On Thursday 20th March, we at the University of Manchester Marxist Society held a meeting on the 30th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike, with guest speaker and ex-miner John Dunn in attendance.

As someone who is relatively new to the Marxist Society (having only become involved in Marxist politics at the beginning of the academic year) and coming from a solidly working class background, the opportunity to hear John speak about the Miners’ strike proved both an extremely informative and massively inspiring experience.

As someone who was born into, and grew up in the post-Thatcherite consensus the only information I had received prior to the meeting with regards to the Miners’ Strike, had been permeated by Thatcherite, capitalist rhetoric and had rendered me largely ignorant about the struggle of the NUM against capitalist oppression of that strike through every instrument of the state apparatus. In that sense John’s speech brought Lenin’s classic text The State and Revolution to life.

I found the talk especially inspiring as it was my first opportunity to hear from somebody who was actually present and participated in the strike, describing the events from a working class miner’s point of view. I cannot recommend John enough – from his powerful, emotive oratory to his unwavering commitment to socialism, and would highly recommend to anyone who had not yet had the chance to hear him speak, to take the opportunity as soon as possible. He was able to draw the lessons from that strike, regarding the brutality of the bourgeois state and the need for strong fighting trade unions, so that we can learn from this experience for the future.

The meeting and John’s passionate speech helped to further consolidate my own commitment to the fight for socialism, and has inspired me to become more active within the Manchester Marxist Society and the Marxist Student Federation as a whole.

by Jack Ashworth, Manchester Marxist Society

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