Building fund appeal: “Each pledge is a triumph for our party”

Nigel Smith, York Socialist Party

Yorkshire region got off to a flying start in its building fund appeal at our regional conference where 36 members made an average pledge of £365. The Yorkshire region has also had a single pledge of £10,000 as well as several of £1,000.

Since then each branch has designated someone to be responsible for contacting members and supporters.

I have been helping coordinate the appeal for the Yorkshire region. I have really enjoyed my discussions with the branch organisers. We have shared ideas and supportive stories about our experiences.

Some members can make a pledge and pay it out of savings. For others it’s a matter of putting aside a little each month to make up their pledge. Several members have increased initial pledges following discussions with their families, who may not be members themselves but have grasped the importance of the appeal.

We intend to press ahead with the appeal and hope to increase the number of pledges. We also intend to reach out to supporters, relatives and friends. Whether it be £10 or £1,000, we know that each pledge is a little triumph for our party and for socialism.

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Past fund-raising campaigns show dedication to the fight for socialism

join the socialistsAs raised in previous issues of the Socialist, we are currently under threat of eviction from our national offices in London. In response we have launched a building fund appeal to help us afford new premises.

As an organisation based on the working class and without rich backers, we have always taken a very serious approach to finance.

Long-time members Val and Terry Pearce have been committed socialists for decades and well remember fund-raising campaigns from the past.

Val says: “We met in the Putney Young Socialists in 1963 and for many years we worked hard in our pursuit of bringing about a socialist society.”

They eventually became Militant (forerunner to the Socialist) supporters in 1974 after which they say the Labour Party meetings took on a new purpose – to win workers and youth to a clear socialist programme.

Emergency appeal

In 1975 they were asked to help raise money to replace the press and equipment destroyed in a fire. In only one month Militant was back in production and by the end of year enough had been raised for a new national centre at Mentmore Terrace.

“So many comrades felt a pride in what was achieved. The increasing size of our paper on the new press was obtained by the hard work and commitment of comrades up and down the country alongside an increasing readership,” says Val.

“Even the name ‘Mentmore Terrace’ brings back warm memories of comradeship,” remembers Terry. “Going to the centre made you realise that our work locally was of great value nationally in assisting the many working class struggles taking place.”

Val explains: “When a new building fund was launched in October 1983 everyone understood the need for larger, safer premises, and we raised enough to move to Hepscott Road”.

We had huge support from the wider working class and also the most dedicated members whose financial sacrifice was linked to understanding what was needed in the fight for socialism.

We stand on the shoulders of all those who have gone before. The fight for a socialist society continues and so does the Socialist Party. Help us in that struggle – donate to our building fund.

‘Donating is an honour’

Dear comrades,

I feel very honoured to make a donation (due to some inheritance) of £10,000 towards our new building fund appeal.

I am absolutely convinced that the Socialist Party is the only force in British politics capable of building a mass movement of the working class that will not only topple the Tories but consign them and their sick system to the dustbin of history!

Forward to the socialist transformation of society.

Yours fraternally, A Hull Socialist Party member

Members dig deep into their pockets to support the party

Caroline Vincent

The Socialist Party is being evicted from the rented offices in London which serve as our national headquarters. We urgently need to raise funds to find new premises.

To date the response to our appeal has been inspiring. Two comrades have donated £10,000 (see below), two have donated £5,000 and one has donated £4,000, from windfalls and savings. But the smaller donations that have been made represent some significant sacrifices too.

A new 12-year-old member, who already pays a weekly sub from her pocket money, has pledged a whole week’s pocket money of £5! A young worker pledged £150 just one week after joining the party.

Two members in Leicester, who have already pledged a week’s wage, auctioned their record collections on eBay. They were amazed to raise more than £450!

A single parent of two children, who lives on continually squeezed benefits, has pledged £100. He’s also selling his car and will donate a proportion of the proceeds on top of that.

There has been a pledge of £500 from a disabled comrade on benefits, who will achieve this by saving pound coins until August.

The self-sacrifice displayed by members is impressive, but there has also been wider support from the labour movement. A member of the Labour Party in Carlisle donated £50 saying “we need people like you in the Socialist Party”!

