I have been travelling around the country for the past few months, sticking my nose into what’s being planned for the coming year.
We have the elections and the Cop 21 summit in Paris as highlights, but what dates should put in the diary and avoid clashing with?
THE LEAD UP TO THE ELECTIONS
NATIONAL HOUSING DEMO – Jan 31st
THE REAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN – Jan-May
Fighting against media bias in the lead up to the elections
- Feb 28th/1st Mar – Real Media Conference
- Mar 13th – 20th – Anti Daily Mail Week
- April – Launch Real News Platform for the Left
OCCUPY RUPERT MURDOCH – Mar 22nd-29th
Occupy will hit the Shard (murdoch’s new home) with a week of Solidarity actions based around all the social movements the media ignores
- Peace News day school – 10th Jan
- Fossil Fuel Divestment Day – 13th Feb
- Free Education Conference – 20th Feb (weekend)
- Peoples Assembly Manchester (w Billy Bragg?) – 28th Feb
- 1st May – Mayday – Class War calling for a more militant demo
RUMBLINGS FOR WHAT FOLLOWS THE ELECTIONS
A HOT SUMMER?
Summer is typically a bad time for activism, but whoever gets elected is going to be hated. With increased focus on police violence will something kick off? Probably not.
Spring and Autumn are the only times of year when anything happens – let’s be prepared for them. Btw this is because of student terms, summer holidays and Christmas draining of bank accounts and time
Reclaim The Power will probably be having a camp in August
A HOT AUTMUMN
This will be the time when we prepare for Austerity plus. Whoever gets in will be making deeper cuts and will definitely past their period of grace. We should prepare to be involved in the following.
- A TUC demo outside the governing party Conference – a good time to engage large numbers of people with a plan of action, or just kick off!
- A speakers tour in early September – organise things so that every campus and organised community has public meetings early in the Autumn.
- Include a rough strategy for post these public meetings – a self organised national demo? A clear target and set of tactics for Direct Action?
- Build for COP21 in paris. COP21 itself will be pointless, and so will any action there (except for laughs), but the chance to organise on European basis must be grabbed
- Watch out for TTIP – this is the biggest threat to the people of the US and Europe, it may overshadow every struggle. Loosing this battle may mean we loose them all.
We cannot run blindly around from crisis to crisis any longer. We must have strategies that are longer than Direct Action to Direct Action, campaign to campaign. But to begin with let us make sure that this year kicks ass!
ORGANISATIONS TO WATCH OUT FOR
- People’s Assemblies – they’ve stuck at it and may pick up enough traction to be a serious force
- People’s Solidarity Network – A good idea for serious piece of infrastructure that may bring us together in the best way yet
- Real Media – again creating a piece of Infrastructure that we badly need. We have not had a single media platform since well before the death of Indymedia. We need to have our own media for our ideas to succeed
- Plan C and ISN – though small, these organisations are looking to long term planning and sensible pluralistic approaches to left politics.
- Reclaim the Power – This may be politically broader and better structured than Climate Camp, this year should tell us whether this is the case. It could become THE D.A. group of the UK
- Class War Party – Just because
- Plan your events – make sure there are some public big events, like film showings, club nights, well know speakers, or controversial subjects.
- Think about who you are trying to engage and what you are trying to achieve with the campaign
- Produce your advertising material with this on
- Pick targets (like bars, particular lectures, halls of residence) to promote at.
- Call all your vaguely interested friends, see if they will help you flyer or at least keep you company
- An hour a week from everyone of this will produce results – low labour, high impact with planning. Talk to people and get phone numbers!
- Create a call list or phone tree for events and meeting – share it out in advance, and add numbers as you meet people. Make sure you give everyone a buzz an hour before the event
- Create a rapid response phone tree for solidarity demos or sudden actions (probably a smaller list)
- We all feel more comfortable talking and sitting with people we know, but if you try and chat to people you don;t know and sit next to them
- Invite them for drinks afterwards and assk them lots of questions. Make people feel comfortable and happy and you will be surprised at what skills and energy they can bring to the group
- Don’t forget to get their phone number – always!
The one you want