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‘Peril and opportunity’ at Labour Assembly Against Austerity

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Issue 2527
Denis Fernando from Stand Up To Racism addressing a workshop
Denis Fernando from Stand Up To Racism addressing a workshop (Pic: Labour Assembly Against Austerity)

Around 300 people joined the Labour Assembly Against Austerity in London last Saturday.

The most powerful speech came from shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.

She spoke of a time of “peril and opportunity” and denounced the Tories for “learning all the wrong lessons” after the Brexit vote.

She said the government sought to deflect attention from austerity through “racism, Islamophobia and scapegoating”.

Brian, a Labour member from Greenwich, told Socialist Worker, “It’s great to be here as part of the largest social democratic party in Europe and with Jeremy Corbyn as leader. I found it useful to start discussing the policies we actually want to implement.”

A positive day of discussion saw plenty of good ideas—from more money for the NHS, to £10 an hour minimum wage, to heavier taxation on the rich and the corporations, to action against climate change.

But there was not enough attention to how such a programme would be carried through and how the inevitable opposition of powerful forces would be overcome.

Denis Fernando from Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) was part of a workshop on “Stop the scapegoating, migrants are not to blame”.

He denounced racism as a “weapon of mass distraction” and called on people to be part of the SUTR movement.

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