‘This world capitalist crisis is opening up the door to socialist revolution to millions of working class people round the world.’
So said Workers Revolutionary Party General Secretary Frank Sweeney as he opened yesterday’s rally in east London marking the News Line 40th Anniversary and 60th Anniversary of the assassination of Leon Trotsky.
Sweeney continued at the 250-strong rally: ‘Dubai is the tip of the iceberg, there isn’t just one Dubai, there are hundreds of Dubais.
‘The entire focus of the imperialists is to make the working class pay for this crisis.
‘What we’ve seen in the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, is the policy of the ruling class in response to this crisis.’
He warned: ‘There is no reformist solution to this crisis, only a revolutionary one.’
Sweeney added: ‘The News Line has intervened and led decisive struggles.
‘We’re building an alternative, fighting leadership, that isn’t going to bend in this situation.
‘Our starting point is that none of the problems facing the working class can be resolved within capitalism.
‘When we celebrate 40 years of our paper and commemorate Comrade Trotsky, we do so from a revolutionary standpoint.
‘We are going forward to build our party and particularly build our Young Socialists into a mass movement.’
Billy Colvill, Peckham Delivery Office CWU Rep, speaking in a personal capacity, told the rally: ‘For us the only way forward to defend ourselves from our employer was national strike action.
‘Under pressure from members, the Hayes/Ward leadership had to call a ballot for national strike action and there was a massive vote in favour.
‘But after two days of national action, when we were winning, at that point our leaders called off the strike.
‘There is a growing mood of discontent at the Hayes/Ward leadership. Calling off the strike was a betrayal, but despite the betrayal our members are not beaten.
‘We are building a new leadership, fighting for a public sector alliance to defeat the employer which is the government.’
Mrs Silva, of Tamil Women for Justice and Peace, said: ‘Genocide is still with us, oppression is still with us.
‘There are nearly 300,000 people in camps surrounded by barbed wire, who get one meal a day in Sri Lanka.
‘Sanitation is terrible, there is very limited access for aid agencies. One Unicef official who complained about children starving was expelled out of the country.’
Young Socialists National Secretary Nash Campbell told the rally: ‘News Line is a fighting paper, fighting for millions of workers around the world.
‘It is fighting for victory for the Royal Mail workers and the Royal Mail workers are not just fighting for themselves, they are fighting for jobs for the next generation.’
He added: ‘We have to get rid of university fees. The Tories plan to put them up to £7,000 but we don’t accept them at all.
‘Imperialism has gone into country after country, we have to put the message forward, workers, students and youth unite – one struggle, one fight.’
BMA Council member Anna Athow, speaking in a personal capacity, said: ‘The only way to defend the NHS is get rid of this government.
‘There has to be serious united industrial action and occupations as the only way to save the NHS. A public sector alliance must be formed urgently.’
Gate Gourmet sacked worker Parmjit Bains said: ‘Over four years we’ve been fighting but we are still strong.
‘What happened to us, sacking existing workers and replacing them with cheap labour, is happening all over the country.
‘We are angry at the bosses who destroy people’s lives and the union leaders, especially Tony Woodley and Brendan Gold, who are more concerned to help the company than their own members.’
Other speakers included GMB national officer Sharon Holder, Lysette of the Chagos islands Community Association, Steve Blewitt, chairman of RMT busworkers London branch, and Paddy O’Regan, News Line editor.