Thousands of campaigners came together in east London last weekend to discuss how to change the world. Marxism Festival 2019 took place as far right groups gain influence and mainstream parties face crisis.
Student Khai said that Marxism “tells the truth that the establishment don’t want us to hear”. Extinction Rebellion member Joseph described it as a “great weekend and fantastic opportunity”.
“We need to bring people round to ideas that matter,” he said. “We all need to take action to save our planet.”
The climate crisis was a major theme as was Brexit, the Labour Party and the fight against racism. School climate strikers, Extinction Rebellion activists and others discussed what kind of action can be taken to stop climate catastrophe.
Author Ian Angus described the fight for the planet as “the most important struggle of our time”. “Capitalism has driven us to a crisis point,” he said. “If ‘business as usual’ continues, major ecological collapse is not possible, but probable.”
Suspended Labour MP Chris Williamson was warmly welcomed as he spoke to over 700 people in a meeting on Corbynism and the future of politics.
Other meetings ranged from discussing Karl Marx’s Capital to knife crime, drugs and gangs. A panel of artists spoke at a meeting on the demonisation of drill and grime music.
Sheila Coleman from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign spoke at a meeting debating the usefulness of inquiries and inquests in fights for justice. She warned against people in justice campaigns being “co-opted by the state”. “It’s so important we look to each other and stay strong,” she said.
Marcia Rigg, whose brother Sean died in police custody, spoke at a meeting on institutional racism and also at the festival’s closing rally.
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