On Sunday 12th November the Greenwich and Bexley branch of the Indian Workers Association (Great Britain) held a rally attended by 200 people. The programme for the day was of revolutionary poetry, humour, theatre (due especially to IWAGB comrades who came from Birmingham for the day) and dance by young people. The cultural programme was immensely enjoyed by the friends and comrades in attendance.
There were also speeches on issues which affect members of the IWA(GB), issues which, as working class people living in this country members have and must continue to face up to. One of the central issues taken up by Makhan Bajwa of the Greenwich IWA(GB) branch concerned who Indians should give political support to in parliamentary elections, and particularly in the general election which possibly will be taking place in May 2001. He said that voters must consider carefully what the candidates had ever done for the Indian community in general and the working class in particular. Voters should look at the track records and programmes of the various parties and ask themselves which of these parties stand up for working-class interests. He went on to say that we should consider the Socialist Labour Party (SLP) as a party to support.
Many IWA(GB) members are active throughout Britain in the Socialist Labour Party. By representing the interests of the working class on the basis of equality and anti-racism, the SLP really does champion the interests of minority communities. Giving support to local SLP candidates is supporting representatives who would support the working class on every issue be it on anti-racist and anti-fascist work, on immigration work, for trade union rights, and fighting for oppressed people when they are under attack from imperialism.
Comrades from Southall IWA(GB) and SLP were present at this meeting and Sukant Chandan, a young member from Southall, said a few words to the meeting. Sukant said that
“we as Indian workers are internationalists, and no matter where we are in the world we will fight there for our rights alongside all other exploited and oppressed peoples”.
This point was met by enthusiastic applause from the rally. Sukant went on to say that
“the SLP is a great chance for IWA(GB) members to join with white workers and workers of all backgrounds against capitalist imperialism and its representatives in the form of the Labour Party, Tories or Liberals, and fight for socialism in Britain. This is something we have not been able to do before the birth of the SLP on a nationwide level.”
He went on to say that IWA(GB) must also recruit actively more young members as the struggle must be handed over to new generations, that although some young people attend rallies, many of them must participate in the running of the IWA(GB) and serving the working class in Britain. Hardev Dhillon of Greenwich IWA(GB) agreed with this point from the Chair and said how important it was to involve young people and bring more and more of them into activities.
Lalkar congratulates the Greenwich and Bexley IWA(GB) branch for organising a successful rally and is sure that its work will continue to be ever more successful.