Aamer Anwar speaking at Marxism 2023 opening rally (Picture: Guy Smallman)

I went to my first ever Marxism festival this month. I had a great time meeting people, discussing theory and reading, and understanding the theory and practice of Marxism better. The only thing I didn’t like is that there was often more than one meeting going on at the same time that I wanted to attend—it was hard to just pick one.

I’ve been interested in Marxism as a theory for around three years, as well as Leninism, anarchism, and having a general interest in post-Marxism and Hegelian philosophy. I felt like a bit of a Marxist nomad. But my favourite thing about Marxism festival was getting to grips with Marxist theory.

It’s also clear that Marxism and Leninism—as applied by the tradition of the Socialist Workers Party means getting things done—that’s really cool. It’s not just about learning but doing. I definitely have had my love for Leninism reinvigorated.

But I also really enjoyed hearing from figures like Chris Smalls, who talked a lot about the public perception of these theories and being accessible to younger people. And it was good that there was such a range of topics at the festival. Talks on hate-figures like Andrew Tate were really interesting, and what the left can do in response.

I joined the SWP because it felt like the festival was a real success. Being active on the left can be an uphill battle, but I have a lot of optimism for the fights ahead. I’m in my third year at university and found it useful to discuss ideas, reading, books, essays and Marxist economics in particular, and with people who really know what they’re talking about.

And I’ve made friends that I can continue these discussions with, as well as get involved in my local SWP branch. I’ll definitely be back next year ready to discuss more about what’s happening in the world.

Jacob Wolff


Right to challenge Pride’s sponsors

At London Pride recently, the climate group Just Stop Oil lay down in front of a parade bus to protest against Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola is a corporation that commits human rights abuses worldwide and furthers the climate crisis with its vast plastic pollution.

Since the beginning of JSO interventions, there has been debate about their disruptive tactics, most recently seen at Wimbledon. Those who criticised the Pride intervention suggested it was “attacking the LGBT+ community”. But JSO is one of the only groups to tackle the increasing “rainbow‑washing” of Pride.

The other group was Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, taking their name from the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners group of the 1980s. It focused its attention on the Met Police and the headline sponsor United Airlines, which deports refugees.

JSO protesters were arrested under the newly extended Public Order Act. This gives police more powers to arrest people who cause “serious disruption”, and specifically targets climate activists.

And we should remember that the Met is no friend to LGBT+ people, having been found to be institutionally homophobic. JSO rightly takes up the argument that the climate emergency and LGBT+ struggles should unite. Unity is the best tool we have in a fightback against capitalism.                                                                          

Elisa Rowland

East London

The NHS is starved of funds as Tories feast 

Shame on the Tories. Not only have they underfunded the NHS to the point of its collapse, but they once again party up as ordinary people go without. Health secretary Steve Barclay held a meal to celebrate 75 years of the NHS at £150 a head. That’s while nurses are forced to turn to foodbanks to feed themselves.

Joined by Theresa May and chancellor Jeremy Hunt they dined in the exclusive Carlton Club in Mayfair. NHS waiting times are skyrocketing, pay is falling in real terms and staff retention is crumbling. The primary cause is severe underfunding.

I stand with the protesters who jeered and booed at the Tories entering their bash last Wednesday. But why should we be surprised with how out of touch the Tories are? That’s what got us into this mess.

Geraldine Pointer


Justice for victims of fatal crane collapse

A mother and son from Bow, east London, are suing the companies responsible three years after a collapsing crane destroyed their house and killed their aunt. They blame Swan Commercial Services Limited, PGCS Partnership Limited and Swan Housing Association Limited.

On 8 July 2020, June Harvey, aged 85, was killed. A 26-metre crane crashed through the roof of the house she shared with her niece and great nephew, Jacqueline and Sam Atkinson. Jacqueline and Sam suffered physical and psychiatric injuries.

The companies involved did not ensure they were properly rehoused or medically treated. Jacqueline and Sam lived in a hotel provided by their landlord, Gateway Housing, until January 2021. They faced eviction when they refused to accept an uninhabitable property without a kitchen from Tower Hamlets council.

Three years on, the family still has no answers. An inquest has not taken place, and the police have not completed their investigations.

No report has been disclosed by the Health and Safety Executive. Families Against Corporate Killers and the Construction Safety Campaign call for a speedy conclusion to these outstanding investigations, and justice for June and her family.

Helen Clifford

Atkinson family layer

Ripper bar sick profits

A new Jack the Ripper “immersive bar and restaurant” set to open in Portsmouth really shows that capitalism’s commercialisation has no limits, even of misery and sexism. The obsession around Jack the Ripper has always been questionable. There’s nothing exciting about a man who brutally murdered women.

Those women have been slandered, victim‑blamed and sidelined by history. Meanwhile Jack himself has gone down as a legend, with his vicious crimes glorified. Who would pay for an immersive experience that profits from the fear, anguish and injustice of women?

Abbie Bright

East London

Brutal cops are everywhere

The attacks on rioters in France by police can be seen in other places too. It’s been getting worse, especially in Britain, even if the violence in France is worse. We need to look at the big picture—the anti-democratic elite relies on and supports this type of brutal police behaviour. 

The spirit of the riots in France should make its way to Britain. We need more of this kind of action—anger on the streets and burning infrastructure.



Is Black Mirror losing its way?

I read the review of the new Black Mirror season (4 July, Socialist Worker). Demon 79 was the best of the season’s episodes. Truly original. There have been hundreds of supernatural stories about people who save the world from destruction. 

But very rarely are they about people who fail for all the right reasons. The weakest episode was one with the space men. It would have been more believable if the space men remained on Earth and their Robot doubles went to Mars.

Phil Knight



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