Arise: a festival like no other

By Matt Willgress, Arise Festival

The RMT strikes and recent TUC demonstration have shown clearly that opposition to the Boris Johnson government is not limited to — or primarily coming from — those Tory backbenchers who have expressed their belief that he should resign in recent weeks and months. The real situation is that in workplaces and communities, more and more people are saying enough is enough, and that this is fuelling a swing in public opinion against Bo Jo.

In this situation, on the Labour Left we need to stand with, and amplify the voices of, all those movements resisting. That will be the central focus of Arise Festival this year, bringing together not only dozens of groups and speakers from across Labour’s Left, but also MPs, union representatives, social movements, equality campaigns, unions and many more.

Political education on the left is also vitally important. As Jon Trickett MP says, “The time for socialist ideas has also come, with millions here and around the world challenging how neo-liberalism is failing people and planet.”

The event started with a bang this Wednesday, with thousands joining Jess Barnard from Young Labour and Secretary of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs Richard Burgon in conversation on Crisis, Resistance & the Struggle for Socialism. You can watch the whole event back here.

Additionally, just as the Tories aren’t getting a free pass in implementing their ideologically driven Thatcherite economic agenda, it’s absolutely vital that they aren’t given a free pass in their aggressive and reactionary policies on the international stage. That is why we will be hosting sessions with Labour & Palestine, Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America and others, examining what a socialist international agenda looks like, as well as showing solidarity with left movements around the world.

We will also look at how we defend refugees and stand up to racist divide-and-rule policies, how women are at the forefront of the resistance to the Tories. We are hosting a discussion on LGBTQ+ Liberation – Pride, solidarity & socialism to mark Pride this Sunday (July 3rd.)

Arise is an online festival of ideas like no other, featuring a month of dozens of unique sessions and different formats, including “In-conversations withs,” Q&As, book launches, policy seminars, exclusive interviews, interactive workshops, film watchalongs, “Lefty lunchtime” streams, political education forums and more.

Be there!

  • Arise – a Festival of Left Ideas 2022 is taking place online from June 29th to July 28th. Get a ticket at https://www.arise-festival.com/
  • Jeremy Corbyn will lead a major session on Building Global Movements for Peace, People & Planet on Monday July 4 at 6pm. Register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/building-global-movements-for-peace-people-planet-tickets-360447356747
  • Speakers will include Jeremy Corbyn MP // Shami Chakrabarti // John McDonnell MP // Michelle Gildernew MP, Sinn Fein // Jo Grady, UCU // Jess Barnard, Young Labour // Holly Turner, NHS Workers Say No // Gemma Bolton, Labour NEC & CLPD // Mercedes Villalba MSP & an amazing range of international guests.
  • Participating groups and publications include: Tribune // Peace & Justice Project // Momentum // Campaign for Trade Union Freedom // Labour For Irish Unity // Labour Briefing (Co-op) // Liberation // Labour Assembly Against Austerity // Socialist Campaign Group of MPs & more

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