Up the Anti is not to be missed

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This winter several organisations are co-ordinating their efforts to bring you a genuinely plural and united conference.

New Left project, Ceasefire Magazine, Occupied Times, Platypus 1917 and Globalise Resistance are working alongside activists in the Anticapitalist Initiative to organise a day of workshops, debates and discussions which we hope will set the tone going into 2013.

We are excited and proud to be working alongside social movement activists from Occupy, rank and file trade unionists as well as writers and protest organisers to create space for the kind of debates that the movement needs to be having.

Although we have invited several fantastic speakers to come, we don’t want the event to just be top table speakers or “experts” feeding the activists the line for the coming months. We want as much of the conference as possible to be slightly more dynamic, with more facilitated discussions and contributions from the floor in such a way that the gap between “panel” and audience is almost dissolved.

The event will also have an array of campaigns and initiatives there with time to address us about their campaigns and ideas for 2013. Unlike some events organised by a single party or organisation we want to make sure that many voices are heard – that it is plural and democratic.

Challenges for the left
Why did we want to help co-ordinate this event? Whilst each network and organisation may have its own reasons, for some of us in the ACI the reasons were really two fold. They come from the fact that the progressive movement in Britain today is faced with two serious challenges.

Firstly, there is the urgent task of building a movement which can stop the cuts. Without this we will be thrown back a generation or more and it could leave the ruling elites even stronger than they were after the Thatcher years.

Secondly, we have to rediscover a sense of purpose, recapture the mood of resistance and reclaim the future.

No longer can the neoliberal project claim to be hegemonic, the rule of the markets has been left in serious question, but the left has not yet succeeded in putting forward a radical vision for the future.

That task remains still to be done, but one that we can and must begin to undertake.

Serious steps forward have been achieved in recent years, from Mark Fisher’s diagnosis of the problem of capitalist realism to Owen Hatherley’s call to arms for a militant modernism, from the success of Syriza to the idea of a debt strike movement coming out of Occupy in the US.

There are plenty of ideas and new concepts to frame our manifesto and visions, but making the breakthrough from intellectual proposals for change to providing the theory that can build a mass movement is still ahead of us.

Up the Anti is not the end of the conversation for us, it is only the beginning, and there is so much more scope for future events and ideas if the day is a success. We hope that you join us on 1 December to take part.

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