Since this phenomenon, of leaders who are in fact primarily mascots, is common to both Labour and the Tories, you'd be right in thinking that it has a common cause.
“Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose. the time, and the arena, and the manner of our revolution, but more usually, we must do battle where we are standing.”
It’s been less than three years since Red Fightback was formally founded, but in that time both the world and our Party have changed significantly. In 2021 we saw the continuation of the pandemic, its horrendous impact on working and oppressed people only increasing. And as we laid out in December 2020, the crisis of capitalism is terminal; our predictions of inflation, unemployment and degrowth were accurate, and capitalism is clearly unable to overcome them. We have also seen resistance. The Kill The Bill Movement, deportation resistance, strikes - all of these show the potential that our class has for bringing in a better world.
Red Fightback is part of that fight for something greater. But we are unlike other parties and organisations in Britain. We don’t run in parliamentary elections, and we don’t follow the Labour Party and its friendlier face of imperialism. We recognise the principle of self-liberation; that oppressed people must emancipate ourselves. We are Marxists, but we aren’t intimidated by engaging with theory from any corner, whether to understand, utilise or criticise it. And we are on the ground, not selling papers or running blogs. In 2021 we ran community outreach, bathroom access campaigns, material support for our unhoused community members, anti-gentrification campaigns, resisting immigration enforcement, and worked with unions.
In 2022 we have a new strategy, passed at our last congress. This year will carry at least as many challenges as the last two have, with increasing government repression and more eugenicist Covid policies. It is our growing links with our communities that will guide us. We are not here to save the day on our own. Our strategy seeks to build a communist movement, not simply by claiming a title but by a coalition of working and oppressed people, and the organisations they populate, combining to overthrow capitalism and its state. When liberation comes, it will take many, many, people. But when working and oppressed people do come together, we are as capable of toppling capitalism as we are of toppling statues.
Here’s a short summary of our road ahead:
The focus of much of our work at the moment is our street stalls. Once a week, every week, you can find Red Fightback out on the high street of the cities and towns we have branches in, serving hot drinks and food. In the past, communists have focussed on the idea of the factory, or the workplace. But in modern Britain, the vast majority of workers are in the service industries; cleaners, baristas, retail staff, and Deliveroo drivers. Today, the community is the factory, and it’s in our communities we need to organise. In 2022, we want to build outwards from the nucleus of our stalls, creating campaigns on local issues and setting up programmes which provide people with what they need.
We are continuously inspired by the Black Panther Party, both in the US and Britain, and the many types of work they did. They ran breakfast programmes, after-school classes, medical centres and elderly care programmes, all provided free for and by the masses. Their achievements were amazing, and no problem in the community was too small for them to care about or too large for them to attempt to solve. We humbly try and follow in their footsteps in our own context.
So, if you have something going on in your community which you think isn’t right, contact us. Or, better yet - join Red Fightback, and help us fight to change it. We need every village, town, and city to have a Branch, working to solve the problems faced by those who live there. We don’t need people coming into Red Fightback who know everything already; we learn through practice. All we need is for people to come in willing to hit the ground and engage the people, and to oppose oppression in all forms wherever they may find it. We look to recruit from those we are working alongside, in the hope that by demonstrating material successes we can gain their trust and support.
In addition, we will continue to recruit from those disenfranchised by the Labour Party’s history of racism, imperialism, transphobia, and bigotry. Labour is a black hole which sucks up the energy of many of those who want to do genuine good in their communities. If you are a former member of the Labour Party reading this, you probably already understand this, and that Labour is the product of a century of class compromise. It’s a trap which holds back revolution through bribes and misleadership, but it can only do that as long as it still has bribes to offer. Labour councils sell austerity and working-class land to the highest bidder. We are organising people to fight and win for themselves, exposing the bankruptcy of Labour.
Equally, half of the people in this country don’t vote, either because they correctly understand how little it changes anything, or because they aren’t able to - incarceration, disability and age disenfranchises huge segments of the population. While other parties campaign for votes, we want to be campaigning to show people how to hold those in power accountable. We want to be there the day after the election, ready to help in the fight against whoever wins.
We intend to organise amongst both those sections of society, winning round disillusioned Labour supporters and empowering those who have rightfully lost faith in party politics as a force for change.
As we build in communities, and strengthen our connections amongst our class, we build a clearer and stronger picture of our demands. Whether nationally or locally, we must be there to learn from and fight alongside those who suffer the most under capitalism in this country, and to do that we need to understand what we are fighting for as much as we know what we are fighting against. What does the world we want to build look like? What will it contain? This process will help us to begin to build the structures necessary to take care of one another during this spiralling crisis of capitalism. This is the fight of our lives, and we are serious about winning it. Are you?
“Always remember that the people are not fighting for ideas, nor for what is in men’s minds. The people fight and accept the sacrifices demanded by the struggle in order to gain material advantages, to live better and in peace, to benefit from progress, and for the better future of their children”