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Looking forward to a new year of struggle

2010 may well always be remembered for its last few weeks when hundreds of thousands of young people came onto the streets in the first great battle against the Con-Dem government.

It’s easy to forget that just a year ago, we were only anticipating a Tory government – now the fight has begun against this one.

How strong the memory mass student movement remains in popular consciousness will partly depend on the great battles that lie ahead.

We now face the task of turning the militancy and radicalism of the student movement, into the working class, fighting for an almighty offensive to bring down the Con-Dem government.

For Workers Power this has been quite a year – with plenty of successes and lessons for the future.

We stood a candidate in the general election – and, though the result is not the one we hoped for, it was a positive experience full of lessons for the future.

We took important strides forward in rebuilding our profile in the labour movement, strengthening our Unison and PCS fractions, and playing a leading role in the Jerry Hicks campaign in Unite.

We played an active role in supporting and building the Coalition of Resistance conference on 27 November, which saw 1,300 people take part from local anti cuts groups, national campaigns, trade unions, political and community groups and has since won the backing of Britain's biggest union, Unite.

But most of all, we are delighted with the work our youth and student comrades played in the great youth rebellion. On our members’ initiative, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts put the call out for 24 November protest, resulting in the biggest day of workday demonstrations in many years.

Next year will see a series of major mobilisations of the class. There will be series of protests and demonstrations in towns and cities across Britain leading up to the 26 March TUC mass demo.

There will be a series of strikes to defend pensions and stop the cuts and we will be getting down to the picket lines, and also building support and links with the youth and student movement.

The Tories are on the back foot. The student movement has had an effect that goes beyond the collapse in support for the Liberals.

It was clear from Cameron’s New Year’s message they are feeling the pressure, but they now will face a tidal wave of strikes and protest far beyond anything we have seen so far.

Ed Miliband and Brendan Barber have attacked “ideological” and “horrible” cuts respectively. True as this is, they must go beyond rhetorical criticisms to active support for the resistance in the year ahead. Otherwise, we will do it without them and they will find themselves as isolated as Aaron Porter from the National Union of Students did after the 24 November student demonstration.

It’s going to be quite a year – a bitter battle to defend our welfare state from these historic attacks.

That is why Workers Power members and supporters will be throwing themselves into the resistance in 2011 – into the anticuts committees, unions, workplaces, colleges, schools. In the heart of the resistance we will be fighting for a strategy that can win: indefinite strikes and occupations against every cut, coordinated strikes up to and including a general strike, delegate based committees of action to unite the struggle from below, a rank and file movement in the unions to deliver action even without the leaders if necessary.

Above all we will be stepping up the fight for an alternative to Labour's misleadership – a new revolutionary party that really expresses the interests of the working class and fights to bring down the government and open a revolutionary struggle for power.

We would like to thank all our members, supporters and readers, and hope to see you again on the streets in the year ahead.

A very happy New Year to all. <

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