Anti-austerity movement

After 10 July: escalate the strikes

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10 July is set to see a second round of public sector mass strikes under the Conservative- Liberal coalition government following the pension strikes of June and November 2011.

As such the strike by around 1.4 million workers across schools, councils, fire stations and civil service workplaces breaks an unwritten rule among most of the trade union leadership: that in the run-up to a general election (now less than ten months away) big official strikes that raise the spectre of “union power” in the Tory press are to be avoided in the drive to get Labour into government.

Re-forging the disability movement

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The fightback against austerity is reshaping the disability movement in Britain.

Last month's Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) national conference was a chance to agree targets and strategies for campaigning over the next year, reflecting on wins such as the victory over Atos, and taking stock of the battles ahead as cuts bite deeper and conditions worsen. It was also a space to debate and shape the continuing development of the disabled people's rights movement which has dramatically grown, re-energised and progressed politically since the emergence of DPAC in 2010.

A new mood to resist

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Teachers, firefighters, council workers and health workers are all moving to either strike or hold ballots for strikes. Socialist Review looks at the shift in mood and argues that any strikes will be very political.

Suddenly the logjam could be broken. The announcement that Unison members in health and local government in England will be balloted over pay, plus a decision by the National Union of Teachers' (NUT) conference to call a further one-day strike in the summer term and the move for a new round of strikes by firefighters in early May mark a step change on the industrial front.

People's Assembly: the next steps

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The People's Assembly (PA) recall conference is set to take place on Saturday 15 March with local PAs, affiliated union branches and campaigns able to send delegates. It comes at a time when there is a need to debate the way forward in the battle against austerity. This is an important event for socialists and activists.

The launch meeting in June 2013 drew over 4,000 people while local rallies have drawn hundreds of people. In some places meetings have been the biggest since the anti-war movement was at its height.

The greek crisis and the Left

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Socialist Review interviewed Thanasis Kampagiannis, a member of the Greek Socialist Workers Party (SEK), about the political situation in Greece, the moves to the right by Syriza and the prospects for workers' resistance to austerity and the Troika (the EU, European Central Bank and IMF).


The crisis that followed the move by the government to shut down ERT, the public TV and radio broadcaster, seems to have left the government in a weaker position and led to the departure of the Democratic Left from the ruling coalition. Can the government survive?

Taking the temperature

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The union conference season has just finished. Julie Sherry looks at the mood among the activists who hold union organisation together in workplaces across Britain and asks what we can learn about the prospects for resistance to the Tories and employers

Last month 4,000 people packed into London's Westminster Central Hall at the People's Assembly to discuss the need for an alternative to austerity. The Assembly's huge turnout is a reflection of a widespread and growing politicisation among working class people in the face of a Tory government out to savage the welfare state and workers' pay and conditions, while no alternative is posed by Labour.

As people flocked into the People's Assembly, the last of this year's union conferences had just ended.

Can we beat the bedroom tax?

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In 1990 when Thatcher brought in the "Community Charge" we were told it was only "fair" that the "duke and his gardener pay the same". The Community Charge was a flat rate council tax imposed on every individual in Britain, regardless of income.

We called it the "poll tax". Millions did not pay. Local anti poll tax groups were organised everywhere, forming the national anti Poll Tax Federation, and after two years of struggle, with organised mass non-payment, protests outside the courts, and a demonstration that led to rioting in central London, the poll tax was beaten.

Peoples Assembly : what can it deliver?

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The People's Assembly will be a focus for many wanting to see a fightback. Charlie Kimber argues this is welcome, but we need to address the role of trade union leaders and the Labour Party if we are to build a movement that can break the government and its savage austerity programme

On 22 June, unless you have a very good excuse, you must be at the People's Assembly in London. Practically every trade union leader is scheduled to be in one room alongside hundreds of rank and file activists as well as people who have led campaigns against the bedroom tax, fought to defend the NHS and headed up the revolt by disabled people.

Mind the gap!

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The period since the mass strike on 30 November 2011 has been one of huge frustration for many trade union activists. While the Tory assault develops we have seen almost eighteen months of intermittent strike action, though of course nothing on the scale necessary to stop the attacks.

In the public sector we now see ongoing action by the PCS and possible national action on pay by both of the big teaching unions (NUT and NASUWT). At NUT conference a motion calling for a national strike on 26 June (alongside possible action by the PCS) received support from 30-40 percent of delegates. As it is the two unions will start joint regional action on 27 June in the North West of England.

Strikes, independence and indignados

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Rafel Sanchis and Estelle Cooch spoke to David Fernández, an MP for the Catalan parliament, about the origins and politics of the anti-capitalist coalition, CUP, and its relationship to the wider movement

An important feature of the crisis in Europe has been the rise of radical left political formations in Greece, France and elsewhere. In last November's elections to the Catalan parliament, an anti-capitalist and pro-independence coalition, the CUP (Candidatura d'Unitat Popular, or Popular Unity Candidates), got three MPs elected.

The 2012 elections were the first time that the CUP has decided to run for Catalan parliamentary elections. Why was this?

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