Wednesday May 12 - Branch Meeting:

How can art help us change the world?

Speaker: John Molyneux (author of The Dialectics of Art, 2020)

Most artists have something to say about the system we live in and their artwork reflects that. Just as the art produced during the Russian Revolution was like nothing ever seen before, recent movements like BLM have had a significant impact on art and culture and vice versa.

But can art really help us change the world? Join us to discuss Marxist views on art and its contribution to the struggle for socialism.

 

12th May 2021
7:30 pm

Suggested Reading

https://bookmarksbookshop.co.uk/view/50518/The+Dialectics+of+Art

https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/51055/How+Marxism+helps+us+to+understand+and+enjoy+art

 

We have cancelled all meetings in person and will be hosting this meeting via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/543023057
Zoom room number: 543 023 057
Meeting password: 967537
All welcome!

Branch Meetings at WF SWP

Branch Meetings

Branch meetings in person are suspended for the duration of the Corona Virus emergency but we are still holding meetings via Zoom.
Venue for Branch Meetings when physical meetings resume:
William Morris Community Centre
6 – 8 Greenleaf Road
Walthamstow, E17 6QQ
A list of our upcoming meetings can be found in the panel on the right of this page.

Meetings hosted by SWP nationally

The Socialist Workers Party are hosting meetings at the weekends during the Coronavirus crisis. Details of all SWP meetings across the country can be found here: https://swp.org.uk/events/

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Wednesday May 19 - Branch Meeting:

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Speaker: Alan Kenny

In a time of uncertainty and confusion, conspiracy theories are gaining traction. A popular theory is that the rollout of 5G mobile network is responsible for spreading Covid-19.

It’s not the case that working class people believe conspiracy theories because they are stupid. Perhaps it’s because they sense they are fed lies from the mainstream – governments and the mass media will pick and choose what information they release to the public according to what suits their agenda.

But conspiracy theories lay the blame for the problems of the world in the wrong places. They often boost the racism that is pushed from the top of society and distract from the real divide – that between rich and poor.

As socialists we believe that capitalism is to blame for these problems – and that the power to change society lies with the working class.

How do we understand and overcome the popularity of conspiracy theories, and argue that socialism holds the answers?

Join us at our weekly meeting to discuss.

 

19th May 2021
7:30 pm

Suggested Reading

http://socialistreview.org.uk/462/conspiracy-theories-feeding-social-malaise

https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/49915/Conspiracy+theories+dont+explain+societys+problems

 

We have cancelled all meetings in person and will be hosting this meeting via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/543023057
Zoom room number: 543 023 057
Meeting password: 967537
All welcome!

Is religion the opium of the people?

Speaker: Anna Gluckstein

“Religion is the opium of the people,” is one of the better known quotations from Karl Marx.

Fewer people have heard the full, more nuanced quote: “Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”

Throughout history people have turned to religious ideas because they want a sense of community and solidarity in a world that offers neither.

It’s true that religions are often organised into hierarchies that reflect the inequality in wider society and promote oppressive ideas – for example condemning the LGBT+ community. But many religious people are committed to changing this, motivated by the common ground between religion and socialism.

Join us to discuss how Marxists relate to religion and how this contributes to the wider struggle for socialist change.

 

5th May 2021
7:30 pm

 

We have cancelled all meetings in person and will be hosting this meeting via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/543023057
Zoom room number: 543 023 057
Meeting password: 967537
All welcome!

After the Sewell report, how can we beat institutional racism?

Speaker: Chin Chukwudinma

Boris Johnson’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities- led by the Tory, Tony Sewell – has caused outrage by its denial that institutional racism exists in the UK and in its refusal to examine the legacy of Britain’s history of slavery and colonialism.

After a year of pandemic that has hit black communities disproportionately and in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, the government is determined to deny the reality of racism. It has targeted the BLM movement in its new police bill, while stoking up the scapegoating of refugees and migrants with Priti Patel’s new asylum legislation.

A government which accuses its ideological opponents of “cancel culture” is trying to cancel reality with a racism commission which insists there is “no evidence of institutional racism in Britain”.

The daily experience of millions shows the need to combat institutional racism is more important than ever.

Join this meeting to discuss how we can make racism history.

 

28th April 2021
7:30 pm

Suggested Reading

https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/51559/Sewell+report+denies+institutional+racism+to+obscure+how+the+system+works

We have cancelled all meetings in person and will be hosting this meeting via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/543023057
Zoom room number: 543 023 057
Meeting password: 967537
All welcome!

Pamphlet launch: Capitalism and the politics of food

Speaker: Amy Leather, author of the pamphlet and joint national secretary of the SWP.

The global food system causes obesity and malnutrition in equal measure. Capitalist agriculture drives environmental crisis and encourages the emergence of new diseases. At the same time, corporations make vast profits through the exploitation of millions of workers and the cruel treatment of animals in factory farms.

