People's Assembly Demonstration against austerity. Photo: Peter Damian People's Assembly Demonstration against austerity. Photo: Peter Damian

The upcoming National People’s Assembly, is a necessary step towards refreshing and refocusing the anti-austerity movement

‘War is over!’ ran the famous campaign by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, during the Vietnam conflict. Underneath, the strap line – cleverly put the call for action back on us: ‘If you want it.’ Marx also wrote, ‘Philosophers have only interpreted the world; the point is to change it.’ Both statements serve to remind us that change never comes without hard work and engagement. 

The People’s Assembly has called an urgent ‘National Assembly’, which is an reminder that, while the anti-austerity movement has matured to the point of having some of its most important figureheads on the cusp of assuming political power, nothing comes to us by sitting and watching from the side-lines. The assembly, on Saturday 2 June, in central London, is called ‘Change is coming… How do we achieve an anti-austerity government?’, and will address some of the most urgent questions of the moment. 

After last year’s General Election, which saw the humiliating near-defeat of Theresa May’s Tories, for many on the left it has become a given that Corbyn’s Labour Party is only an inevitable step from power, and any coming election is a forgone conclusion. This has lead to a sense of passivity across the left, which is potentially very dangerous. 

An acquiescence that is worryingly evident in the relatively low level response from Labour activists in light of the recent smear campaigns against Corbyn (especially over those false and cynical accusations against him of anti-Semitism). If we are really to make the final leap and secure the Parliamentary victory for Corbyn’s Labour Party, we must be more rigorous in our political analysis and even more active than ever. We must ask each other, what exactly do we expect an anti-austerity Government look like? And is the movement doing everything it really can to make it a reality? 

The sessions will include; How much nationalisation do we need? What would a national investment bank do? How can we fight an establishment backlash? Does our economy need immigration? And a fantastic line up to discuss these issues and many more including, John McDonnell MP, Gary Younge, Diane Abbott MP, Danny Dorling, Amelia Womack, Lindsey German and Sam Fairbairn.

All of these issues require our attention, both in order for to us understand precisely what it is we’re campaigning for, to help secure it in practice. We cannot tolerate more of the same austerity, which is literally destroying our communities. But to make the changes we so urgently need, we will have to ask the difficult questions. Change may indeed be coming, but only if you fight for it. 

Change is coming – National People’s Assembly is on 2 June at St Pancras New Church, London. Further details can be found on