Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Lewisham Bridge: lessons in solidarity and resistance
An inspiring campaign, to save Lewisham Bridge school, captured beautifully in this video montage documenting the whole sequence of events up to victory on 30 July. The message, really, is simple: when people take action into their own hands, and co-ordinate their efforts collectively, they can do amazing things - and win.
The solidarity evoked here is tremendous: it is reciprocal, with the campaigners receiving support from various quarters, but also offering solidarity with Visteon and (later) Vestas workers who were occupying to save jobs. These occupations have put militant DIY tactics back on the map, and (as shown here) begun to create networks of solidarity and resistance.
The prospect of increased public sector cuts, including in education, indicates the need for more campaigns like Lewisham Bridge. There's a lot of talk about the Tories' plans, post-election, for a slash and burn approach to public services. The fears are justified, but we shouldn't kid ourselves that everything's fine this side of an election. There will be plenty of groups of public sector workers and service users, over coming months, who could benefit from learning the lessons in this video.