To challenge establishment ideas more effectively, Counterfire is going regular with its free paper
British politics is more polarised than at any time for decades. The government is in a destructive frenzy, taking welfare apart, virtually outlawing strikes, demonising immigrants and Muslims, toughening up the security state, hosting a dictator-a-week at Downing street and remorselessly pushing for a vote to bomb yet another Middle Eastern country.
On the other hand there is a big radicalisation in society. This is witnessed not just by Jeremy Corbyn's stunning victory and continuing popularity, but opinion polls showing a majority are fed up with inequality, want more taxes on the rich, a programme of nationalisation and a bigger role for trade unions.
How this contest plays out depends on the strength and sophistication of our side. We face big obstacles. In parliament the zombie Blairites are doing their best to bully, block, and bludgeon the Corbynite minority. Outside Westminster, the media, the military and the rest of the establishment are plotting and scheming against Corbyn and what he represents: a gathering revolt against domestic austerity and foreign wars.
These circumstances put a premium on popular mobilisation. The best way we can bolster Corbyn and push back the right is to develop the mass movements and keep getting people out onto the streets. The day of action against the Autumn statement is important, as is the demonstration against climate change. And next February's march against Trident will be crucial in supporting Corbyn against the hawks and the military top brass.
Force of ideas
But any political struggle is about ideas as well as action. Unsurprisingly, the corporate media is trying to hold back change, baiting Corbyn for extremism, insisting on balanced books, targeting welfare recipients, refugees and other vulnerable groups. The right wing in Labour spreads confusion by echoing many of the media's attacks.
People are looking for change. But just as the elites mass-produce their distorted arguments, we need the widest possible circulation for our side of the story.
That is why we believe the time is right for a free, radical paper that can help to challenge the establishment narrative on the economy, immigration and war, and clear away the obstacles created by Corbyn's enemies in Labour.
Without shared political clarity it is very hard to sustain a struggle. If they are shared widely enough, radical ideas can become a material force.
So in the process of helping to carry all sorts of arguments, the paper will also be an organiser, bringing people together, spreading news about protests, campaigns and strikes, and giving people the confidence to take more action.
Pilot editions of the Counterfire paper have gone down a storm. We have been contacted by people all around the country who want to distribute it. Now we want to go regular and massively increase our distribution. This will cost money. That is why we are launching a crowdfunder to raise at least £5,000 to cover start-up costs and extended distribution for a year.
Spread the word
If you are fed up with the sexist, racist rags you already find on the tubes, buses and trains in Britain, we are asking you to donate as generously as possible to our free radical paper campaign. But we also ask you to spread the word about the paper amongst your friends and colleagues, and to get involved in distributing it in your community, college or workplace. You can help too by sending us reports, photos, opinion, reviews and more, that we can use in future editions or on the website. Together we can make change happen.
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