England, Wales and Scotland section of International Socialist Alternative

Why I joined Socialist Alternative

By Daisy Whittingham

I have circled socialist and feminist ideas all of my voting life. Most recently I worked with an anti-austerity women’s group, which was equal parts inspiring and frustrating. While further back I had been a diligent Labour Party member from a strong Midland tradition, but found that to also ultimately lose its gloss. Like so many on the red side of politics I was left wondering how do you give a name to what you want to achieve and how do you make the time you invest in a cause worthwhile?

I first encountered Socialist Alternative on a poster wrapped around a lamp post near Liverpool City Centre. There is little that would make me stop ordinarily while walking to work, head down thinking about that first coffee, but the poster promised an informative conversation on socialist feminism this International Women’s Day.

Informative it was. I liked the approach, with complex ideas outlined at the start followed by contributions from the floor. It felt more like what I had always understood left politics to be, based on discussion and well-established concepts but delivered in a context that made them fresh and inspiring. So I went back to the next open meeting and the position of SA in the patchwork of socialist ideas became clearer. My ‘saw a poster’ level interest developed into a desire to be part of it. The concepts were not amorphous but tangible, the methods were clear and rooted in strong objectives and I appreciated how existing members invested time in guiding my understanding.

In the ten months since joining, I have attended pickets as a member of SA from those of my own union PCS to the Liverpool dockers; I have marched on rallies against capitalist tyranny in London and anti-union legislation in Liverpool and supported stalls speaking to the public on topics from trans rights to the climate crisis. SA provided, and continues to provide, cohesion to the ideas and results I want from left-wing activism and I am proud to be a part of it in this pivotal moment in British politics.


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