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Manchester Anticapitalists discuss anticuts unity

Saturday saw the second meeting of Greater Manchester Anticapitalists, again bringing together a diverse audience of radical activists wanting to work together to build a stronger left in the city, and a stronger movement against the Tory government.

The meeting saw an open discussion of how to take things forward after the 30 November strikes, and how we should relate to the newly formed Unite the Resistance group in Manchester, and what part we could play in truly uniting the resistance.

There was common agreement in the room, and a lot of enthusiasm, to work towards building the broadest mobilisation on 1st March for the UCU strike (and hopefully other strike action) that could happen on that day.

It was agreed that Unite the Resistance could be a real opportunity in Manchester, but only if concrete moves were made to bring in the trades council, Manchester Coalition Against Cuts, Greater Manchester anticuts campaigns and other bodies – bringing in activists from all across the Greater Manchester area for a powerful mobilisation.

It was thought such a coalition formed through action could provide the basis for a badly needed unified anticuts movement in Manchester that has been notably lacking in the city. We agreed to take this idea to the different campaigns – official and unofficial bodies, including Unite the Resistance, and to go all-out to build for the Unite the Resistance rally on 29 February, where Mark Serwotka will be speaking.

“We call for an open forum to build for a major mobilisation in Manchester on 1st March, when the UCU will be taking strike action. To encourage the greatest possible unity, the forum should be unbranded aiming to draw in all local anti-cuts and progressive campaigns.”

If such a coalition can be formed around 1st March, it would mark a big step forward towards a united Greater Manchester anticuts coalition, and the potential for rank and file action in the city to fight the attack on pensions as well as service cuts.

We also raised the idea of bringing activists together to hold a festival on Mayday this year.

Organisation

The meeting debated the topic of forming a new, united anticapitalist organisation in Britain. There was discussion on questions such as how it would be formed, what the timescale could be and what such an organisation could look like. This was naturally more controversial in nature – but it’s a real plus that Greater Manchester Anticapitalists can be a place to hold such discussions in a welcoming, non-sectarian and friendly environment where differences as well as shared beliefs can be discussed.

We will naturally have more discussions on this highly important question as time goes on, and we agreed to take further steps to organise by discussing a founding statement and setting up a public blog next time.

The next meeting will take place before the Manchester Coalition Against Cuts conference at 11.30am, on 4 February, Friends Meeting House.

Also read:

South London Anticapitalist Network launched

We need a new anticapitalist left (London Student)

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