On Tuesday 6th July the day after Marxism 2010 finished, four supporters of the IS Tendency (a man and three women) walked into a tube station near the event venue. One was wearing a Marxism 2010 tee-shirt, another carrying a Sociailst Worker poster, the other two were more anonymous. One of the women attempted to fare dodge by doubling through the barrier. The staff on duty stopped her and insisted she buy a ticket (I know it sounds trite but they were only doing their job!). An argument ensued in which the four comrades began shouting abuse at three tube workers (two of whom were members of the RMT union).
I thought it very ironic. These four socialists (who appeared to be middle class students), had spent five days at an event called 'Marxism'; attending such courses as 'Class in the 21st century' with a meeting on 'What makes you working class?' and were probably inspired by the idea of working class power in the abstract.
Then, at what was virtually their first encounter with real working class people in the workplace after leaving the campus they showed such a high degree of contempt and hostility towards the very workers with whom they entrust the future of humanity.
As the abuse (which admittedly by now was travelling in both directions) heated up one comrade called a female tube worker 'a bitch'. Presumably this socialist had attended the meeting on 'What did the Russian Revolution do for women?' or maybe the meeting on 'The New Sexism'.
This incident is known because one of the tube workers present was himself once a member of the SWP and attended Marxism on five occassions in the 80's and 90's. The incident left him feeling embarassed and ashamed.
thanks to 3S