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Issue #1597      June 12, 2013

The beginning of the end for austerity

BRITAIN: The People’s Assembly issued a landmark declaration last week launching the movement’s plans for an unparalleled fightback against austerity. It sets out the stark choice facing Britain between accepting brutal cutbacks that don’t work or taking action to build a future that’s fair for all.

The founding statement sends a clear message that the People’s Assembly will offer “action not words” in order to force the government to abandon austerity or elect one that will.

Thousands of supporters have rallied behind the movement at packed meetings across Britain ahead of the inaugural People’s Assembly on June 22 in London. Three thousand will attend the historic demonstration of people power in two weeks’ time to discuss opinions and policies popular across Britain but rarely heard in Parliament.

They will also launch an ambitious three-pronged attack on the government.

The action plan includes a national day of civil disobedience and direct action against austerity, a day of co-ordinated local demonstrations in the early autumn and a national demonstration alongside trade unions and campaign groups in November.

The declaration praises groups who have already taken on the government, including students, trade unions, local anti-cuts campaigns, environmental activists and the Occupy movement.

It goes on to back “every and all effective forms of action” and predicts that “our stand will require us to defend the people’s right to protest.” Despite issuing this strong statement of intent, organisers are determined to ensure everyone will be empowered to participate in discussions and play their part to build an inclusive movement.

Signatory John Rees is clear that the statement is not addressed to existing left-wing activists. “It’s a statement issued in the name of an assembly that is already broader than the existing left, aimed at hundreds of thousands of working people not in the left or the anti-austerity movement in any organised way. It seeks to draw them into action.

“The first People’s Assembly cannot and should not decide everything. It is the start of a process of engagement and mobilisation, not the finished movement.”

Speaking after launching the declaration, Peoples’ Assembly secretary Sam Fairbairn told the Morning Star the event will kickstart a campaign that can “turn the tide on this rich man’s government.”

He said: “We can start to mobilise the millions of people who are affected by a government intent on making the poorest in society pay for the crisis while it’s business as usual for the very people who created it.”

Morning Star  

Next article – Two great CDs – Paul Robeson

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