How can we build an equitable, sustainable food system? Is it enough to change our own diet or do we need more fundamental change? Today the food on supermarket shelves connects agricultural workers in the Global South, factory farmers in North America and growers of cash crops in sub-Saharan Africa.

Join us to discuss how we can feed people healthily and sustainably.

21st April 2021
7:30 pm

Suggested Reading

 

Capitalism and the Politics of Food (pamphlet) – visit Bookmarks Bookshop online or contact us to buy a copy:

https://bookmarksbookshop.co.uk/view/50906/Capitalism+and+the+Politics+of+Food

We have cancelled all meetings in person and will be hosting this meeting via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/543023057
Zoom room number: 543 023 057
Meeting password: 967537
All welcome!

How do we make the unions fight

Speaker: Tom Kay

Trade unions are organisations that defend working class people within capitalism. Faced with the power of bosses in the workplace, individuals can’t win by kicking back themselves. But organising collectively gives our class strength—whether it’s fighting for higher pay, health and safety or standing up to a bullying manager.

Unions have seen an increase in membership since the coronavirus crisis, which has hit workers the hardest. But unions have a bureaucracy—the full-time officials who face almost no accountability.

As socialists, how do we organise effectively within unions to build workers’ confidence and lead the fight for a better system?

Join us to discuss this important challenge!

 

14th April 2021
7:30 pm

 

We have cancelled all meetings in person and will be hosting this meeting via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/543023057
Zoom room number: 543 023 057
Meeting password: 967537
All welcome!

Mass extinction: Why capitalism drives the biodiversity crisis

Speaker: Ian Rappel (a conservation ecologist and SWP member)

Capitalism’s thirst for profit is leading to climate change, pollution, species extinction and the depletion of natural resources at alarming rates.

Are all humans to blame for climate change and mass extinction? How can anti-capitalist politics inform the discussion? Can the biodiversity crisis be solved under capitalism?

Ahead of the COP26 climate talks in November this year, we’ll be discussing all these questions and more.

 

7th April 2021
7:30 pm

Suggested Reading

https://socialistreview.org.uk/455/looming-tragedy-extinction

http://isj.org.uk/natural-capital/

https://bookmarksbookshop.co.uk/view/48591/System+Change+not+Climate+Change

We have cancelled all meetings in person and will be hosting this meeting via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/543023057
Zoom room number: 543 023 057
Meeting password: 967537
All welcome!

Can Biden put America back together again?

Speaker: Hope Ryan-Hughes

The celebrations following Donald Trump’s defeat in the U.S. elections last year were justified. He was unwelcome from the beginning and his exit was a blow to the far right worldwide.

But as a replacement, Joe Biden’s neoliberal and imperialist credentials leave little to be excited about. In his first month as president he managed to bomb Syria, break his promise to deliver sorely needed $2,000 ‘stimulus’ cheques, and reopen a detention centre for migrant children.

Confronted with a global pandemic, economic crisis and the threat of climate change, can Biden put the U.S. back together again? And if not, how do we fight for the kind of radical change that is needed – both in America and worldwide?

31st March 2021
7:30 pm

Suggested Reading

 

https://swp.org.uk/biden-administration/

http://isj.org.uk/the-end-of-a-nightmare/

 

We have cancelled all meetings in person and will be hosting this meeting via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/543023057
Zoom room number: 543 023 057
Meeting password: 967537
All welcome!

Lenin: A revolutionary for today

Speaker: Matthew Shepherd

Capitalist society is hurtling towards catastrophe with climate change, global slump, pandemics and the threat of nuclear war.

The ideas of Vladimir Lenin, who was born just over 150 years ago, remain crucial for all of us who want to get rid of this rotten system.

Join us to discuss Lenin’s life, ideas and how his legacy is crucial to the struggle for socialism today.

24th March 2021
7:30 pm

Suggested Reading

https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/49912/Lenin+and+his+ideas+today

https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/50023/Russia+1917+++how+a+revolution+beat+back+a+pandemic

https://bookmarksbookshop.co.uk/view/44879/Lenin+For+Today

 

We have cancelled all meetings in person and will be hosting this meeting via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/543023057
Zoom room number: 543 023 057
Meeting password: 967537
All welcome!

End violence against women: Sexism, the police and the state

 

Speaker:

Judy Cox – author of The Women’s Revolution: Russia 1905-1917 (Haymarket, 2019) and Rebellious Daughters of History (Redwords, 2020).
.
In light of the anger and resistance that has erupted since Sarah Everard’s murder, as well as the violent behaviour of the police at vigils held around the country, we have decided to change the topic of this week’s meeting.
Join us as we discuss how to end violence against women – and the sexist system that creates it.

 

17th March 2021

7:30 pm

Suggested Reading
.

We have cancelled all meetings in person and will be hosting this meeting via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/543023057
Zoom room number: 543 023 057
Meeting password: 967537
.
All welcome!