This weekend, on Saturday 8 July, the streets of Durham will echo once again with the sounds of colliery bands and the march of tens of thousands of feet, as we gather for the 2023 Big Meeting.
The last year has been one of struggle. In the hospitals, the schools, and the universities; on the railways, the buses, and the bins; in the factories, government offices, and private sector workplaces: workers have been standing up and fighting to defend themselves against the bosses onslaught and the cost-of-living crisis.
The capitalist system is creaking and cracking. The government and the bosses have made new enemies at every turn. The Tories have become a parliamentary pantomime act. Rishi Sunak’s administration is as rotten and crisis-ridden as those of his predecessors, Liz Truss and Boris Johnson. These reprobates are the best that the ruling class can find to represent them. They are rapidly running out of road.
The Big Meeting celebrates the militant traditions of the workers’ movement over generations. We, as Marxists, meanwhile, will be remembering and reclaiming the revolutionary, communist traditions of our class.
Looking forward to selling this at the Durham miners gala this weekend https://t.co/f6jbRzhtfK
— HCWS (@HCWS_2000) July 6, 2023
Today we are living through a new period of class struggle, as the working class awakens and flexes its muscles. The socialist slogans emblazoned on the banners flying at the Gala are therefore as relevant now as ever. The battles they commemorate are once again being fought up and down the country.
In the process, new layers – particularly young workers – are being drawn into the struggle, and are becoming radicalised through their own experiences.
In the 15 years since the 2008 crash, there has been no stability – economically, socially, or politically. One shock after another has rained down on society. Millions of workers and youth are questioning the whole system. And many are drawing revolutionary conclusions: looking beyond capitalism and towards communism.
The Gala has become an annual rallying point for the left and the labour movement. With its huge size and scale, it illustrates the potential power of the organised working class.
To realise this strength, however, our class needs revolutionary leadership – one armed with an iron determination, and with the perspective of sweeping away the capitalist system; of building a socialist society free of want, poverty, and insecurity.
This is the vision that the pioneers of our movement fought for, and which is remembered at the Big Meeting every year.
In the famous words of the radical poet Percy Shelley:
“Rise, like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew,
Which in sleep had fallen on you.
Ye are many – they are few!”
Join us in the fight for socialist revolution. Join the Marxists. Join Socialist Appeal today!