The meeting was massive. Only organisations were invited, but there were more than 150 activists on the call, representing a wide range of the 100+ grassroots campaign groups now part of the Kill the Bill Coalition.
The meeting, on Monday 12 April, was held to cohere the coalition and discuss the way forwards. It was diverse in every sense, not just in the range of groups, but in the range of participants. With speakers from anti-racist, feminist, GRT, and Sex Workers Rights groups, and support for everyone attending to contribute.
The emphasis throughout was on autonomous organisation, on spontaneity, on a wide range of actions, from fluffy to spiky, but all part of a single united front. Kill the Bill is both a network and a coalition.
While drawing on valuable experience and expertise from long-standing activists, this is a new, young, fresh, radical, militant movement from below – a movement created out of the women’s vigil on Clapham Common and the youth revolt in Bristol, a movement led by women, Black anti-racist activists, and young people.
What we must do
Between now and 1 May, every radical activist should be building the planned Kill the Bill day of action. Wherever we are active in campaign groups, union branches, local Labour parties, whatever, we should be arguing for affiliation to the KTB coalition and mobilisation for 1 May (see below). Wherever we are based, we should be hooking up with the local network to help plan action on the day.
Everywhere, we should be seeking to broaden the movement, to bring new forces into action. We want a movement that draws in the maximum number of people, and we therefore want space for a wide range of grassroots organisations with different ideas about tactics to be involved, from traditional lobbying to direct action.
But, as revolutionary socialists, we should be arguing for the most disruptive action people are willing to take. Do we want to block roads and bridges? Yes. Do we want to occupy public spaces? Yes. Do we want open defiance of a repressive state? Yes.
The Tories want to impose a police state. Despite Labour’s eventual refusal to back the bill, they are still collaborating by adding amendments which further criminalise marginalised communities.
Our aim should be to make Britain ungovernable unless and until the Bill is withdrawn. Let us create a Summer of Discontent that will change the balance of class forces in Britain, launching a wider battle in defence of democracy, and build a mass movement with the capacity to fight back effectively against every attack – on migrants, on women, on Muslims, on LGBTQIA people, on the GRT community, on workers, on renters, on students, on all of us.
You can affiliate your organisation by signing the Kill the Bill Coalition statement here.