The audience erupted in cheers for Indian activist Nodeep Kaur when she spoke at our Workers’ Liberty dayschool on 27 November. It was, as one participant described it, “a remarkable moment of international solidarity.”
We celebrated the Indian farmers’ recent victory against Modi as our own. It was a rare opportunity to hear Nodeep Kaur herself tell the story of how that victory was won. Learning about how she and her comrades led a mass struggle, building solidarity between farmers and workers across religion and caste, energised us in our own fight to rebuild the left and labour movement.
In another of the day’s ten sessions (most running in parallel), Omar Raii of Workers’ Liberty walked us through the history of Israel/Palestine from ancient times to now. Often on the left, we are told about the history of the region as if the 1948 war fell from the skies. Omar sketched a broader sweep of the history, and elucidated how the differing political narratives of the conflict pick up on phases and events. This essential session gave participants the tools to think for themselves and decide how Palestinian liberation can be best achieved.
In the closing plenary, “Building a New Left”, John Moloney, the Assistant General Secretary of the civil service union PCS, speaking in a personal capacity, gave a rousing speech on why the unions should band together to develop a serious programme on climate change. He put it plainly: the Tories and the bosses are quite content to watch the world burn while they turn up their air-conditioning; only we, the labour movement, have any chance of actually tackling climate change. One of the Sage care home strikers, Julia Veros Gonzalez, talked about her and her comrades’ ongoing struggle, the partial victory they have just won, and their unwillingness to be tricked by the bosses into giving up their fight for better pay and working conditions.
Throughout many sessions ran our fundamental ideas: why we see the international working class as the protagonist of change in the world, and why we vigorously oppose all imperialisms, including for example China’s.
We believe socialist revolution is a real possibility. To achieve it, we have to be serious about the ideas we advocate. At the day school, we rigorously examined popular ideas on the left and asked ourselves if those ideas would lead us to a socialist future. Many of them won’t.
Through educational events like our dayschool, we equip ourselves with the theoretical tools to win our fight to make socialism a reality.