Manchester People’s Assembly Against Austerity will be leafleting at a number of events over the coming weeks. The first is:
Saturday 17th May:
Salford Against The Cuts, RALLY ON THE LAWN, Swinton Town Hall 12 midday onwards.
Information on other dates to follow. firstname.lastname@example.org
National Assembly report
Attendance: one delegate per People's Assembly and national supporting organisation, plus original signatories.
Assemblies from across the country attended and representatives from Greek Solidarity campaign, national Assoc of Trades Councils, Stop the war Coalition, War on want, UNITE, PCS, NUT, Keep our NHS Public and others
We are just a year old and in that time we have moved from a group of signatories calling for an Assembly in the Guardian to a movement of over 85 Assemblies and in a position to call a national demonstration against austerity which has gained support from the TUC. The demonstration is well timed coming just before what could be a major day of coordinated public sector strike action in July. Public support for strikes is picking up with excellent shows of support for the teachers strike before Easter, the Firefighters and the tube strikes. Building for the national demo will help to build the strength and relevance of the local Assemblies.
The comedy night at the Apollo in London in July,with major artists, is not only an example of the national organising committee taking fundraising seriously, it makes the Assembly very high profile. The committee are working hard to see if this can be rolled out.
The national conference instructed the signatories to put together a proposal for a group that can action the decisions made by the Assembly. The list endorsed is made up of individuals who can put the time in to meet at least once a week, often more, to run the organisation at national level. The list is:
Chairs: Steve Turner, Romayne Phoenix, Secretary Sam Fairburn, Treasurer Nick McCArthy, Press Officer David Steel
Alex Kenny, Aaron Kiely, Allison Roche, Bill Greenshields, Fred LePlat John Hilary, John Rees, Owen Jones, Paul Mackney, Pilgrim Tucker, Rachel Newton, Zita Holborne and two national office staff.
Membership: it was agreed that the People's Assembly should not be a membership organisation. We will register those who support the People’s Assembly as ‘supporters’ and we will seek a minimum contribution of £1. This does not bring any privileges - it's not membership. Those supporters that can't contribute are not excluded they are entirely equal. It is a mechanism to raise funds for the movement.
Local groups contributing to the Assembly: local groups should consider contributing £5.00 a month towards the cost of running the national website (and also our local website) and use of the national data base and email software. This means we can filter out all the national contacts for our area and send them local information.
Also a large amount of print material was available at the meeting for collection for free, indicating other sorts of support local groups would get.
Organisations contributing to the movement. It was agreed that national organisations should contribute using the same method other organisations use, starting at £100 and larger amounts ie £500 from organisations with robust finances ie Trade Unions.
Local Trade Union branches and campaigns should be approached to become supporter organisations and encouraged to contribute an annual fee of at least £20.00 per year.
Local Assemblies were urged to ask local unions for financial support and our national union representatives were urged to make this policy known to their branches.
June 21 Demo and Festival
A great route has been negotiated beginning at the BBC, going down Regent street, Piccadilly Circus, White Hall and finally Parliament. Russell Brand’s involvement has sparked a great deal of media interest and more performers are being booked.
We discussed the costs of large screens and other logistics. This is our main focus of activity alongside our supporter groups and campaigns.
Many activities were outlined at the national conference and added to these, Assemblies contributed many more ideas for future actions and a full list will be emailed. There was considerable interest in targeting Fat Face and Pret a Manger- owned by Bridgeport, the employers of Care UK. These care workers are in the middle of a long running dispute for a living wage.
...We will leave from OUTSDE Chorlton street coach station at 8am SHARP. The festival is scheduled to end at 6pm so we anticipate being back in Manchester for 11pm latest. We are asking for a £15.00 donation towards the cost of transport and will have a number of free and reduced rate places for unwaged. We are waiting to hear about donations from all our Trade Union branches to work out exactly how many we can offer.
Details of how to pay to follow
WEDNESDAY 19TH MARCH
National Day of Action on Budget Day
Meet 5.30pm Piccadilly Gardens, by the Robert Peel statue, Manchester
Send a clear, loud, message to George Osborne and tell him what we think of his budget and what it means for us!
The Manchester People’s Assembly has picked four city centre locations symbolic of the Government’s austerity measures to deliver our red budget boxes and alternative budget speeches.
Come along with your own budget boxes or budget ideas and join us in making each location a lively and creative event.
We had a fantastic turn out at our assembly on Saturday the 15th February, with over 50 people in attendance. We would like to thank everyone who took the time out to attend the meeting and helped us to create such an energetic and enthusiastic meeting
The topics of discussion were around budget day, Fracking, Education and the NHS. We had speakers from NHS Watch, GM fair pay campaign, Manchester Trades Council, National Union of Teachers and Public & civil service union! And two proposals were put forward.
We also put our heads together to make a plan for the demonstration which we are planning for the 19th of March 2014 on budget day.
Firstly we would briefly like to tell you about what the speakers had to propose and the motions which were passed
Secondly we nominated delegates to attend our national recall conference on 15 March in London. They will attend to represent Manchester
Our ten delegates are from:
Stockport National Union of Teachers (NUT)
Campaign against the Bedroom Tax
Darwen & Blackburn Labour Councillor & Stop the war Coalition
Lancaster University and College Union (UCU)
Tameside Keep our NHS Public and political writer
PA Supporter and fundraiser
Rochdale Against Cuts
Save our NHS Student Soc
As there were only 10 people who put themselves forward for the role of delegate, we did not need to take a vote. However, if you want to attend the recall conference as a delegate you still can if you are in a union or anti austerity group. Simply get delegated from the organisation you are in and register online or contact us.
We will hold a report back meeting on March 27th 2014
Finally we discussed Budget Day, March 19, National day of action
The demonstration will start at 5pm in Albert Square, Manchester.
We brainstormed ideas to get maximum coverage and participation and decided to organise around
WHO'S SINKING and WHO’S SWIMMING!
We will meet in Albert Square with music banners, wag bags and sandbags.
The government is pumping money into big business to feed corporate greed.
Taxes are leaking out of the system. One common area we also agreed on was for everyone to carry and hold the infamous George Osborne red suitcase and hand out leaflets from it to the public.
You get the theme…
We really feel that this could be a fantastic demonstration if we all pull together. While we all have different issues we are passionate about the budget announcement will affect everyone, just as austerity does. So if we all pull together we can highlight the issues that need resolving and hopefully get closer to having a government run by the people, for the people.
We would very much like your feedback, we are also seeking volunteers to help make this demonstration successful and has the impact it deserves. If you can spare any time to get involved we would love to hear from you.
Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner.
Dear Tony Lloyd,
The protesters at Barton Moss are peaceful activists, passionate to protect the environment and stop a process happening. Increasing evidence suggests Fracking is extremely harmful to our environment and on the people in the vicinity.
The Manchester Peoples Assembly notes the bullying and brutal tactics used by GMP today 15/02/2014 against peaceful protesters at Barton Moss Protection Camp. It is also increasingly evident that the GMP do not work in the interest of protecting the public but instead are clearly there today to protect corporate interest
It is alarming that the public sector employees who are paid for by us, the tax payers, have seemingly lost all sense of perspective.
The Manchester People's Assembly.