I was never very interested in politics. It just seemed like a waste of time, and I was certain nothing would ever change, that it didn’t matter at all who won an election, because the same decisions would be made either way, and the people would always lose.
Rhiannon Wright, Leeds City Socialist Party
So I put my head down, feigned a smile, and just got on with trying to survive being unemployed. To be exact, I buried myself in fantasy. My own imagination seemed a much more appealing world than this one, than having to actually face up to how powerless I was feeling.
And then it happened.
I was checking the latest memes in mid-August, you know, those mostly meaningless viral videos and photoshopped images online, when I came across a new meme. People holding up signs where they’d written all their problems and ended it with “I am the 99%”. Suddenly, I realised, other people had the same issues I did. The same concerns, the same problems, some of them worse than mine.
So when Occupy Wall Street started, I was feverishly checking its related websites several times a day. When Occupy London Stock Exchange started, I was bemoaning the fact I couldn’t afford to travel to London. When Occupy Leeds started, I was there.
And it was at Occupy Leeds that I started thumbing through a copy of that first week of the Occupation’s edition of The Socialist. I started talking to people who were there, who happened to be socialists as well. I was fascinated, and starting to feel a tiny glimmer of hope. So I decided to join and see what I can do to help, because this is as important to me as the Occupation.
I am the 99%, so it only seemed logical and natural to join the Socialist Party