Marxism 2018: The Opening Rally

An account of the Opening Rally at Marxism 2018, which took place on Thursday night.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my series about Marxism 2018. My previous post covered the second and third meetings of the first day, and this post takes up the story with coverage of the opening rally.

THE OPENING RALLY

This event took place in Friends Meeting House on Euston Road. We heard from a McStriker about their ongoing battle, a victim of the Windrush scandal, a muslim woman talking about islamaphobia, two women, Siomha and Mary,  giving a shared talk about the #Repealthe8th campaign in Ireland, one of the Wigan, Warrington and Leigh strikers about their determination to remain as NHS workers and not be contracted out (a battle that we now know has been successful), Moyra from Justice for Grenfell, and finally wrapping up the evening Weyman Bennett, co-convenor of Stand Up to Racism. Here are my pictures from the evening:

Arriving at The LightThe LightAfter Party AdGet ConnectedStarting to fill upOther sideThe PlatformSB

Team Member
One of the Team – the group who ensure the smooth running of the event and deal with any queries.

The forward viewAnkhThe Platform IIFilling up IIFilling up IIIAbout to startThe chair opens the rallyMcStriker speaksMcStriker IIOne of the Windrush generation tells her personal story

Siomha and Mary speak about #Repealthe8th
Siomha and Mary gave a very moving account of the campaign to #Repealthe8th

Siomha and Mary speakingSiomha at the mic

Ovation for Siomha and Mary
The next three images show how Siomha and Mary’s efforts were received by the audience.

Ovation for Siomha and Mary IIOvation for Siomha and Mary IIIA Muslim speakerA WWL worker speaks about their strike and their determination to keep working for the NHSClose up of the t-shirt

Moyra from the Justice for Grenfell campaign speaks powerfully
Moyra was savage about the official response to the Grenfell tragedy, particularly their increasingly desperate efforts to pin blame anywheren other than where it belongs – the latest dirty trick they have pulled out being to point fingers at the firefighters – the very people who went into the burning building to attempt to save lives.

Moyra close-up

Weyman brings the curtain down on the evening
Weyman’s fiery speech was a splendid finish to evening.

Platform shot

Marxism 2017 – Day 1

My account of day 1 at Marxism 2017.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this post about the opening day of Marxism 2017 (see @MarxismFestival on twitter). As I write this, we are having our lunch break on Day 3.

GETTING THERE

With the first meeting due to begin at 12:30 on Thursday I opted for the 9:57 train from King’s Lynn. I duly arriuved with time to deposit my larger bag in the designated bag room, get information about the exact details of my accommodation (I was in a hall of residence, just not sure exactly where). 

MEETING 1: SARAH BATES ON WHAT SOCIALISM WOULD BE LIKE

This was an excellent start to the festival, addressing the question of what we are for. Sarah provided an excellent lead off, and the discussion that followed was also excellent. Here are some pictures from the early stages of the event:

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Sarah Bates
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Simon, chair of this meeting.
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Sarah making her speech.

MEETING 2: BIODIVERSITY AND SPECIES EXTINCTION – SARAH ENSOR AND IAN RAPPEL

This meeting featured so much in depth information that I shall be devoting a whole post to it. For the moment, here are a couple of pics to whet the appetite:

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MEETING 3: ANTISEMITISM, ISLAMOPHOBIA AND THE FAR RIGHT: ROB FERGUSON

An excellent meeting, with the main speaker an anti-Zionist Jew.

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Meeting chair and a member of the TEAM – and as a six-time former TEAM member I can tell that they do a marvellous job of running the event and that it is a very demanding one.

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Rob Ferguson speaking

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THE OPENING RALLY

We had a superb venue for our opening rally, The Light, Friends Meeting House, Euston Road. We also had speakers to match, with people from all sorts of campaigns, such as cleaning workers who had bested the bosses at the London School of Economics, anti-fracking campaigners from Lancashire, speakers from the Justice for Grenfell campaign and campaigners against police brutality. I think everyone left this meeting feeling angered but also uplifted.

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The light part of “The Light” – a gigantic skylight.
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A close-up of the view through said skylight.

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Sarah Bates introducing the opening rally.

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AROUND AND ABOUT

I conclude this post with some photos from this part of central London:

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The frontage of Warren Street Station
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Euston Square, one of the original 1863 stations, now with a hyper-modern surface building.
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The moon, darkened to bring out its finest points.
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This Church is visible from the Gallery Bar at Student Central.