World in revolt
Fred talked about how the world has still not recovered from the financial crash of 2008, which continues to provoke volatility everywhere. This crisis of capitalism has led to instability across the globe, as people increasingly question the system. Anger has spread, developing from below and continually growing, giving rise to revolutions internationally – from Chile to Hong Kong; from France to Sudan.
Fred also spoke about the deathly silence from the bourgeois media about these tumultuous events. The ruling class are afraid of these massive movements of the working class. In Iran, for example, the regime shut down the entire internet in an attempt to contain the recent revolutionary wave. This just goes to show the power of the working class, if united and organised. The capitalists have every reason to be afraid.
Contributions from the floor covered a wide range of topics and recent events, including: the decline of British and American imperialism; the need to unite workers against the ruling class’ ‘divide and conquer tactics’; and the importance of leadership in order to see successfully completed revolutions.
Where next for the climate movement?
The next session discussed the question of Where Next for the Climate Movement? Leonid Shaidurov from the Communist faction of Fridays for Future and Olivia Rickson of the Sheffield Marxist Society both spoke on the platform.
Leonid spoke about his work as a leading student climate activist in Russia, and the difficulties in organising in the country – but also the great successes as well. The capitalists are happy to see hectares of Siberia burn, as long as they can hold onto their profits. It is the task of the global climate movement to link the climate crisis to class struggle, and to fight for bold, revolutionary demands.
Contributions from the audience highlighted the farcical attempts by liberal commentators to focus on small-scale individual actions, such as banning plastic straws or going vegan. But it is clearly the profit-hungry capitalists who are to blame for the endless pollution that is destroying our planet.
We must take control of these monopolies and run them under a rational socialist plan in order to solve the climate crisis.
Students and workers: unite and fight!
The final session of the day was a report on the work and progress made by the MSF in the last year, as well as the plans for the period ahead. Fiona Lali, the national organiser of the MSF, led the session, speaking passionately about the array of different activities that Marxist students have been involved in recently.
We had heard from Harvey Dodds, a UCU member at Loughborough University, who spoke about the fight against casualisation and marketisation of education. As Harvey explained, it is our task as Marxists to join this struggle and lend our full support to striking staff.
This was the biggest and best conference yet of the Marxist Student Federation. We are ready and energised for the fight ahead of us – the urgent task of building the forces of Marxism, on and off campus.