This warm, sunny Sunday in late September saw an event that usually unites various left elements in the country: the demonstration at the Tory party conference. Only that this year it was not planned as a protest but as a ‘festival’! Are we celebrating the British state’s attack on the working class and the non-existent resistance now?! Even though it might not have been that much more impressive on the day, at least two years ago, when it was also held in Birmingham, it was still billed as a ‘march and rally for the alternative’
Even as a street festival, the event organised by the TUC this Sunday can only be described as an underwhelming experience, lasting hardly any longer than 4 hours, including a short 20 minute stroll through the city centre of Birmingham. The festival was set up on Victoria Square in front of the Council House, which would have been a decent enough location, had the conference not been held half a mile away, out of sight and hearing range. The march through the centre merely moved further away and made full use of empty backstreets, so as not to disturb the shopping public.
At least the CPGB-ML and Red Youth put on a good display under the circumstances, with one of the nicer stalls, shining in full crimson and displaying not only party literature but also a selection of Marxist classics that put others to shame.
In the process we chatted to many interested members of the public, some disillusioned with other left groups and also one self-proclaimed ‘anarcho-capitalist’, who somehow found his way from the internet into the real world. The latter provided us with the invaluable information that the European Union is in fact a communist institution, as it supposedly redistributes wealth to the poorer countries at the expense of the successful ones. Comrades, we can pack up, we have already achieved power across Europe!
In all seriousness, individuals like this, providing they are not purely interested in having an argument, should look into who really benefits from the European single market – big banks, industrialists and financiers. Even more importantly is understanding the definition of communism and socialism and not equating it with a ‘big state that hates the market’.
In any case, we made a number of new contacts, including a number of young comrades from China who showed interest in working with us, reinforcing the image that many the more serious revolutionaries in this country tend to be from an international background, like the author of this blog piece!
Signed, an Austrian living in Birmingham!