A few words about Real Democracy Bristol
We are workers, students and unemployed people who oppose capitalism, struggle against austerity, fascism, racism and sexism and show the solidarity from Bristol to all the victims of the current situation in the UK, Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, France, everywhere! Crisis is everywhere, we are also everywhere to fight against them!
We are people from different nationalities that participate in the grass-roots political group of Real Democracy Bristol based on the principles of direct democracy. We first gathered together in the autumn of 2012 in the squares of Bristol participating in the worldwide protests against the policies that hit the rights and the lives of the people. We follow the spirit of hope and resistance as it emerged in Tunisia and in Egypt, that crossed the Mediterranean to Puerta del Sol and the Syntagma square and spread all around the world with the Occupy movement.
We are a grass-roots political group that makes efforts to contribute to the development of social movements and resistance. Our efforts could be a very small contribution to the huge reaction that society needs. Our means of struggle are demonstrations, discussion events and our open assemblies in order to show our solidarity to the people who struggle, to inform the British society of the real situation in the EU and global Periphery and to participate in the local struggles of the UK. We aim at a broader coordination with other local and national movements.
Putting aside nationalism, we came together in order to be on the same side with the workers, unemployed, pensioners, immigrants and the youth. We decided to take action and struggle as a reaction to the huge waves of austerity and budget cuts imposed by governments leading to the deterioration of our lives. Capital does not account any national borders, neither do we!
All these measures are the consequence of the “shock doctrine” policies that the States and so-called Institutions (European Union, IMF, WTO) applied in order to confront the systemic crisis of 2008. This crisis occurred as a result of the falling profit rate of global capitalism and resulted in huge increase of public debt. The policies that were implemented were a mixture of banks and financial institutions’ bailouts, budget cuts and a huge attack on working and social rights. Consequently, the unemployment skyrocketed with closures or relocation of firms, poverty increased, social inequalities deepened (between classes, races, genders) and the living standards deteriorated, especially in the Periphery of the EU, leading to massive waves of migration.
However, this situation is also visible in the core of the EU and consequently in the UK, too. This happens because of the characteristics of the EU (open borders, integrated economy) and the character of the policies that were applied. The conservative and liberal government coalition has already applied, in England, the 5 year Government Austerity Program (in order to reduce the current account deficit) which aims at destroying the welfare state: huge education cuts and increase of tuition fees, huge cuts in the health and care system (NHS is under huge attack), companies oriented in avoiding taxation than recruiting new people. That means no new jobs, no income increase and that the gap in society in terms of income is rising dramatically. And that is only the beginning. For £6 bn of cuts until now there is more £94 bn cuts to come (so, we are only in the 6%). These policies are accompanied with state governments’ decisions which hit our civil and political rights by police repression, ban of demonstrations and manipulation of media.
All these are by no means new developments. Capitalism always thrived on exploitation of human by human (in production and distribution process) and environment by human on the basis of perpetual inequalities in terms of class, race and gender. And this is why we oppose capitalism. Today it is obvious to nearly everybody that former justifications are falling apart. Eventually we are questioning what has been presented to us as inevitable and intrinsic to human nature, namely that we all are self-interested profit-maximisers, oriented to individualism and consumerism, that unlimited economic growth, without any respect to environment, is the only road to welfare and that a free market system is the best to regulate all aspects of human life. The history of the past decades has shown us that these “truths” were assumptions that served the interest of a small minority rather than the people in general.
Crisis has spread in a pan-European level and until now the elites have increased their profits by socialising the losses of the crisis. The role of the EU, which is part of the problem in this battle, cannot be hidden: the objective of the EU and its accomplice, the IMF, is to rescue the banks and not the people. The anti-humanitarian role of the EU is not new, since it goes on during these 20 years of common market existence. We fight against the policies and directives of the European Union, European Central Bank and IMF.
This is a situation that we must change!
Think, act, participate!
A common tendency among the working class is to throw up their hands in despair in the belief that humanity is corrupt by nature and that all efforts at moral progress are pointless. The best antidote to this attitude is to demonstrate the power of social movements. The people must take the future in their hands and react within their grass-roots labour and student unions. We support and encourage the workers to go on strike, overcoming their fear of dismissal, to fight for their rights and to import direct democracy to their working places. We underpin neighbourhood initiatives which, also, participate in the social struggle. We stand by those who are now weak, isolated and disempowered.
We furthermore have to act in a way of pan-European and international coordination and connection in order to confront this harder and deeper attack from the governments and the EU which serve the interests of the multinational companies and the banks. We need to stay solidary to overthrow the misery imposed on us by these austerity measures. Students, workers, pensioners and unemployed have to interact and to be connected in order to create a powerful movement that will demand an equal and just society.
The struggles across Europe are not unrelated. When we fight against the Bedroom Tax in Bristol and oppose the privatisation of NHS and education in the UK, when we fight against minimum wage and pension reduction in Greece, when we fight against house evictions in Spain, it is the same battle. This struggle is against the common denominator, capitalism as implemented by the EU policies. Austerity and exploitation are everywhere ! We fight against them everywhere !
We fight to turn the tide in the UK and in Europe. For us, as for millions of people that take the streets to protest in Europe, the right to enjoy equally the public goods of education, health care, housing and art, should prevail over the greed of elites for more profit. Equal rights for everybody, native or immigrant, woman or man, young or old, black or white and environment protection are unquestionable principles for us!
We act through:
1.showing our solidarity and participating actively to the local and national struggles in Bristol and the UK
2.organising solidarity events to the struggles in other countries
3.providing alternative information and real updates from other countries
We struggle for:
– Working according to your skills and getting paid according to your needs
– Ensuring that the workers get their entitled gains of their own production
– Job security, stable and dignified employment with all the labour rights for everyone
– Production according to human needs and the environment capabilities rather than for corporate profits
– Free education, free health care and housing for everyone
– Handing power in politics and economy to the people by democratic means
– Abolishing social, racial and gender segregation
– Stopping the mercantilisation of the living (plants, human body…)
– Unbiased medias in the service of social needs
All who agree with these principles are invited!
We will decide for ourselves and we will not let the others prescribe our future without us!
We will not pay the crisis that they created!
We are not the problem, the system is the problem! We are the solution!
Real Democracy Bristol