Growing up I saw and experienced the pervasive nature and consequences of poverty and inequality in the system we live under. Towards the end of high school, I became increasingly frustrated with the injustice I was witness to, and began to recognise the systemic nature of oppression based on race, gender, sexuality and disability.
I felt completely disempowered by the state of affairs in Australia and worldwide, and became increasingly disillusioned by the two major political parties and their lack of interest in seriously addressing environmental and social issues affecting many Australians.
Being introduced to socialist politics and attending refugee and student protests helped me realise the power of ordinary people – including myself – to be heard and make the real change that is desperately needed.
I began to recognise that the working class has nothing to gain from their fellow workers being worse off. Instead, the ruling class, who have control over capital and the government, have a material interest in reinforcing inequality and divisions among workers. Working class solidarity against all forms of oppression is necessary to fight back.
More recently I encountered the Socialist Party and was enthused by their clear platform and demands. I connected with the radical and achievable demands put forward by the current Renters Fightback campaign to expand public housing and introduce rent control. I was also enthused by their recognition of a need to continue pushing for LGBT+ rights following the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
I joined the Socialist Party after observing how the organisation approaches working class people. I believe it’s crucial to be aware of the current mood in society, and to appeal to working class people on this basis, while connecting our demands to the need for a society which is run in the interest of people, not profit. A society run by workers, for workers is necessary to eradicate poverty, inequality, and to stop further environmental destruction.
By Sheri Bryson