Austerity – turning the tide

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= News =

In the one-year anniversary since the eviction of our camp at St Paul’s, we’ve come to realise that ordinary people around the world are picking up where we left off. This realisation offers great hope and joy. Maybe this is the century of outrospection after all.

Across Europe, signs are mounting that governments and citizens alike are pushing back against the policies of economic austerity. 

The Belgian PM announced that Europe should change course from austerity if there is no sign of economic recovery by mid-year. In acknowledgement of the heavy burden already imposed on taxpayers, France announced it will not be introducing any further austerity measures this yearProtests over high electricity costs brought down the Bulgarian governmentAnd earlier this week, the eurozone’s third largest economy and a G8 member, Italy voted against Europe’s austerity drive.

Fighting debt is possible: attend our upcoming debt assembly, organised in collaboration with the Jubilee Debt Campaign and 15-M activists, to find out how.

Marking the anniversary of a failed right-wing coup, nationwide demonstrations swept across Spain with protesters blaming the “coup of financial markets” for the current crisis. Why not help bankers kick the gambling habit? Sign up with Bankers Anonymous now as a first step in opposing lethal financial transactions such as food speculation. Need more information? Join Occupy Tours for an educational and entertaining overview of England’s smallest, most mysterious and most powerful city. Want to make a night of it? Lustgarten’s play takes the City’s agenda to its ultimate conclusion.

Amid a general strike and increasing civil unrest, explosive revelations from a former Greek diplomat warn of the Greek government hiring private military outfits to maintain law and order, and highlight the role of austerity in the breakdown of the social contract. Join Owen Jones in a discussion of how to rebuild the working class movement. You can also attend one of our activist “up-skilling” workshops or drop in to one of the London Roots Collective sessions.

Britain’s credit rating downgrade reignited the austerity debate. What is incontestable, is the forthcoming rise in food and fuel prices. Do these policies breach international human rights law? Join the ‘Austerity trial’ at LSE to find out. Fancy more direct action? Meet at St Paul’s with Save London NHS campaigners for a taste of things to come. Or take your pick from any of the hundreds of anti-cuts campaigns around the country.

The tide is changing. The tide is you.


= Event Calendar =

New events are being added all the time.

Check our calendar for updates.


Friday 1st March 2013

Pop-up A&E against PFI

Publicising the role of PFI contracts in the NHS

Friday 1st March 2013

Austerity on Trial

Saturday 2nd March 2013

Occupy Tour of Mayfair

Tuesday 5th March 2013

Radical anthropology talks

Tuesday 5th March 2013

‘The origins of money’ – A talk by Richard Seaford

Thursday 7th March 2013

Rebuilding the Working Class movement: discussion with Owen Jones

Friday 8th March 2013

Meditation Flash Mob on International Women’s Day

Saturday 9th March 2013

Skillshare 2013

Saturday 9th March 2013

Benefit Justice Summit

Saturday 9th March 2013

Hello World! Introducing the London Roots Collective

Saturday 9th March 2013

Occupy Tour of the City

Tuesday 12th March 2013

Radical anthropology talks

Friday 15th March 2013

Debt Assembly


Saturday 9th March 2013

Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) national gathering



Sunday 3rd March 2013

Invitation: GlobalSquare online meeting
13th-15th March 2013
For a European Spring
International call-out
New Stop G8 International call-outs
Call-out for week of action 10-18 June
Call-out for graphics: Art vs. Capitalism


= Blogs & New Media =


February 2013’s Taxcast
Transparency for French banks, taxing the digital economy (aka how to worry Google and Amazon), G8 leaders talk up reform of the global tax system – but will they walk the talk? And… is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! it’s the OECD. The Taxcast takes a closer look:


= Campaigns & Calls to Action =

The scam of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI)
Support No Dash for Gas activists against EDF Energy’s lawsuit
Bankers Anonymous (World Development Movement)


= Food for Thought =

The power of outrospection

Book: Rebecca Solnit, A Paradise Built in Hell

A surpisingly inspiring look at real-life disasters (natural disasters, terrorism, war). Solnit turns conventional thought on its head, using historical and sociological research in addition to her own investigations to show that we don’t regress to selfish savages in disasters; in fact, we’re remarkably calm, altruistic and effective. Ordinary people and counter-cultural groups tend to rise up and organise themselves into mutual aid communities in disaster scenarios, while elites and mainstream organisations (government, the rich, police, large NGOs) panic and are stymied by bureaucracy.

[Thanks to Em for the submission]


“We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” – Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court justice from 1916-1939


One Response to “Austerity – turning the tide”

  1. I would like to express my concern over these vast generalizations made in your newsletter and also the concurrent lack of information about other points of interest. Also, the references are cherry picked and actually weaken your points when you criticize a certain party line and then use it later when that group has a vacillation or divergence (ie. you critique the Tory policies when it suits you and then cite them when they critique the bedroom tax).

    There needs to be more clarity about the issues mentioned in this newsletter. For instance, there is no information about the mass evictions in North London and those people there who are lamenting receiving ‘only £500 per week in benefits’. I am quoting from an email I received from one of the groups there which is demanding protests of these landlords while also asking for people to protest the benefits cuts. There is no information as to who why these landlords are evicting people (ie. might they have justifiable reasons in some cases, might they wish to raise the rent since their costs have increased, etc). It is also hard to sympathise with those people who receive double in benefits than most of us earn in a week.

    As for critiquing only the ‘wealthy’ who have ex-council flats, it is more common that ex-council tenants–the formerly poor–bought their flats and are now also among the ranks of landlords, greedy or not remains to be seen. Where is the social critique of this fact that in the UK the right to buy scheme brought public housing down to 12%?? Our lack of self-critique here is shocking and we need to begin to discuss openly the problems of the right to buy scheme and the preference of council housing for women with children, and the concomitant issues of young women having children merely to get benefits, and all the social ills that we know well do exist.

    As much as I would like to deny it, I cannot but admit that there is an enormous amount of abuse of council housing and of benefits in this country. As a fervent social activist I am a bit disheartened to read such postings as this above and see zero self-reflection of our own. We really do need to be honest and understand that the bedroom tax, as ridiculous as a title this is, is really asking that people who live in too large a space give it up for someone else who needs a larger space. I personally know of individual people living in two bedroom, two floor council flats who refuse to give it up for a smaller flat so that a small family could move into theirs. I also know of a lot of council flat and benefits abuse.

    I would like to see more critical honesty in the newsletters and this group’s approach to social activism. I have little patience with this form of party politics which attempt consistently to lambast the Tory party simply for attempting to make cuts where needed. I cannot really argue against some of what they are doing although I do agree with certain measures.

    If we are to get anywhere as a forum which seeks to make changes in our society, we need to look at ourselves and current social policies which although part of our social fabric for many generations is now leading to a society of dependency and entitlement. As we demand changes from the wealthiest members of our society, so too must we make changes from our end.


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