Saturday, June 22, 2013

People's Assembly

The People's Assembly met in Westminster Central Hall on Saturday 22nd June with delegates from Trades Unions, Trades Councils, Leftist organisations and pressure groups such as the National Pensioners Convention and the Black Triangle organisation (which opposes the victimisation of disabled people) as well as individuals.

Significantly "non-political" organisations like the NUT were represented alongside the usual suspects. 

This movement against austerity has high hopes of confronting the government and overturning its policies. This is going to be an uphill struggle because none of the political elite are remotely interested in fighting austerity. On the contrary it is Labour Councils (and one Green council) in the forefront of pushing through the Tory cuts and Ed Balls has made it clear that there will be no change if Labour are elected.

Most significantly Owen Jones ended his keynote speech by evoking the memory of the anti-poll tax movement. It will certainly take something as inspirational and well-organised as that movement to confront this government. The Anti Poll Tax movement was viciously opposed by the Labour leadership and yet it succeeded in humiliating Margaret Thatcher. So much so that the meltdown of the iron lady began when her flagship policy was sunk.

If the People's Assembly can give an impetus to persuading the TUC to get off its knees and organise that general strike they keep promising it will be excellent. If they can support anti-cuts candidates against what are popularly called the Labour traitors that would be even better.

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