14 November 2012
The Unite the Resistance conference on Saturday 17 November will discuss the aims and objectives of UtR. Here is a draft statement proposed by the UtR steering committee.
Please send any amendments to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Friday 16 November so they can be copied for conference delegates.
Draft statement of aims and objectives
1. To support resistance to all the attacks on working people; against cuts in services and privatisation, against job losses, pay curbs and attacks on welfare.
The general strike across large parts of Southern Europe on 14 November shows the growing opposition to austerity and the power that workers have to stop the attacks.
The 200,000-strong protest in London on 20 October 2012 is a sign of the willingness of trade unionists and anti-cuts activists to fightback against David Cameron’s government.
But the promise of 2011, where the 26 March demonstration was followed by a united strike on 30 November by 2.5 million workers, has not been followed through.
There is an urgent need for a debate in our movement about how we get national action again. We have to develop strategies to break the present logjam and move the struggle forward.
2. To encourage the development of networks of trade unionists and activists in our local areas that link rank and file workers and union officials who are prepared to lead a fight within and across trade unions and between workplaces. These should link up with community, anti-cuts and student organisations.
These networks could help activists organise for a fightback in our own sectors and communities against job losses, pay curbs, cuts and privatisation and deliver solidarity for any struggles that take place locally and nationally.
They can also campaign for national industrial action and coordinated strikes and push to maximise the impact of national initiatives such as the call for nationwide protests on 5 December, the day when chancellor George Osborne makes the Tories’ “autumn statement”.
3. To campaign for the TUC to “turn words into action” and implement the call for a general strike. To campaign to popularise the general strike call across the public and private sector.
As part of this campaign to raise the Unite the Resistance general strike motion in every possible workplace/union branch/regional meeting/campaign meeting and to circulate the Unite the Resistance general strike petition as widely as possible while developing further resources that make the case for the general strike.
To work with union activists, branches and regions to maximise the positive responses to the general strike consultation being carried out by the TUC.
4. To build maximum support and solidarity with any workers taking action.
5. To provide a forum where activists can discuss and debate the way forward and organise action. We should approach union branches, local trades councils and other relevant groups to be part of organising regional UtR events in the new year.
6. To support, learn and build solidarity for struggles in other parts of the world, including initiatives such as international delegations, twinning, inviting international speakers etc.
7. To propose a meeting with national anti-cuts campaigns to discuss improved communication and co-ordination in action. Our movement needs the greatest possible unity in action while engaging in democratic debate and decision-making regarding strategy and tactics.
8. To support resistance to racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia, attacks on disabled people, attacks on migrants, scapegoating of people on benefits or anything else that divides workers.
9. To support campaigns to defend our right to organise against the anti trade union laws and other attacks on our right to strike or protest.
10. To present a positive alternative to austerity based on the Unite the Resistance action plan as outlined in the new pamphlet launched at today’s conference. To develop the Unite the Resistance website as a tool for organising solidarity and to provide materials, stories, updates and discussions that arm activists in the fight against austerity.
In the immediate future we will:
• Support the NUS protest on 21 November
• Build for protests against austerity on 5 December, the day of the government’s “autumn statement”.
• Push to turn “words into action” following the four to one vote at the TUC on the general strike.
• Argue to get national strike action back on the agenda and for the coordination wherever possible of action between those unions who are willing to fight.