cwi: international conference – Anti-war and anti-capitalism in England and Wales

Building the cwi in 2003 in England and Wales

cwi international conference.

Niall Mulholland gives highlights of the campaigns of cwi sections during 2003. The report is taken from written contributions from cwi sections that were presented to the 21-26 November meeting of the International Executive Committee (IEC) of the cwi, held in Belgium. cwi online

Anti-war and anti-capitalism

Membership and Recruitment

Around 50% of Socialist Party (cwi) recruits are youth.

Many requests to join the party or for more information come through our website.

We have new or reactivated branches/groups in several areas, including Lincoln, Reading, Tonbridge, Warrington and Doncaster.

As well as continuing to drive ahead on recruitment, we are conscious of the need for more political education.

Industrial work

We now have 17 members on 7 trade union executive committees. One of these is the public sector union, the PCS (the 6th largest union). We have 7 executive members in the PCS and a very strong influence in that union. We held a successful national trade union meeting (for party members) in August. We have intervened this year in national disputes of the fire-fighters and post office workers and in many local disputes, including over the level of public sector ‘London weighting’ payments.

Youth and Student work

Our work in the anti-war movement earlier this year was a breakthrough. There are now ISR groups all around the country and a number of other areas have the target of setting one up in the near future. The second ISR national conference is being held on 22 November. It is a combined event with Socialist Students. Over 800 students signed up to Socialist Students during the autumn freshers’ fayres (stalls were organised at over 40 universities). We had a lively contingent on a national student demonstration on 26 October and had the best intervention of any left organisation.

Our paper sales performance has shown a general trend of increasing over the last few years. We sold over 600 papers on the 50,000-strong anti-occupation of Iraq demonstration of 27 September 2003.

Two of our national caucuses have made steps forward in recent months. Our Black & Asian caucus and our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual caucus both had record turnouts at their last meetings.

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January 2004