John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

How did Communist parties handle issues of internal discipline and democracy in Lenin’s time? The recent intense discussion within the British Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) and beyond has heard claims that the SWP rests on the traditions of democratic centralism inherited from the Bolsheviks.

John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Some extended thoughts about Stephanie Bottrill, the woman who committed suicide because of the bedroom tax.

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the killing of Blair Peach by the police. David Renton looks back at Blair Peach’s life as a poet, trade unionist and committed antifascist

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Bunny La Roche of RS21 on Nigel Farage's visit to Kent

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Financial Appeal

We're up and running! An appeal for funds to kickstart the IS Network

Financial Appeal

#OccupyDemocracy - out of hibernation

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TechnoratiSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Photo by bjpcorp https://www.flickr.com/people/32194854@N05/

#Occupy has been in a state of hibernation until recently. Three years ago, the movement which started with Occupy Wall Street in the US sent ripples over the world, with camps in every continent, in hundreds of cities, demanding a alternative to the status quo. The occupations are organised horizontally through general assemblies. For various reasons, although the movement’s effect continues to be felt, the Occupy movement itself slowed down and gradually went into decline. 

Awaking from this period of slumber, the latest action has been named Occupy Democracy. In Parliament Square, opposite the Houses of Parliament, the occupation started on Friday 17 October, the day before the latest big action called by the TUC, which, as is traditional, took the form of a march followed by a rally in Hyde Park. They plan to be occupying till Sunday 26 October. However the police since the first night of the protest have been trying to move them off using various bylaws. Even though Parliament Square’s main purpose is usually to give a space for protest it seems that is not quite the case anymore. 

For the occupiers it has been a mix of extremes, of activist solidarity and celebrity endorsement on the one hand, and heavy state harassment on the other. Russell Brand showed his support for the Occupy Democracy on a number of occasions, bringing pizza and speaking to the occupiers, as well as Green MP Caroline Lucas. UK Uncut came to do a talk on direct action. I spent the night with the occupiers on Saturday night. It was a great experience with people all sitting down on the tarpaulin (which the police tried to confiscate) talking about politics and how our current model of representative democracy isn't working to represent us. The atmosphere was really relaxed once the police retreated from trying to pull us off the square. However, people have been arrested and now Parliament Square is guarded by a fence all the way round. Despite this, the occupiers have spent the rest of the week on a small piece of grass next to the square.

For more information you can see the occupiers online at http://bambuser.com/channel/OccupyLondon where there are video blogs of what has been going on. Where next for Occupy? Keep a look out, I have a feeling they will be around for some time to come.