The Emperor’s New Clothes
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= News =
Another two weeks, another case of politics stuck on repeat. Portugal protested against austerity, the EU gathered to discuss a Cyprus bailout. More bad news for the taxpayer from RBS, and amid the revelation that a third of all ex-council houses are now owned by private landlords, mass evictions took place in North London. After the rise of Golden Dawn in Greece, the Northern League in Italy and the National Front in France, the rise of UKIP in the UK hardly registered a surprise.
And yet, if you listen closely, you’ll start hearing snatches of a different tune.
On the eve of a triple-dip recession, polls show that Britons have lost faith in Osborne’s austerity plan. Tory MPs started urging Cameron to scrap the bedroom tax. In response to public pressure, the health secretary agreed that NHS competition regulations needed to be rewritten. Also caving in to public pressure, EDF dropped its £5m lawsuit against protesters. And an appeal made against police surveillance of protest was successful.
Following the escalation of recent anti-austerity protests, the EU was quick to push back deficit deadlines and loosen budget requirements. Pragmatism was the explanation given for the new flexibility, not leniency. Fear wasn’t mentioned at all.
The Swiss, of all people, voted against fatcat pay. In Brussels, an isolated Osborne tried and failed to defend a cap on bankers’ bonuses. The Dutch and Danes are planning tighter caps than those envisaged by the EU. But it is when Economist readers rebel against bankers’ bonuses that you realise the issue has now gone mainstream. It’s time to push beyond fatcat pay.
Earlier this month, Hugo Chavez died. His legacy is best viewed in figures of Venezuela’s economic and social performance. This weekend, you can discover the links between money, austerity and the financial crisis, enter the tax haven capital of the world for a day of action, join discussions and practical workshops on how to globally build resistance to austerity and learn about debt in our upcoming debt assembly. After these events, you may feel the need to attend a forgiveness forum. On budget day, there are planned strikes and a protest in Whitehall. Later, Manuel Castells talks about the power of networked social movements. You can explore anarchism and a commons-based economy. You can also join anti-cuts actions such as the Whittington Hospital Sell Off demo or the Barnet spring.
Like in the fairy tale, only for real – let’s all say it together:
Austerity has no clothes.
= Event Calendar =
New events are being added all the time.
Check our calendar for updates.
Friday 15th March 2013
6:30 pm – 9 pm
Saturday 16th March 2013
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Resisting austerity in Europe and the UK
11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Austerity is working… for the 1%
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Stop the Whittington Hospital Sell Off Demo
Expose the Hidden London – Tax Haven Capital of the World
VoiceOver | Riots Reframed Documentary World Premiere
Sunday 17th March 2013
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Money, Austerity and the Financial Crisis
2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Whose Debt? They Owe Us – Action Planning Meeting
Tuesday 19th March 2013
Radical Anthropology Talks
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Forgiveness: A Moral Minefield
Wednesday 20th March 2013
1:00 pm – 6:45 pm
Bugger The Budget Protest!
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Networks of Outrage and Hope
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Talk/Book Event – “Everything you ever wanted to know about anarchism, but were afraid to ask” with Iain McKay
Thursday 21st March 2013
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
A World that Works for Everyone
Saturday 23rd March 2013
The Barnet Spring
Wednesday 27th March 2013
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Debate/Book Event – “Is green growth possible and do we really need it?” Pete Dickenson and Derek Wall
= Campaigns & Petitions =
= Food for Thought =
Debt as Power
Strike Debt, Imagine Life
Book: The Co-operative Revolution – A Graphic Novel by Polyp
A primer on co-operation, for grown-ups and kids over about 10. Cartoons, comic strips, photographs, handwritten notes, quotes and posters break up the text. Readers are taken on an unlikely journey from the industrial revolution via the Luddites, Peterloo Massacre and Rochdale Pioneers, to the inside of a human cell and a critique of the pronouncements of Darwin and Dawkins… from birds and bees to snake-catchers, football teams and the collapse of the Argentinian economy… culminating in a fictitious trip to Mars in 2044. Educational, not overtly political but subtly revolutionary, this inspiring book is a reminder that ordinary people have been fighting powerful elites for a very long time, that some battles have been won, and that if we work together we have to strength to win more, for “altruistic groups beat selfish groups” or, as Polyp puts it, “good guys finish first”.
The Co-operative Revolution can be read online for free or bought from New Internationalist (itself a non-profit co-operative) for £5.99.
[Thanks to Em for the submission]
“The task of an activist is not to navigate systems of oppressive power with as much personal integrity as possible; it is to dismantle those systems.” – Lierre Keith