Faced with multiple interlocking crises, unity in action is the only way we can effectively resist, writes Mikey Huguenot reporting on Saturday's Hastings people's assembly
Evidence, if any were needed, of the power of local groups coming together in solidarity, was seen on Saturday 20 August, as the Hastings People’s Assembly joined with Hastings XR, Acorn, Unite Community, Divest East Sussex and a range of community support groups, councillors and union members to undertake a productive people’s assembly in the centre of town.
The gathering centred on the themes of the cost of living crisis, with links made between the obscene profits of energy companies, the climate crisis, and demands for decent public sector pay and support for strike action; representatives of the RMT were in attendance following their morning picket.
Following introductory speeches, activists and members of the public split into working groups focusing on what demands should be made of the government and local council, and what the community can do themselves in the face of these multiple, and linked, crises. Ideas and strategies generated within the working groups were then shared more broadly, and future activism and action points were identified.
Whilst this all took place, with banners, hay bales and benches reclaiming spaces for public discussion amid the Saturday shoppers, campaign stalls distributed practical guidance and advice for those passing by who were struggling with food and energy costs, whilst collecting signatures for the various campaigns.
The Hastings People’s Assembly did well in engaging the public, gaining new supporters and forging local links. Copies of the latest Counterfire paper were snapped up, and much sympathy was expressed for the arguments made. Overall, the mood felt positive and determined!
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