Some early thoughts by EWA JASIEWICZ, an organiser with the Unite union’s hotel workers branch in London
Don’t come undone, people.
1) Don’t hate on leavers. Some voted for reactionary and racist reasons, some for good reasons. Reclaiming power and taking control are what most people want in and over their lives, but the obstacles to that, or the route to that, are highly contested and influenced by thirty years of neoliberal hegemony, underwritten by establishment media.
2) Don’t let the Right control the narrative and define reclamation – overcoming
dispossession means redefining what should be ours on inclusive deep democracy terms – housing, education, public and health services, transport, energy, control over our own labour.
3) Join a union – we need control over work and workplaces and right now we’re weak. And the raid on our rights is coming, as is division between workers including migrant, youth and workfare workers. We need to organise and collectivise at work.
4) Get involved in local housing struggles – your local anti housing bill campaign, your local tenants and residents association, your community garden. We need to find each other where we live, build relationships there, and resist social cleaning and dispossession of our homes.
5) Stand in solidarity with all migrants. There will be intense “othering” and racialising going on now, on the street and at the top of the political system. Have the arguments with people, challenge racism, and prioritise and support black and brown and migrant voices in all political organising – as it should be anyway, to dismantle white supremacy and structural oppressions
6) Get Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell’s Labour in to government in 2020. Make it happen. Don’t give up on anything grassroots – but don’t give anything away, up in the parliamentary political sphere, to the right and far right.
Keep the faith people! Unite and fight! 25 June 2016.
About the picture. This picket in defence of Robert Czegely, a London-based Hungarian trade union activist sacked by his employer, led on Friday to his successful reinstatement. (Ewa Jasiewicz, author of this article, is in the stripy top and glasses.)
The Unison hotel workers branch announced: “Not everything is doom and gloom today. We are pleased to announce that following negotiations with Melia Hotels sacked Unite Fair Tips activist, Robert Czegely, has been reinstated to his position at the ME Hotel with no loss of earnings. Robert goes back to work on Monday. Legal action against the hotel by the union has been withdrawn. Press statement will also be issued on Monday. Thanks to everyone who showed their support!”