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From: The Socialist issue 1097, 5 August 2020: NHS pay: 15% for all now

Search site for keywords: BAME - Racism - Capitalism - Socialist Party - Socialist - Black - Asian - Hugo Pierre - Black Panthers - Black Lives Matter

Socialist Party black and Asian members' meeting

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

Black Lives Matter protesters, Hyde Park, 3.6.20, photo Socialist Party

Black Lives Matter protesters, Hyde Park, 3.6.20, photo Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Isai Priya, London Socialist Party

A very well-attended Socialist Party black and Asian members' meeting on 25 July was an opportunity to discuss the Covid crisis, the Black Lives Matter demos, and how we can build a mass working-class movement to smash racism.

Hugo Pierre, one of the elected black members' reps on the national executive of public sector union Unison, speaking in a personal capacity, introduced the first discussion. Covid-19 has exposed the inequality and exploitation that exists within capitalism.

It is not a surprise that black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people are most affected by the pandemic. One third of black and Asian workers in London are key workers and have been working on the frontline during the pandemic. The vast majority of BAME people live in overcrowded housing, work long hours in low-paid jobs, and live in poverty.

Hugo also outlined the root cause of racism - class inequality under capitalism - and how it's used as a tool by the capitalists to divide the working class on racial lines, or to blame black and Asian people for the ongoing shortage of services. Racism is inherent in capitalism. To get rid of racism we need to end the capitalist system and fight for socialism.

We discussed institutionalised racism in workplaces. A Socialist Party member and social care worker explained the racial discrimination she faces daily and how in-work racism can be fought.

The Socialist Party has been organising discussions on the role of the working class in fighting racism, the lessons of the Black Panthers, the ending of the slave trade, and more. The meeting agreed to add to the material we have, and produce a new pamphlet on the socialist ideas needed to arm the anti-racist movement.

It is these socialist ideas, the understanding of the root cause of racism and the strength of the mass working-class movement that have the power to challenge capitalism and all the exploitation and oppression it represents.

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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.

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Black and Asian keywords:

African American (3)

Asian (82)

Black (283)

Black Power (6)

Caste (7)

Muslim (76)

Tamil (133)

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Article dated 5 August 2020

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Leicester picket on the 21st strike day (22nd Feb) of around 7,000 British Gas engineers.  They are fighting against

Leicester picket on the 21st strike day (22nd Feb) of around 7,000 British Gas engineers. They are fighting against 'fire and rehire' - designed to worsen terms and conditions. Photo by Steve Score, Leicester Socialist Party

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