John Rees: We will need every tactic at our disposal to defeat austerity, lets hit them with everything we’ve got
It has been too long in coming. But now it is here: a single, united national anti-cuts movement of the all the major unions, national anti-cuts organisations, local campaigners, members of political parties from right across the left and many thousands who are none of the above but just want to save the welfare state.
The People’s Assembly’s message will be simple and direct: the Tory led government’s austerity programme is bad, mad and dangerous to the 99 percent of the population who are not super-rich.
But we do not underestimate the task ahead of us. We know that the bankers charter that is government policy has the support of the governing elite, most of the media, and the heads of big business.
It does not, however, have the support of the mass of ordinary people.
Our job is to reach them and mobilise them.
We will need every tactic at our disposal to defeat austerity.
Immediately after the Assembly the PCS civil servants union and the teachers unions will be protesting and striking. The Assembly is organising solidarity with them. But we need more action like this from the unions, and we need to create a culture of resistance, a supportive protest environment where strike action can become widespread and co-ordinated.
One massive boost to the mood to resist will be if the demonstration called to coincide with the Tory party conference in Manchester on 29th September humbles the government by besieging ministers at their own showcase event.
They must be made to look the tiny, out of touch, millionaire clique that they really are. Hundreds of thousands of marchers can do that. Manchester is a working class city. It should be occupied by working people that day and the rich scroungers deported back to Mayfair by a tidal wave of opposition.
After that it is time for direct action. And what better day than Firework Night? Prepare action in your town or city. Make sure that nobody in your area will ever forget this 5th November.
All this needs the broadest possible organisation. That’s why the national People’s Assembly is calling for the setting up of People’s Assemblies all over the country. Involve all the unions, campaigns, the left…involve everyone who is sick of this government’s attack on working people.
Working people do not have money, or power, or the ear of the media. They do not control the police and the army. All they have is their numbers and their organisation. And even the numbers are no use without the organisation. We have forged a new unity. Let’s use it. Lets hit them with everything we’ve got.
From the Morning Star
John Rees is a writer, broadcaster and activist, and is one of the organisers of the People’s Assembly. His books include ‘The Algebra of Revolution’, ‘Imperialism and Resistance’, ‘Timelines, A Political History of the Modern World’, ‘The People Demand, A Short History of the Arab Revolutions’ (with Joseph Daher), ‘A People’s History of London’ (with Lindsey German) and The Leveller Revolution. He is co-founder of the Stop the War Coalition.
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