Movements

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.

Brazil in revolt

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Brazil, held up as an economic success story over the last decade, has been shaken by a massive revolt triggered by transport fare rises. Henrique Sanchez and Sean Purdy examine the roots of the rebellion and assess the political challenges ahead

Until quite recently, Brazil was experiencing a climate of euphoria. This was partially because of improvements in the conditions of workers and the poor with low unemployment, a moderate increase in salaries and a popular government income supplement program for the very poorest families.

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.

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?

Quebec: how we won

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After a six-month strike students in Quebec celebrated a victory last month when the new Parti Quebecois government announced it would reverse a planned tuition fees hike. The new government also repealed Bill 78, an emergency law introduced in May, aimed at restricting the right to protest. Aamna Mohdin and Jamie Woodcock spoke to Jérémie Bédard-Wien, a spokesperson for CLASSE, a radical student coalition that played a central role in the movement


“Half a million people marched through Montreal on 22 May - the largest ever act of civil disobedience in North America.”

Jérémie Bédard-Wien


There has been a history of student strikes in Quebec. What was the trigger for the 2012 student strike? And what was the inspiration?

Spain: a spiral of crisis, cuts and indignacion

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In March 2011 several regular Guardian columnists analysed the crisis in the Spanish state and the response to "austerity" by the population. All agreed that young people were "apathetic" and even "docile".

Two months later that same youth led tens of thousands to occupy city squares and a million to demonstrate across the country - the movement of "the outraged" ("los indignados" in Spanish). Actually the journalists were not wholly wrong: at the time of writing there had been a limited fightback and the consensus across Spain was that people were apathetic.

The spirit of Occupy

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John Sinha and Amy Leather are socialists who have been part of the occupation of St Paul's since it began. They spoke to Jack Farmer about the Occupy movement

What has been the ideological impact of the Occupy movement?

John: It's had a huge impact, which can be summed up in the slogan "We are the 99%". What people meant by that is that we are fighting for the interests of the 99% of people who have lost out as a result of neoliberalism.

Amy: The slogan is also the beginning of an argument about class. It's made people think that it is possible to take on those at the top and do something to change the world.

What were the differences between Occupy in Britain and elsewhere?

USA: Revolt of the 99 %

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Eric Fretz reports from New York on how the Occupy movement has transformed the mood in the USA.

"We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we're working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent." So runs the statement on the werarethe99percent website.

Autonomous Developments

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Young people have been at the centre of momentous struggles this year. Jonny Jones argues that socialists should thow themselves into these struggles while pointing to the power of the working class

Many of the struggles which have rocked the world over the past 12 months have had young people at their heart. In part, this is down to the fact that they are less held back by ideological and economic constraints than those who have to worry about paying their mortgages and feeding their families. Their methods of struggle are inventive and dynamic, unencumbered by the slower moving, bureaucratic processes which they have come to identify with the trade union movement.

Birth of a new movement

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The day of global solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York on 15 October marked the emergence of a new movement with a rejection of capitalism at its heart. Protests were held in over 950 cities across 80 countries and five continents with over a million people taking part.

But impressive as this is, the ideological impact was even greater. The atmosphere has already been transformed more than once this year already. The democratic revolutions in Tunisia, and especially Egypt, reasserted the collective power of the masses to defeat dictatorships. The mass strikes in Greece and the youth-led rebellion of the Spanish "indignados" signalled a new willingness to challenge austerity.

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