Posts Tagged ‘people’s assembly’

Lambeth People’s Assembly Organisers Update

Posted: September 16, 2013 by lambethsaveourservices in People's Assembly
Tags: , ,

Hi Everyone,

 

Autumn has arrived and so it is time to finalise the plans for the Lambeth People’s Assembly on November 2nd and to start inviting as many people as possible. To do this we need your help.

 

If you haven’t already you need to JOIN THE YAHOO EMAIL GROUP to get on the discussion list, get all the info, and be able to contact everyone else. 

To join the email group go to  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OrganisingLambethPeoplesAssembly/ click JOIN and complete the sign up.  You need a free account but you can sign in with Facebook or Google if you don’t already have a yahoo account. If you have any problems please reply to this email.

Once you are a member of the yahoo group you can then email all other members by emailing organisinglambethpeoplesassembly@yahoogroups.com. Please use it wisely.

 

Sub groups – update on Thursday

Hopefully you are already in your workshop groups and have been working out your plans for the day.

So far the workshop groups themes are (titles to be confirmed):

 

Defending the NHS

Attacks on Rights

Building Trade Unions

Welfare & Benefits

Education

Immigration

Gentrification & affordable housing

Democracy & representation

Anti-Racism

(more…)

Advertisements

It felt extraordinary! As we massed on the steps, the crowd outside was so impressive, and the noise was like nothing, absolutely nothing I have ever heard before, as the cars, trucks and buses passing all slowed down, cheering and honking to show their support.

It was tricky even getting in. And so we got fed up and took democracy into our own hands. This is what it felt like as we forced our way up the stairs and into the main council chamber after they refused to even let us into the overflow room to hear our people testifying to the council:

I’m usually the one with the camera, so it is magic to have someone else catch my face (and Ali’s!) at such a moment of happiness (photo by Guy Smallman, he’s got some great pics!). I found my face featuring heavily in the Socialist Worker article; I’m not swp, but I loved that so many groups were able to come together to pull off such an incredible night.

I’m late writing this up due to exhaustion and another day of protest yesterday, and you can read the full coverage from the Guardian here. We heard this article some time after midnight, sitting in the Brixton Bar and Grill and clustered around Andy as he read it off of his phone. The victory was particularly sweet as a section of Lambeth’s Labour Council was also in the Brixton Bar and Grill, we spotted them in their suits as soon as we entered the door. Celebrating one would guess. Some words were exchanged, some hilarious dancing, but no blows. I twittered that their hangover was going to be far worse than mine, and doubtless I was right. Especially since it’s a cocktail of liquor, guilt and responsibility for carrying out this unprecedented attack on the welfare state.

Not us of course, we were celebrating a victory in the good fight, and the Guardian article was just icing. What got the most cheers upon reading was this: “Demonstrators ranging from trade unionists to pensioners occupied the chamber for more than an hour, taking their seats in what they called a ‘People’s Assembly'” because Lambeth SOS is both big and diverse and it’s a shame that the council tries to brand us otherwise. My favourite though, was “Alex Bigham, a Labour councillor, said that the meeting had been moved to an assembly room after it was disrupted by ‘quite organised protesters'”. Damn straight we are ‘quite organised’. The cuts affect up to a thousand jobs, not just people’s quality of life, but their ability to live itself. This budget will devastate both workers and those who need and deserve the services that they provide.

So a brief rundown on the assembly! Ruth presided over the voting as Mayor of Lambeth, as we voted down a budget that will destroy everything we have fought to build since World War II.

We had a number of great speakers, I can’t do them justice, and am still a bit too tired to try! But these were my favourites, demanding we save adventure playgrounds (pic also by Guy Smallman):

The People’s Assembly support them unequivocally. As we did libraries, park rangers, teachers, school crossing patrols, pensioners, nurses and the NHS, the RMT (who were brilliant by the way, though we could have used their heft getting up the stairs!), students who joined us from the UCL occupation, and everyone else who makes Lambeth a great place to live.  This is just one more step forward, for more info on what’s coming up or how to support, go to http://lambethsaveourservices.org/.

For more written on the events, look at the Urban75 blog, London Indymedia, and the Coalition of Resistance webpage.