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How we resist the impending crisis – Anticapitalist Platform

Andy Young, our Momentum NCG candidate for Yorkshire, The North, Scotland, Cumbria & International shares his experience of the 2010 wave of anti-austerity movements, and how we learn from these defeats to build mass resistance against the coming crisis.Read Andy’s full candidate statement here: https://vote.peoplesmomentum.com/nominate/status/fwbvg4

Posted by Anticapitalist Platform on Friday, June 19, 2020

Hi, I’m Andy, I’m running for the Momentum NCG as part of the anticapitalist platform. Why? Because after the fall of Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour left is at a crossroads.

We face three huge crises – the pandemic itself, the climate crisis and now the biggest economic depression in a century. 

Business and the government have put profit over our health and safety with inadequate PPE, testing and tracing and now they are preparing to make the working class pay the price of this crisis.

As the largest left organisation in Britain, Momentum has a key role to play in opposing this. 

However, that requires a radical change in direction, genuine members democracy, a rank and file approach and anti-capitalist, socialist policies.

We should focus our efforts on organising the unorganised, millions have lost their jobs and we can unionise the precarious workers who have built up over the last ten years.

We can build solidarity with strikes over cuts and safety at work, we can support workers’ control in the workplace, rank and file democracy in the trade unions. Nobody should go back to work unless it is safe!

We can kickstart and unite mass resistance against the crisis by building democratic councils of action. 

These open and flexible forms of organisation can connect all the campaigns, so we can fight every eviction, every cut, every job loss.

That can draw in delegates from trade union branches and labour branches, from workplaces and housing estates. Take action and draw up a no cuts budget demanding that the labour councils act on it.

But in an age of fundamental crisis of the system we need to go further and link immediate priorities to an anticapitalist programme.

Tax the millionaires to provide a programme of public works to build the things we need like council housing and hospitals, giving jobs to the millions who’ve lost them. 

Nationalise the health, transport and energy sectors and that will help resolve the health and climate crisis. Don’t compensate the millionaires for them, place them under workers and consumers control as steps towards democratic planning.

We will need to build mass resistance to achieve this, we’ll also need to fight to make Labour and the unions support it.

Why? The sad truth is the leaders will oppose this.  Many of us in the anti-austerity movement saw first hand the betrayal of the right leaders but then inaction of the left leaders. They abandoned the struggle against NHS privatisation and abandoned the pension strike. The result was austerity which the working class, but mostly BAME and young people and women paid the price for.

Now Keir Starmer wants to make renters pay arrears which is a return to the era of Miliband and austerity-lite.

The struggle to build mass resistance and support for it in Labour and the unions is part of the struggle for rank and file democracy in Labour and the unions.

Momentum can’t lead that struggle unless it itself has rank and file democracy too.

To sum up, the bill for the corona crisis will be much bigger than 2008, and we have to prepare for an all-out struggle against historic levels of austerity. The fact is, for millions it’s already here.

Now these are huge challenges, as always, but the fact is alienation against the political and economic status quo is also huge. As is the anger against decades of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

If Momentum develops democratic structures and anti-capitalist policies, we can play a key role in building this necessary resistance, and with it rebuild the working class movement, linking both to the struggle for total liberation and socialism. Nothing less should be our goal.

Read Andy’s full candidate statement here: https://vote.peoplesmomentum.com/nominate/status/fwbvg4