Counterfire is a socialist organisation dedicated to building the biggest possible movements against a system of growing crisis and misery...
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Opinion

Is there life outside Labour?

In our continuing series on left strategy, Chris Nineham from Counterfire responds to Laura Smith and John...

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Real change depends on mass movements, popular protests and on workers taking action

Counterfire groups, events...

What is Counterfire?

Counterfire is a socialist organisation committed to building the biggest possible movements against a system that is creating more and more crisis and misery.

Whether or not we get real change depends on wider struggles in society, it depends on mass movements, popular protests and on workers taking action.

We believe that this kind of popular opposition requires a dynamic extra-parliamentary left, rooted in workplaces, communities and colleges.

We also believe that these struggles are connected. Racism, sexism and all oppressions are a product of a society based on the exploitation of workpeople by a tiny minority of capitalists.

War, climate change and inequality are all symptoms of a chaotic system based on competition for profits.

In the process of helping to build resistance, Counterfire puts the case for a revolutionary socialism that ultimately seeks popular control of society and genuine liberation for all.

What we do

Our members are actively involved in the protest movements and workers struggles around the country, and we are organising local Counterfire groups - currently online - to help build solidarity with struggles and popularise socialist ideas and analysis.

As well as putting on a wide range of debates, public meetings and other events around the country, we run one of the best read websites on the left which has scores of contributors and tens of thousands of readers every month and - in normal times - we distribute thousands of copies of the left's first free paper. 

Publications

Trotsky in the Bronze Age

Join Counterfire

Counterfire is a socialist organisation building the biggest possible movements against austerity, war and racism. We believe that change happens when working people get organised and fight for it. Politics is not only or mainly about what happens in parliament.

We have one of the best-read websites on the left with cutting edge news, analysis and socialist theory and we distribute thousands of copies of the left's first free paper.

Most importantly we are organising a dynamic extra-parliamentary left in every area of the country. We have local groups which meet (on Zoom for the time being) to discuss the political situation and organise and support local campaigns, strikes and protests.

If you want to be part of a campaigning, revolutionary left that will fight for fundamental change then join us now.

Socialist Explainers

Debates around the questions of the oppression of trans people and the oppression of women are intensifying. Sometimes positions are being expressed in ways that do not help us to move forward in the struggle for liberation. Counterfire is publishing the following document as a contribution to the discussion. 

1Trans people are oppressed.

2Trans people should be free of all discrimination, oppression, abuse, violence, or the threat of violence.

3It is the responsibility of the left and of the entire labour and progressive movement to oppose the oppression of trans people.

4There are competing theories about why trans people are oppressed.

5We take the view that it is the centrality of women’s oppression and the role of the family to the continued existence of capitalism which results in the straitjacket of gender which oppresses all those who do not conform to societal norms.

6We understand others have different explanations and we are firmly of the belief that all those with different views should be listened to with respect.

7There is among trans people competing views of why trans people are oppressed and these should be listened to with respect. We reject claims by any individual or organisation to speak for all trans people.

8We are familiar from debates on the nature of racism with a broad spectrum of explanations of racism~black nationalist, black separatist, Marxist, social democratic and liberal to name only some. All those currents are anti-racist positions and no one should be, or has been, excluded from the anti racist movement, let alone considered a racist, because they held one explanation of racism rather than another. The same should be true in the debate over trans.

9We are familiar from debates over sexism with a broad spectrum of explanations of women’s oppression~feminist, radical feminist, socialist feminist, Marxist, social democratic, liberal and so on. All those currents are opposed to sexism and no one should be, or has been, excluded from the women’s movement, let alone considered a sexist, because they held one explanation of women’s oppression rather than another. The same should be true in the debate over trans.

10Unity among the oppressed is possible, but never automatic. Unity has to constructed and can never be assumed. Any passing familiarity of the history of relations between the women’s movement, the black movement, and the gay and lesbian liberation movements knows that discussion and debate was frequently necessary for common interest to be forged. For that open, free and respectful debate is essential.