Hundreds of Thousands of people have taken to the streets throughout the world, and a new movement has come into being, the Occupy Movement is what I like to call it, and they have been a gathering in city centres right across the world, over 900 cities have hosted and seen co-ordinated protests directly or loosely affiliated to the Occupy cause.
It all started as you know in New York, the city that Francis Albert Sinatra sang about that never sleeps; 1,000 people first turned up in Wall Street just over a month ago now and then it snowballed around the globe standing up and against the status quo, the existing state of affairs in the fastidious, robbing finance canters of world capital. Backed up by capitalist supporting governments in hostility to this movement which has had its trials and tribulations to contend with, police brutality, political threats from the media winding up the establishment politicians of all the colours and many shades. However, there is one thing that stands up and stands out, they are a visible active live and living 24 hours a day antagonism to capitalism, whatever anyone thinks of their politics and demands especially on the left in some quarters of our movement.
Remember this comrades’ the world is in crisis and all around the global economy is failing like never before, an answer is not forthcoming and of course it never will.
In Britain the motherland of capitalism, we have a foul coalition in office, backed sometimes by a Labour opposition who are neither use nor ornament. The government introduce round after round of spending cuts whilst Labour play political checkers, not so fast, not so deep they keep bleeping, signalling no opposition or resistance.
And these attacks are directed at the vast majority of us. Savage attacks on the unemployed, sick and disabled sit alongside massive public sector redundancies which will create a fixed and permanent pool of unemployed labour that will be used to keep cost down and set worker against worker in competing as rivals for any opening that helps them escape the workhouse of dictatorial schemes such as the new work programme. We have seen attacks on parents, on education, on a health service being prepared with a whole castigating mountain of lies for privatisation; the Vultures and profit seeking scavengers are gathering comrades, the question is what are we going to do about it?
Back in 1971 you could buy a dozen eggs for 23p, take the family out to the pictures for 30p a head and fill up your car at 7p a litre. In the intervening years the costs of all these items have risen and living standards have started to fall. Workers are now facing a squeeze, the like of which many people have never witnessed before. The Institute of Fiscal Studies recently warned that households are looking at the largest fall in their disposable incomes since 1981, with data for the first 11 months of 2010-11 showing earnings falling by 3.8%. Pay is lagging behind inflation, meaning real earnings are likely to fall by at least 2% this year.
According to wealth boffins, the financial squeeze has worsened because there are fixed costs for today's worker which simply did not exist 40 years ago. The worker of 1971 was far less likely to own a car, a telephone or a television, and there are also costs like broadband, mobile phones and gadgets which many of us would not now care to live without, which tragically is a real shame, and this to some extent ties us all down to the horrible world of consumerism, consumer confidence is said to have tumbled for a fourth month in a row in September as unemployment increased and accelerating now towards 3 million 8.1 per cent in the three months through to August as the government affirmed its commitment to the biggest budget squeeze since World War II.
The hard times of austerity and a fight for capitalist survival is upon on us all; the upholders of capitalism whether that is Labour or Tory, and the one thing that is clear as daylight, they act on behalf of international capital as proven by the actions of the last and present government’s.
However, if we want to win, we need more than ever to be united and recognise that saying you are right is time wasting and not enough, the left should put any differences to one side and find the many things that unite us. The Occupy Movement is only one aspect of struggle, it may not be what some call perfect, and of course the easiest thing in the world is to sit at home and be an armchair critic, isn’t there already plenty of that from the capitalist media and for all the obvious reasons.
If we want to change the world, we will have to empower ourselves by winning over others to our side, that can only be done not from the side-lines of criticism, but by giving freely to support for such ideas and great campaigns like Occupy Movement and the current Socialist Party’s Jarrow march demonstration and rally when it reaches London on 5 November, 75 years on from when 200 unemployed men from Jarrow marched from their homes in the North East to London to demand jobs and an end to their poverty conditions. Throughout October Youth Fight for Jobs is marching the same route, taking the socialist message on the road and hopefully opening the eyes of many.
But let us be clear and honest, the biggest imaginable occupation or march won’t change the world unless it’s accompanied by mass direct action of the working classes, and its now time comrade’s to build in that direction and for those actions, don’t you think so?