This press release from the Socialist Party calls on the trade unions to build a mass workers’ movement as the real answer to anger of inner cities:
The Socialist Party opposes rioting. It only damages the communities in which working-class people live, gives an excuse to increase the repressive apparatus of the state and allows the government to further demonise young people. This detracts from examining the underlying causes of the riots - poverty, alienation and a lack of opportunities for a generation of young people.
Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party, says, “The government has abolished the EMA grant, despite mass protests, which had at least made it possible for working class young people to attend college. Despite endless demands on young people to 'better themselves' and 'get an education' the one concrete measure that made it possible to get an education has now been taken away. In addition, the raising of university tuition fees to £9,000 a year has deterred many working class youth from considering the avenue of higher education. This comes on top of nearly one million unemployed young people. Is it any wonder, in a society that encourages private entrepreneurs to make a profit by any means necessary, that unemployed youth decide to try and obtain a few goods by whatever means they can?”
Hannah Sell, comments “The failure of the majority of the leadership of the trade union movement in Britain to lead a serious struggle to defeat all the cuts is a central reason why the riots have erupted. Having delayed, the TUC needs to act decisively now by clearly putting forward an alternative to the governments cuts agenda and taking concrete steps towards organising a day of coordinated public sector strike action in the autumn, which this time should involve all 4 million public sector workers, and be combined with a one-day strike of school, college and university students. This would act as a pole of attraction for the most oppressed sections of young people.”
On 11 September, the Socialist Party will take part in a lobby of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) conference in London. The lobby has been called by the National Shop Stewards Network and has been backed by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS). The lobby will demand that the TUC take immediate measures to call a 24-hour public sector general strike.
Further analysis on the response to the riots from the Government and others is on: