The Resistance Movement: Interim Steering Committee
The Resistance Movement was initiated by Chris Williamson following his resignation from the Labour Party in 2019. People expressed a strong desire for Chris and others to continue the fight for change and social justice. Many members and supporters of the Labour Party no longer feel the Party represents their Left-wing socialist ideals. There has been an orchestrated ‘purge’ of the Left, this has led to a trail of despair and despondency amongst many members and supporters. Most of whom still have the willingness and strength to fight the right-wing within U.K. politics. The Resistance Movement was formed to fulfil the growing appetite for an alternative movement, one that fights for all the people, one to help bring about a more equal and fair society that is not rigged against the very people that make up our communities, towns, cities and country. As a way of engaging and involving more people in the development of the movement, a small group of volunteers came together to work on organising a 2-day international conference. This was titled ‘The Festival of Resistance‘ and planned for June 2020, which due to the Covid-19 had to be postponed. This group has continued to meet since the beginning of January 2020 and became the interim steering committee. We are continuing to work towards the 2-day conference for mid-2021 and expect to gather the support of the conference for the interim steering committee to put in place processes for formal elections. The Interim Steering Committee was formed on the basis of a clear socialist programme, revolutionary ideas, political education, local activism, and a bold, fighting spirit, we believe that a powerful Resistance movement of like-minded people can be mobilised and organised in the struggle against capitalism and austerity.
We are building a new grassroots movement to take back our democracy because British politics is broken. The experience of the last four decades, and the last 10 years in particular, demonstrates that although governments are elected by the people, they serve the interests of corporations not communities.
There is a consensus between the leadership of the UK’s major political parties, and the mainstream media, who all coalesce around a neoliberal capitalist system that has consolidated corporate greed while neglecting public need. Consequently in this, the world’s fifth biggest economy, public services are in meltdown, 14 million people live in poverty and inequality is at a level not seen since before World War 2.
When the need for a radical alternative is so glaringly obvious, the fact that such a consensus exists is a political paradox. The coronavirus crisis has exposed the shortcomings of our political, economic and media establishment. Their deficiencies reinforce the need for a nationwide grassroots movement to help build capacity in communities through initiatives like workers’ cooperatives, neighbourhood action groups and community radio platforms.
Through these practical steps, we can start raising political consciousness and filling the gaps revealed by the Covid-19 emergency to create a new kind of democracy that makes politicians genuinely accountable and puts people before profits. That is what we believe 21st century socialism should look like, where people are in charge by having a stake in society, control over their lives and an equitable share of the nation’s wealth.