CPGB-ML comrades attended the lobby of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester on Sunday, 21st September 2014. Protesters pushed to the brink by continuing war and austerity gathered to express their anger outside the conference centre while Labour bigwigs soaked up the luxury and opulence of the Midland Hotel opposite. The lobby was attended by various campaign groups such as KONP (Keep Our NHS Public) and there was a vocal and spirited stand against G4S and its human rights abuses in Palestine.
The lobby also coincided with one of the national climate marches where anti-fracking protesters were out in force. CPGB-ML comrades showed solidarity against ALL capitalist cuts and our message was simple but clear: Socialism is the ONLY alternative to the corruption and oppression of all working people under the current system.
Our contingent had a visible presence with banner and flags, and were able to secure a good spot at the conference entrance to set up a stall where copies of Proletarian and Lalkar were purchased along with a number of party publications (‘Nato’s Predatory War against Yugoslavia’ proved to be popular!).
CPGB-ML members also handed out leaflets on issues ranging from Palestine and Nato to the NHS and Austerity with a good response from the public, protesters and even one or two conference delegates! Our stall was popular with a number of Trade Unionists coming from the conference to speak to us about their disillusionment with the Labour Party. And despite an intimidating police presence (also armed forces and helicopters) which almost outnumbered the protesters, a few members of the police force chatted to us about how they don’t receive over time for events such as these as they are salaried workers. Of course refusal to attend would result in their being disciplined!
Despite the enthusiasm of protesters it was a noticeably small gathering. Many protesters shouted slogans such as ‘Don’t be a Tory all your life!’ and urging Labour not to sell off our NHS, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Labour have been instrumental in its creeping privatisation. Labour brought us PFI, and Labour brought us Atos and its heinous fit for work assessments. Labour have also refused to ban fracking and have now put forward the earth shattering proposal of raising the minimum wage to £8 per hour… in 2020!
We all have to stand together and realise that Labour are every bit as dangerous as the Tories. They do not represent working people. Capitalism Must Go! Labour, Tory? Same Old Story! Join the CPGB-ML.