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.