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From: The Socialist issue 995, 16 May 2018: Middle East in crisis - no to war!

Search site for keywords: Chesterfield - May Day - Socialist - Socialist Party - Labour - Fracking - Derbyshire - Fighting Fund

Chesterfield May Day: march turnout great

Socialist Party members on the Chesterfield May Day march, 7.5.18, photo by Tessa Warrington

Socialist Party members on the Chesterfield May Day march, 7.5.18, photo by Tessa Warrington   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Gorton, Chesterfield Socialist Party

Glorious bank holiday weather brought a high turnout to the 40th Chesterfield May Day march and rally, where Unite's Len McCluskey and the National Education Union's Kevin Courtney delivered strong messages that the labour movement must fight back against austerity and a weak Tory government.

Len's warm mentions of the town's former MP, the late Tony Benn, and Dennis Skinner, himself in attendance, were in stark contrast to his justified attack on former North East Derbyshire MP, Natascha Engel, whose pro-fracking stance lost Labour a safe seat to the Tories at the last election. Labour had held the seat for 80 years. Engel has since become a consultant to Ineos, the company seeking to develop fracking in the area! The founder and boss of Ineos, multi-billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, has been declared Britain's richest man in the Sunday Times Rich List.

Many demonstrators were carrying Unison and Socialist Party placards calling for Derbyshire's threatened library services to remain in public hands.

Socialist Party members from Chesterfield, Mansfield, Nottingham, Leicester and Sheffield ensured the Socialist Party had high visibility on the day. Over 40 copies of the Socialist were sold, the top seller being Denise Tooley-Okonkwo, and nearly 100 collected for the Socialist Party's Fighting Fund.

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Finance appeal

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.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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Article dated 16 May 2018

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