Initial guidelines for setting up local People's Assembly groups.
The national office is there to support local groups in any way we can, please do get in touch with us with any queries and if you need support in any way we can. Also, let us know if you are setting up a group so we can make sure you get all newsletters, information and communication and also so we can add you to the website.
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Guidance for local People's Assembly groups
Local People's Assemblies must be broad and action focussed.
The People's Assembly Against Austerity aims to create a movement that is rooted in every locality that can engage with these millions of people. We also need that movement to have a national focus that can take on austerity right where it's being orchestrated, as well as being able to campaign against every local cut.
Local People's Assemblies need to reflect the communities they seek to represent. That means pulling together a broad coalition of all those who will stand together against austerity.
The thousands that gathered at People's Assembly on the 22nd June in 2013, represented a huge display of anti-austerity sentiment. In order to organise this at a national level we went through a process of bringing together a broad and representative alliance of people. The demonstration on the June 20th 2015, when a quarter of a million people flooded into the capital to demand, 'End Austerity Now' proves how far we've come. But the People's Assembly must keeping growing and can only do so by keeping the movement broad and accessible.
For local People's Assemblies to be a success in their own right and to truly reflect the nature of the People's Assembly they need to do the same. The People's Assembly should not be dominated by or follow the agenda of any one organisation. The agreement between everyone should be initially based on the statement agreed at the People's Assembly and the simple demand of No Cuts.
Below is a check list / guidance sheet for use when setting up local People's Assemblies.
This is the minimum expected in order for local People's Assemblies to reflect the broad process that was agreed at the national People's Assembly.
Who should be involved with local People's Assemblies?
1) Make sure every organisation is contacted who have signed up in support of the People's Assembly. Most of these organisations will have local contacts or representatives, some won't but it's worth checking. This is the starting point for pulling together a local People's Assembly. The local organisations need to involve (or at least invite) people from:
- Unite the Union
- Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)
- Communication Workers Union (CWU)
- University and College Union (UCU)
- Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA)
- National Union of Teachers (NUT)
- National Union of Journalists (NUJ)
- Fire Brigades Union (FBU)
- South East Region TUC
- Bakers Union
- National Pensioners Convention
- War on Want
- Keep our NHS public
- Disabled People Against the Cuts
- Black Activists Rising Against Cuts
- Stop the War Coalition
- Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
- Greece Solidarity Campaign
- National Assembly of Women
- Institute of Employment Rights
- Morning Star
- The Green Party
- Socialist Resistance
- Communist Party of Britain
- National Unemployed Workers Centres Combine
- Association of Indian Women
- Indian Workers Association
2) In addition to these national organisations there are other local organisations and individuals that need to be contacted. These include:
- Local Labour or independent MPs or councillors who oppose austerity
- Any local anti-cuts group
- University societies or the student union
- Any local cultural figures, celebrities or journalists
- The local and regional Trades Council or Trades Union Congress
- Any other local union branch. Even if the national union hasn't signed up to support the assembly, individual branches are likely to do so.
- Local faith organisations
- Local cultural centres, voluntary sector organisations, youth centres
- Any bedroom tax campaigns, groups against demolition of social housing etc
3) The People's Assembly nationally has contacts from each area. From the office we can send out a message to everyone from a locality about getting involved.
The aim of the local People's Assemblies is to engage with and get into activity the thousands of individuals being affected by austerity. The best way to do this is to assemble together this kind of representative group of people which can connect with thousands more.
Getting a local People's Assembly together: The suggested action plan below can be adapted to what fits best in your area. This is a suggested list of activity based on what has worked in other areas. The key to any local People's Assembly is that it involves the broad range of people listed above.
1) Local support letters: We launched the People's Assembly nationally by getting organisations and individuals to sign up to the launch letter which appeared in the Guardian. This then formed the basis for the organising committee for the People's Assembly nationally. This has since been replicated on a local level. See some examples here. This is a good way to make initial contact with a wide range of people and can form the embryo of a local People's Assembly group.
Here is theletter which you can ask local organisations and individuals to sign up to.
2) Organise an event or meeting: Many planning or activist meetings have taken place across the country already. These meetings can pull together people who want to get involved and can plan around for the next big events. These meetings should have representatives from all the supporting organisations and be open to individuals who want to get involved.
Socials are also good for pulling new people together. Perhaps a People's Assembly Picnic, a trip to the cineam followed by discussion in a cafe afterwards or organise a film showing yourselves. Poetry nights, music events, banner making sessions and so on. The sky is your limit!
3) Mobilise around the national action plan:
To be updated soon