Two friends have both written excellent blogs on propositional not just oppositional strategies. These suggest not just dissent and resistance to political processes that are fundamentally broken – but the creation of new processes that could feasibly help us build something more equitable and sustainable.
In one turbulent week since the March 26th movements are consolidating and ideas and plans are emerging. There has been indignation about broken windows and violence in the press and while some have pointed out that the clash between tactics is neither new nor exclusive to the left, movements such as Ukuncut have shown ‘tactical respect’ and gracefully refused to condemn the actions of other protesters on the streets.
Today an article claimed that the dramatic drop in Tory popularity in polls this week demonstrates that big protests do make a difference in political opinion. Yet the real difference a gathering of half a million people makes is deeper than the opinion polls; the debate created by this demonstration is part of a broader social learning process that will inform an ongoing organizing process.
Estimates of a half million people on the streets yesterday. The 26th of March was a great success but only the beginning if we hope to stop the destruction of decades worth of social progress, save education, social services and the NHS. Several hundred thousand are willing to stand up for what they believe and because of them today there is just a little more hope that our resistance to austerity measures will work. Continue reading
Today in the House of Commons MPs vote for education cuts in the form of new £9000 a year tuition fees. Today in a courtroom in Nottingham the case against the climate activists who conspired to shut down Ratcliffe Power Station sums up and the jury retires to deliberate. What have they got in common?
These two events are part of the same problem. This is why: our economic system is structurally reliant on growth – and when growth hits geo-physical barriers, or social barriers, or cultural barriers it does whatever it has to do to abolish these barriers. Growth occurs through a process of turning our ecological, social and cultural space into economic space i.e. into commodities to be traded. The economy needs to do this to grow, and it needs to grow to survive – so yes, as Thatcher might say, within the current set of conditions, ‘There Is No Alternative’ (TINA). But there absolutely are alternatives to this way of organizing society. TINA serves elite interests and keeps us from demanding structural change.