Communist Renewal No.2 April 2016. Local Work…
1. People’s Assemblies 2. European Union Local focused political work in the movement, discussed collectively in the Branch, is an essential part of Communist Renewal. The PA briefing has been put together by the Party Anti-Austerity Commission and one or two of very many branches that are active in PA locally. The EU section is a response to a decision of Party EC. If your Branch would like to contribute briefing materials on another area of work, please let us know.
People’s Assembly 1. Political work in the People’s Assembly is identified by the Executive Committee as a priority in “What Is To Be Done” for 2016. The Party was one of the People’s Assembly founding organisations in 2013. Building on the People’s Charter, widely adopted in the Trade Unions, the PA has adopted The Charter as its central policy – reflected in its “People’s Manifesto” – the 2016 edition written by Rob Griffiths. 2. The aim of the People’s Assembly is very clear. It is not simply a protest movement – it aims to put an end to austerity policies, and to any government that pursues them, through the development of a single, unified anti-austerity movement. Each word is significant and needs to be protected. Single - Organisations which run parallel campaign bodies cannot affiliate to People’s Assembly at national level (eg SWP, SP). Different local Assemblies adopt different local policies on this. Unified – the national committees of the People’s Assembly work by consensus rather than majority votes in terms of policy and action. This protects the unity of PA Anti-Austerity- the clear focus of the PA is on anti-austerity – it is not a general “left” campaign – it is intended to bring new people into activity through this specific focus. Movement – the aim is not just to coordinate existing campaign groups, but to build a sustained mass movement, reaching deep into communities and union memberships 3. There are over 100 local People’s Assemblies. www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/local-groups The Party as a national founder “signatory body” should be represented on local People’s Assembly committees. If there is a local Assembly, contact them as the Party, ask to join the committee. If there’s no local Assembly approach the Trades Union Council to set one up. The TUC, in Trades Councils’ ‘Programme of Work’ calls on them to support and build PAs. See Directory & Programme https://www.tuc.org.uk/union-issues/unions-community/trades-councils 4. Our Party priorities on local People’s Assemblies a. Ensuring strong participation by local trades unions, including People’s Assembly representation on, and joint work with, the Trades Union Council and vice versa b. Analysing, publicising and organising around specific particular local austerity issues… c. …through this aiming to draw “ordinary” working class people into activity and leadership, not just a “left” coalition of “the usual suspects”. i. Encouraging unions to publicise and promote PA to members and in workplaces ii. Establishing Student Assembly, Assembly of Women, working with community orgs iii. Establishing very local community PAs to be represented on the town/city wide PA. d. People’s Charter/People’s Manifesto policy and education public sessions – moving from defensive, “protest” action to national and local positive demands & policies. e. Popularising the Morning Star which has a close link with the People’s Assembly 5. ALL of the above characterise the Party’s priorities and work in the People’s Assembly.
The European Union 1.
The imminence of the European Union referendum means that the Party has to renew and step up our efforts to win the working class and our movement to the position of what might be called exit Left. The Party EC has called on Branches, Districts & Nations to mobilise on this. The TUC Congress in September of 2015 took no position on the EU referendum, but subsequently the General Secretary and the Executive of the TUC – a select group of the General Council - has predictably come out in favour of continued membership, and expects TUC officials to fall into line. They have no democratic mandate for this from TUC Congress, though TUC rules allow for it. Leading Party members were signatories to an anti EU Guardian letter in February together with Trades Union leaders, Morning Star, Indian Workers Association, War On Want, Stop The War, Labour Leave, and other political organisations and campaigners http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/17/eu-is-now-a-profoundly-anti-democratic-institution
This, together with the publication of the short pamphlet “12 Myths About The EU” (also including “5 Harsh Realities”!) kicked off our campaign We are involved and work closely with Trades Unionists Against The European Union http://tuaeu.co.uk who have an excellent leaflet “Workers Say Leave” which can be downloaded and ordered from that site. It is written in the style of “10 Myths About The EU” and “20 Good Reasons To Vote To Leave”. It is very readable, for general distribution. TUAEU is doing excellent work particularly within the Trades Union movement, but also more generally in the community “Britain and the EU – What Next?” is a very detailed and comprehensive pamphlet against the EU by our International Secretary John Foster. Other pamphlets by John on the EU are superceded and replaced by this one. It is an indispensable tool in the Party campaign. An essential part of Communist Renewal is local focused political work in the movement, discussed collectively in the Branch. Here’s a “serving suggestion”! a. Get a good supply of the TUAEU leaflet “Workers Say Leave”, the Party’s pamphlet “12 Myths About The EU”… and John Foster’s pamphlet “Britain & The EU – What Next?” b. Discuss these in Branch. The Party pamphlet is divided into 6 sections. Divide these between Branch members, and ask them to prepare an introduction to discussion concerning their section(s). c. When everyone is confident in the arguments, organise a public meeting on EU, or perhaps invitation meeting aimed at local trades unionists, campaigners, PA activists, Labour Party, Global Justice members etc. It could be organised with other domiciled Communist Parties – Association of Indian Communists/IWA have already agreed nationally. d. This could be in the form of a round table so that ALL branch members can participate in leading part of the discussion, based on the Party pamphlet e. Could we organise a street stall, as the Party or together with others perhaps under the TUAEU banner?
Other important pamphlets Has your Branch been reading and distributing other new and important pamphlets “The Trade Union Bill & How To Kill It” Communist Party “The Battle For The Labour Movement” A Morning Star Pamphlet by Rob Griffiths