If you haven’t already, make a donation or a pledge and join the fight. We won’t let greedy landlords and gentrification force us out of the capital, but we need your help!

Members dig deep into their pockets to support the party

Caroline Vincent

The Socialist Party is being evicted from the rented offices in London which serve as our national headquarters. We urgently need to raise funds to find new premises.

To date the response to our appeal has been inspiring. Two comrades have donated £10,000 (see below), two have donated £5,000 and one has donated £4,000, from windfalls and savings. But the smaller donations that have been made represent some significant sacrifices too.

A new 12-year-old member, who already pays a weekly sub from her pocket money, has pledged a whole week’s pocket money of £5! A young worker pledged £150 just one week after joining the party.

Two members in Leicester, who have already pledged a week’s wage, auctioned their record collections on eBay. They were amazed to raise more than £450!

A single parent of two children, who lives on continually squeezed benefits, has pledged £100. He’s also selling his car and will donate a proportion of the proceeds on top of that.

There has been a pledge of £500 from a disabled comrade on benefits, who will achieve this by saving pound coins until August.

The self-sacrifice displayed by members is impressive, but there has also been wider support from the labour movement. A member of the Labour Party in Carlisle donated £50 saying “we need people like you in the Socialist Party”!

If you haven’t already, make a donation or a pledge and join the fight. We won’t let greedy landlords and gentrification force us out of the capital, but we need your help!

Donate to the Socialist Party building fund

building fund image

Nancy Taaffe, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

Six hundred people turned out to rage against the land grab by sell-out Blairite councillors and greedy corporations in Waltham Forest, east London, on 24 February. We marked out the space in Walthamstow square to be stolen in this scheme and marched round our square to the sounds of a brass band chanting: “Homes for families, not for profit!”

As the date of the square occupation drew near, newspapers and television stations contacted us. We went to Millbank Tower in central London to be interviewed on Russia Today. We found out that tenants of Millbank Tower were up for eviction! A luxury hotel and flats beckon, yet again, on the banks of the Thames.

All areas of society are facing capitalism looking to land and property for short-term speculation. At our expense.

It is in this context that the Socialist Party faces our own eviction from offices that we have stayed in for 18 years.

The Socialist Party has launched a building fund to appeal to the labour movement to assist in finding new headquarters in London. The pushing out of our party from the capital city is an attempt to push national working class resistance out of London. We can’t let this happen.

We appeal to you to donate to this fund. We appeal to you to ask ten members of your family and friends, or fellow trade union members, to donate to this fund.

Resist the evictions! Keep Marxism in the belly of the beast. Donate today!

Behind the scenes at the Socialist Party office

placardsThe Socialist Party is being evicted from our national headquarters in London. The depth of the housing crisis has seen 60% of commercial property wiped from the market as office space is transformed into luxury flats. However, we are determined not to be chased out by gentrification. We have launched an appeal asking members and supporters to donate a week’s income, or whatever is affordable, to help us find new premises.

Why do we need a national centre? Let me take you on a tour of some of our office. As you enter, the London team are stapling placards preparing to support an anti-academies protest in Newham. The placards read: ‘Say no to academies, give us a vote’ advancing the idea of democratic accountability to the staff and community.

Around the corner is the bookshop. The numerous titles discuss socialist ideas on a whole range of issues from the environment to the history of the international labour movement. Access to these enables our members to develop their understanding, something we have taken a huge step forward with this year by launching our publishing house Socialist Books.

In the editors’ office they are deep in discussion. For every issue of the Socialist they need at least four meetings to discuss what’s going in the paper, what articles and reports are needed. They frequently consult each other and other departments on material during production, discussing political developments as they happen.

The organisation department are designing leaflets and posters as well as coordinating preparations for our national congress while the youth department organise student support for the ongoing lecturers’ strike. Recently Tamil Solidarity members used the office to build a demo of 2,000 in just two days.

None of this would be possible without a place where we can discuss, organise and coordinate. The Socialist Party fights for working class people, for affordable rents for all and a society free from want and oppression. Help us keep it that way. Please donate to the building fund.