October 15 global voice of the people day
The contrast couldn’t be more stark. Finance ministers in grey suits in Paris trying desperately to save the system while ordinary people in nearly 900 cites in 78 countries take to the streets tomorrow to demand change.
Ministers from the G20 leading capitalist economies, gathered in the forlorn hope of finding solutions to the global debt crisis, represent the vested, narrow class interests of bankers and corporations, the minority that hold a grip on power.
Those driven on to the streets by the economic and political consequences of the crisis represent the potential and possibility of an alternative, different, progressive, democratic future.
Designating tomorrow as a global day of action was inspired by the revolutionary uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and other countries, the democracy struggles in Spain and the mass movement in Greece against draconian budget cuts. As the call-out for tomorrow says:
On October 15th people from all over the world will take to the streets and squares. From America to Asia, from Africa to Europe, people are rising up to claim their rights and demand a true democracy. Now it is time for all of us to join in a global non violent protest. The ruling powers work for the benefit of just a few, ignoring the will of the vast majority and the human and environmental price we all have to pay. This intolerable situation must end.
The movement’s momentum has been boosted by the inspiring Occupy Wall Street movement that has rocked the American political establishment, notably the wimpish Democrats. New York’s trade unions have given practical support and the occupy campaign has spread like wildfire throughout the country.
In Britain, there is visible and growing support for the initiative to occupy the space adjacent to the London stock exchange near St Paul’s at noon tomorrow, along with other protests throughout Britain.
These global actions create the opportunity for an open debate on solutions, about how a minority’s hold on the levers of power has brought us to the edge of a social catastrophe and, more importantly, what are the ways forward.
Many sincerely believe that the power of the people can be harnessed with enough energy to compel government and big business to change and henceforth protect and defend the interests of the majority.
That viewpoint, however, is at odds with the nature of the beast we face. As the M15 democracy movement in Spain has noted, the state, political parties and corporate interests have fused together in new ways to defend the capitalist status quo.
There is a democratic façade to this process – but a façade is all it is. As a result, the present political system is the problem, is a barrier to future human progress. While it remains in place, it intends to go on inflicting grievous bodily harm on young and old, putting them out of work, cutting services and pensions, letting energy prices rip.
The crisis-ridden system will grow more and more authoritarian and warlike, destroying basic rights and liberties and threatening international conflict over resources and trade.
In other words, in A World to Win’s view, the social system is beyond reform and needs rebuilding in new, creative, democratic ways that make the rule of profit and capitalism history.
People’s Assemblies have come to the fore in struggles in many countries and can become a transition to a democratic future. On Saturday, October 22, we are hosting the event People’s Assemblies to People’s Power at the Passing Clouds Collective in east London. There’ll be music, poetry and subversive debate. Put the date in your diary.
14 October 2011