Just days after the general election around 100 people showed up to Newcastle's People's Assembly meeting determined to build mass opposition to cuts
Angry at the prospect of another five years of Tory rule, 100 people turned up to a meeting in Newcastle on 12 May, determined to build mass opposition to cuts. It was called by North East People's Assembly just three days earlier.
In contribution after contribution there was enthusiasm for the People’s Assembly national demonstration on 20 June, combined with a commitment to build on-going grassroots resistance locally. As well as agreeing to book more coaches for the national demonstration to meet extraordinary demand, the meeting voted for a huge local protest on 30 May. It was felt we needed a powerful response to the programme of cuts we knew would be announced in the Queen’s Speech.
The People’s Assembly is well established in the north east, with a powerful track record of coalition building and campaigning. The aftermath of the election represents this movement’s biggest challenge yet, but also the biggest opportunities – with new supporters flooding into meetings, offers to create new local groups, and an appetite for mobilising for both local and national protests.
Whether it is new student networks forming, artists volunteering to create banners and placards, or offers to organise fundraising gigs, there is an upsurge of activity and initiative. It is all geared towards building a mass movement that can stop cuts and paralyse the government.
Alex Snowdon is a Counterfire activist in Newcastle. He is active in People's Assembly, Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the NUT. Alex blogs at Luna17 .