Last Saturday saw a mass mobilisation of the trade union movement, around demands to tackle the cost-of-living disaster. With the Tories and bosses on the attack, the stage is set for bitter battles. Workers and youth must fight for revolution.
On Saturday 18 June, tens of thousands of workers and youth took to the streets of London to demand solutions to the cost-of-living crisis.
The demonstration was organised by the TUC, under the slogan of a ‘new deal’ for working people, and in response to rising pressure within the working class.
A militant mood is building in the trade unions, as workers – impelled by the deepening crisis of British capitalism – move into action against the belligerent bosses.
With workers all across society preparing for battle, from civil servants to railway union members, a fighting atmosphere permeated the air, as protestors felt their collective strength.
Strikes and struggle
The march finished with a rally at Parliament Square, where trade union leaders spoke to the massive crowd.
Representing the TUC, general secretary Frances O’Grady demanded “better” from the government, calling for “decent pay” and higher “taxes on wealth”. These weak demands, however, come from a TUC leader who has presided over falling wages for almost a decade.
In sharp contrast to O’Grady’s tepid speech was Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT.
The rail unions are mobilising to undertake three days of national strike action this week, involving around 50,000 railway workers. Meanwhile, the bosses and Tories have stubbornly refused to compromise.
In response, Lynch gave an electrifying speech, calling for militant action. “We are in a class struggle now,” the RMT leader stated. “There is no compromise being put to us in the last week. We have got nothing to settle with. We will keep this strike going until we get a settlement.”
“We are the working people of this country,” Lynch continued. “Together we are unstoppable. Get up and fight, or live on your knees. The struggle is on. Bring it on. This is the fight of our lives. Stand up and fight! Victory to the RMT!”
“Together we are unstoppable. Get up and fight or live on your knees. The struggle is on – bring it on. This is the fight of our lives. Victory to the RMT.” An inspirational speech from our general secretary Mick Lynch #WeDemandBetter ✊ pic.twitter.com/SPOPMVgW2x
— RMT (@RMTunion) June 18, 2022
These words were echoed by Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU (Fire Brigades Union).
“Their people, their class have always told us there is no alternative,” Wrack roared. “And our people, our class, have only made progress when we’ve ignored them. We have only made progress when we’ve stood up together, and fought back. And that’s what we have to do today.”
Hope isn’t dead; it’s just been dormant.
The Trade Union movement are fighting back, ‘For The Many’.
Stand with them, rise with them, fight back with them.
There is power in a union. ✊
— James Foster (@JamesEFoster) June 18, 2022
PCS president Fran Heathcote spoke with equal militancy:
“Let’s face facts, the Tories and the state are waging a ruthless war on our class, the working class. Anybody that thinks we can appeal to their better nature or that they are going to stop attacking us is living in fantasy land.”
“They are our class enemies,” Heathcote stated plainly. “If our movement does not unite and fight back with the same determination that the Tories conduct their war on us, then they will crush us.”
A real fight back against our class enemies is certainly needed. This requires the anger of workers and youth to be channelled towards a real, lasting solution: one that tackles the rotten capitalist system that is responsible for inflation and austerity; chaos and crisis.
This means nationalising the monopolies and the banks – without compensation, and under democratic workers’ control.
‘Taxing the rich’ falls far short of what is needed. Instead, the wealth of the billionaire class must be expropriated.
Only such a bold socialist programme can guarantee a decent future for the working class.
Fight for revolution
In order to carry the class war through to victory, a revolutionary leadership is needed in the labour movement – a leadership that can mobilise and organise workers under the banner of socialist revolution.
Such a leadership will not fall from the sky. It must be actively built and forged.
To this end, more than 120 Socialist Appeal activists marched as the revolutionary bloc on this TUC demo, energetically reaching out to workers and youth drawing radical conclusions, and bringing them behind our banner, which stated: “Profits rising. Wages falling. Overthrow the bosses’ system!”
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A spirited chorus of revolutionary slogans could be heard emanating from our large, youthful, dynamic bloc. These included: “The system’s broken! Time to fight! Workers of the world – unite!”
On the flanks of the march, comrades enthusiastically sold the Socialist Appeal newspaper to other protestors. Containing a mix of Marxist theory, clear analysis, and bold socialist solutions, the paper gained a notable echo.
Once the demonstration wound down, comrades – brimming with optimism – gathered in St James’ Park for a social, singing revolutionary songs and raising hundreds more towards our campaign to purchase a new office: a historic milestone for the Marxist tendency in Britain.
Throughout the day, our ideas resonated with hundreds of workers and youth. Whilst capitalism and its apologists are mired in crisis, Marxism is on the march. Join us in the fight for revolution!