On Wednesday 20th May 2009, 60 people crowded into a room at LSE to hear six Londoners talk about their participation in the recent Rock around the Blockade solidarity brigade to Cuba. It was named La Brigada del Cinquenta Anniversario, in recognition of the fact that it was lucky enough to be visit Cuba during the 50th anniversary of the revolution. For all but one of the brigadistas, it had been their first trip to Cuba and at Wednesday’s meeting they formed a young, dynamic panel of speakers who each had something different to report on. Areas discussed included democracy in Cuba, education, agriculture, and a report of the international conference for the Cuban 5, which welcomed delegates from around the globe, and at which RATB gave a short speech. There were also video clips - an interesting testimony to the experiences described -including a moving clip of the Mayday parade in Havana, an important and massive day of celebration in Cuba.
As always at RATB meetings there were more questions than time – although many people came for more informal discussion at a social afterwards, and said how informative and interesting the meeting had been.
It was obvious that the brigadistas had gained a huge amount of practical and political knowledge from this brigade. The six speakers, most of whom are fairly new to politics, have returned to Britain enriched, inspired and altogether better-placed to continue with their anti-imperialist struggles here in Britain.