People’s Assembly Conference: Personal Reflections.
The People’s Assembly conference on Saturday was a success.
Proudhon said that while the French working class talks, the British and German movement organise.
I would like to give respect to Jacky and to Clare for their contribution to organisation.
It was highly appropriate to begin the day with tributes to comrades Bob Crow and Tony Benn.
I was waiting for the right venue to hear and appreciate their lives and we got it – the most moving and the best tributes that you could possibly hear.
As they said, don’t mourn: organise.
We are a good Suffolk People’s Assembly.
We are based on the trade unions, and real co-operation between all the different parts of the left, from anarchists to the Labour Party.
We have had a real echo in our County.
During the day the only contentious debates were attempts to introduce a US-style ‘Occupy’ ‘consensus’ model of how we work, and a SWP attack on my union UNITE.
The former was brushed aside: we do not need lessons from a marginal US movement for how we operate.
The second was, frankly, sat on.
The People’s Assembly is open to a whole range of movements, from the campaign about climate change to (above) campaigns against Workfare. The ideology is not hard to grasp: it is democratic socialism in all its varieties.
But one thing was very a marked throughout the day: we are a working class movement.
“We will today commit ourselves to fight back in unity and solidarity in the movement as a whole, with the organised working class in the trade unions at the heart and head of our movement and demanding the right of workers to organise freely in those unions, opposing all current and further attempts to undermine our right to resist.”