People's Assembly calls on Scotland to unite for more powers to defeat austerity
The People's Assembly has called for the energy both sides put into the referendum campaign to be channelled into ensuring that powers are delivered for Scotland that can be used to "reverse the austerity agenda".
The call was made as community activists, trade unions, trade union councils, politicians and other campaigning groups met for the People's Assembly Scotland AGM in Glasgow on Saturday 4 October 2014.
Phil McGarry, Chair of the People's Assembly Scotland, said: "We have a formidable task to unite both referendum groups but it is vitally important if we want the powers to combat austerity and make a real difference for people on issues like fair taxation, employment, trade union rights, public services and health and safety. We will be taking these issues forward to Lord Smith and the Scotland Devolution Commission."
Dave Moxham, STUC depute general secretary, told the AGM that the referendum had been a "fantastic democratic outpouring" driven for hundreds of thousands by an anti-austerity agenda and frustrated by the mainstream parties offering no alternative. "The People's Assembly is a vital organ" in the post referendum period to focus on issues like grasping the nettle of fair and redistributive taxation, creating employment and defending public services. The ability to shape these issues should underpin what powers we seek, he told delegates.
Bill Greenshields from the UK People's Assembly, thanked Scotland for showing that it was not true that working people were apathetic about politics. The referendum had shown that people will come out in force, "when you give them an identifiable choice and a clear and achievable outcome." It is important that the People's Assembly builds on that, "as not just a campaign but a mass movement for change."
The People's Assembly Scotland will now take forward its campaigning to the STUC/Poverty Alliance demonstration in Glasgow on 18 October and by linking in with and supporting a range of broad based campaigns.
"We are offering people a platform to try to end austerity", said Phil McGarry