Trying to understand each others needs is one of the key for an efficient coordination between civil movements. While I was in London for two weeks I met activists from Occupy London and UK Uncut to exchange on our work, ambitions and goals. I wrote this short report to contribute to the improvement of our struggles. Please, feel free to ask any questions, propose any changes and share or reblog this.
As we all need to work in our own way to be efficient and improve ourselves, it’s easier when people know what they are really looking for. The occupy movement in UK has been a great experience for English citizens to address their lack of representation in political parties and unions. France has already got plenty of groups which now need to be better connected, UK should probably start by creating this variety of groups. With this new set up, UK could link all the new organizations from the very beginning. This new English civil society will then be able to get together easily when it’s needed.
Some of the peoples I have met were not keen about the idea of more and more activists or political groups. Thinking of different ways to deal with the problems we are facing now is a reality that every participant in a civil mouvement has to handle. There are no bad ideas, only a lack of others consideration and as Emile Chartier said “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have.”.
It seems that the Occupy movement had left a lot of people behind when it went in a particular way of working. It’s never too late to learn from mistakes and try to do better. When Occupy London started, lots of people came with different expectations. At the beginning, the commons reasons were sufficient to keep people together but once you prefer certain reasons, the group splits and becomes weaker. We have also missed this point in France, especially because we were scared by members of political parties and unions. Now we are starting to rebuild connections by respecting all the ways of thinking and acting but we are still suffering from these past experiences.
The people I met from Occupy are mostly interested in discussing the alternatives and scams that we are all facing (economy, democracy…). I would recommend them to join or contact Attac or similar organizations who are working on the same topics by explaining, investigating and protesting into publicizing what is happening. With this collaboration, this side of the Occupy movement will gain strength and will achieve more easily its goal.
On the other hand, the people I met from Uncut are concentrated on the creation and spreading of efficient direct actions. Uncut is over all a label for direct actions. They prefer to enable people taking action focused on denunciations. As UK is better than France for the creation of alternatives, UK Uncut could also bring solutions by linking itself to organizations such as Transition Network and local initiatives.
Here in France we have strong links between Attac France, France Uncut, Les Indignés (Occupy), unions, political parties… we are still lacking people involved in organizations who work on alternatives like AMAP, Colibris, Terre de liens. We all have our own way to cure our society and are overwhelmed by work; it is therefore challenging to evolved in a more collaborative way. By this slow coming unification, we are more and more able to believe in a better world : United we stand, divided we fall ! It can be partly explained by our history – a strong believe in our democracy, industry and agriculture as we used to be pioneers and it worked very well.
In the UK, there are more local initiatives, even in the cities. In London for example, Growing Communities grow and provide organic food in and for the city, it does not exist in Paris. Todmorden, in the English midlands, is the most known transition town in Europe and will be self-sufficient in 2018, it does not exist in France.
You are welcome to come to France anytime to exchange ideas with us. As a group or any representative feel free to get in touch with us at this address. As an individual, please try your local groups first, they will be happy to welcome you.