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Coalition of the willing – fighting austerity is open to all

“The answer to what this vicious government is doing is not some kind of austerity-lite policy. Labour has to become radical otherwise they will not win the next general election and we will face another onslaught from the Tories or another coalition.”

Steve described the People’s Assembly as a “coalition of the willing”, saying Unite wanted to help build the broadest possible opposition, embracing both young and retired, anti-cuts, anti-war campaigners, union members, politicians, economists and celebrity activists.

The initiative will also give ordinary members of the public a chance to join a mass movement, with the aim of linking local campaigns such as those against library closures or controversial changes affecting welfare, education and the NHS.

Most of the government’s austerity measures haven’t kicked in yet, so the Westminster meeting in June will be crucial in gauging the impact of spending cuts already in place, and whether a single umbrella group can open up a new campaign of opposition.

29 uniteWORKS May/June 2013

Organisers expect thousands to attend the event, describing it as an “alternative democratic forum” to Parliament, with the prospect of joining similar ventures across Europe.

Mark Steel said huge numbers of people disagreed with the government, but they usually just shouted at the Chancellor when he’s on TV or the radio, adding, “There is a feeling that the moment is right to do something – although world domination will probably have to wait until later in the year.”


Mark Thomas

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