a way out of the growing economic crisis.

There are different arguments as to what the way forward should be and how we can fight back. In Anarchism or Socialism? the Socialist Party will debate with Adam Lincoln, an organiser for Industrial Workers of the World.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

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Article dated 11 October 2007

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Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo by Dave Murray

Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

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