This year I've taken part in a number of important protests : at the Senedd against opencast at Nant Llesg ; in Cardiff against Israel's barbaric treatment of the Palestinians; in Newport against the NATO warmongers summit there and an anti-bedroom tax march also in the capital.
Yesterday in Merthyr I joined with many others of the Left to Stand Up to UKIP outside their recently-opened shop at the bottom of High St.
It was an indication of what we can achieve when working in unison : anarchists, Greens, Commies, Plaid Cymru, unaligned like myself and even left Labour (I think).
While the event was a great success, I often wonder why we can't stand together on a platform FOR something, rather than always AGAINST.
So much left-wing politics is purely reactive.
We see a racist threat and respond to it with passion and energy, yet we need to put the same drive into offering alternatives.
Of course, the Red Poets is just one of those alternatives : performing group and magazine who try to stand for co-operation and equality.
Now we need a collective of the many such groups who strive for a very different society, one where everyone is valued and talents are fully realised and rewarded; where wealth and schooling can't buy you power and privilege.
Maybe, out of a united opposition to the appalling policies of UKIP such a collective will emerge and what better place than Merthyr, which rose in 1831 under the red banner to take control of the town till British soldiers shot many people down and Dic Penderyn was hung , as a scapegoat, in Cardiff?
It's possible that nothing will come of this unity......could anarchists really agitate alongside Plaid Cymru, the former wanting no borders and the latter an independent country?
Well,Saturday was a glimpse of what can be done and a reminder of the Welsh Socialist Alliance which, in Merthyr certainly, worked well to bring the Left together.
While Saturday's event may have exposed the disturbing prejudices of UKIP candidates - one is caught on video claiming to have witnessed a gay person having sex with an animal! - we need to do far more to bring to the people our message of HOPE not FEAR.
I spent most of the time leafleting and met a few UKIP supporters, who yelled at me about democracy and then either refused a leaflet or tore it up in a couple of instances.
The appeal to base emotions of blaming new-comers to our community for problems created elsewhere is akin to fascist parties and it's little wonder that leader of the EDL Tommy Robinson has declared support for them.
All their policies lead back to the evils of the EU and immigration, despite the fact that their last election campaign was part-funded by expenses obtained by their MEPs!
They are masters of hypocrisy!
Farage's recent attempt to blame his tardiness in getting from London to Port Talbot for a Conference on high immigration levels is typical.
Despite all this , they retain popular appeal and, sadly, Merthyr is no exception.
It's so much easier to point the finger at in-comers from Portugal or Poland, rather than view the wider picture.
For me, that picture is crucially one of British imperial history.
Just like all other colonies, Cymru has now been largely abandoned because we no longer supply the coal and iron which made Britain so 'great'. Also, cheaper labour can be obtained from other countries , shipped like slaves by ruthless employers, including Welsh UKIP MEP Nathan Gill, whose family business used immigrant workers.
Divide and rule was the choice weapon of Empire and now in a vain attempt to keep Britain together.
What better way for the Westminster Gov. and their allies in the City to divert and distract, than to focus constantly on the very agenda set by UKIP?
UKIP are not the English Independence Party : they are avowed patriots in a British sense which can only appeal to those caught up in the nostalgia for war.
Their advocacy of Grammar Schools typifies this and has no basis in educational reasoning.
They were abolished because they simply didn't work. So many of those condemned at the 11 plus to a life of struggle against being dubbed as failures proved that the system had failed.
We need a revolution in education, where learning becomes exciting and children no longer spend their whole lives being trained for exams. Creativity must be the core of the curriculum.
As ever, UKIP preach division.
However, it's no use the Left just exposing their crass contradictions and the frightening racism and homophobia of so many candidates : we must offer genuine alternatives.
And even if we can't agree on whether Cymru should have self-determination, we have to appeal to people's better nature, their desire to see a clean, green world where crazy inequalities and rip-off companies are consigned to the spoil-heaps of history.
POUND SHOP POLITICS
This bloke see,
ee didn know nothin
bout pol'tics whatsoever.
Nearest ee got to it
woz drinkin in-a Labout Club,
or votin f'r a neighbour oo stood.
If yew arst im
ee'd problee say - 'Labour,
I always vote Labour!'
Ee always ad an eye
f'r a bargen, tha's why
ee loved it in Merthyr.
Charity an Pound shops galore
an ee seen this new one open
down by-a Lucy Thomas Fountain.
It ad a bright purple sign
an a £ clearly displayed.
Ee entered in anticipation.
Expectin loads of is favourite
Belgian chocolates, German beers
an, o course, Italian pasta ;
all ee seen wuz a table
fulla leaflets an posters
an a man in a sewt be'ind.
'Wha yew got f'r a quid?' ee arst
an a man showed im two pamphlets :
'No To EU' an 'Cutting Immigration'.
'Got anythin ot as peri-peri
Portuguese sauce like in Nandos?
Or spicy as a tasty chorizo?'
'This is the UKIP shop, my friend,
not another Pound Store.'
Pissed off, ee visited the Polish shop nex door.