There is some comfort in the Spanish election result with Podemos doing well and the win by Ada Colau in Barcelona who was a leading activist in the anti-eviction Platform for Mortgage Victims but the grim truth for us is that we face 5 years of pro-austerity Tory government with no sign of an anti-austerity leftist standing for leadership of the Labour Party.
|Ada Colau celebrates in Barcelona|
|Podemos celebrates in Madrid|
The big People's Assembly Against Austerity demonstration in Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens at the weekend (see below) which was supported by the Green Party demonstrated that there is an appetite in this country to build such a movement.
The Radical Assembly organised by Brick Lane Debates brought together more than 1,000 activists the previous week and it will important that they and the People's Assembly work together.
Here is the Brick Lane Debates statement and proposal for the General Assembly:
Why we have called this meeting:
The general election result has created a crisis. A hard-right austerity regime has taken power with the support of barely one in three voters and one in four of the adult population. The rich are celebrating: the stocks of banks, multinational companies and property developers are soaring. The rest of us will be made to pay.
The reaction has been massive. Thousands of people have joined angry anti-Tory protests, and thousands say they are coming to meetings to discuss what to do. A space has opened up for something that is truly democratic, bottom-up, radical, and based on mass action from below.
The People's Assembly is planning further action leading up to the big June 20th demonstration and beyond but it will be important that we are not limited to national demonstrations that like the Grand Old Duke of York lead us up to the top of the hill and down again with little to show for the effort. Action will need to be taken at local level.
Our hope and aim is the creation of a new joined-up radical left movement or network. The movement will be shaped by all of us in the days ahead. But our initial proposals are:
• A movement made up of groups which keep their independence but come together to support each other’s campaigns and plan action.
• A movement rooted in real, localised campaigns and wider struggles, especially those in which the people themselves organise to fight back against injustice and oppression.
• A movement united on every issue – on unemployment and unaffordable rents, on fracking and climate change, on tuition fees and student debt, on the gentrification of our communities, on the privatisation of the NHS, on the violence and racism of the police, on the criminalisation of the homeless and the poor, and so many more.
• A movement controlled democratically, from below, with a loose federal structure which can accommodate an expanding number of independent radical groups and assemblies within it.
• A movement united around broad anti-capitalist aims, these to be formulated by the constituent groups, but agreed by general assemblies.
• A movement which aims to grow and unite people in active struggle against the system.
|Speak Out Against Austerity, Harelsden, Saturday|
The People's Assembly is organising a protest on Wednesday May 27th 'Protest the Queen's Speech - End Austerity Now' assembly in Downing Street at 5.30pm.
The PAAA say:
The Queen's Speech May 27th will set out the the government's legislative plans for the parliamentary session ahead. What can we expect? Massive cuts to welfare, more attacks on immigrants, attempts to limit the right for unions to take strike action, more free schools and academies, abolishing the Human Rights Act and an extension of 'right to buy' ending social housing as we know it. Please do all you can to come down to this important protest.Then on Saturday May 30th the PCS union are holding a demonstration in Trafalgar Square, 'Hands Off Our Unions' at 1pm:
This government is attempting to extend the anti-union laws. They want to make it impossible for unions to take strike action. New proposals include imposing a ban on strike action unless at least 40% of union members vote in favour of strike action - hypocritical for a government who gained less than 25% of the populations vote.All this builds up to what is hoped to be a huge demonstation against austerity on June 20th LINK:
This rally is also in support of PCS members in dispute at the National Gallery, striking over attempts to privatise sections of the service.