What I’m raising at the Momentum steering committee tonight: Picturehouses strike, Lansman and Watson, democratic structures

picturehouse-crewTonight at the Momentum steering committee meeting I’m planning to raise three issues:

1. The Picturehouses cinema workers’ dispute currently going on in London. For more information on this dispute see here. Momentum must make helping such struggles win and using them to revive trade union activism and the labour movement central to its work, as earlier socialist movements did. I have submitted the motion below to the committee. [This was passed – see here for what you can do.]

2. The question of Momentum democracy and the proposals I have developed with others for a democratic national structure for Momentum, starting with the organisation of the February conference. I want these proposals to go forward to the NC on 5 November.

3. The question of Jon Lansman’s comments to the Guardian, published on 1 October (see here). The Guardian reports Jon as having said Momentum will not campaign for mandatory reselection (though this has not been decided through any democratic process) and to have made conciliatory comments towards Tom Watson, despite the latter’s role in recent witch-hunts and attacks on the left. Many members have been quite alarmed by this and the issue was raised at the London region which I am a delegate to the National Committee from (not by me, I would add). I will be asking for clarification on what Jon said/was trying to say so that I can report back and myself and others can decide if that is the end of the matter – or not.

Any comments or questions very welcome: jillmountford@rocketmail.com

***

Motion to 17 October Momentum Steering Committee: Picturehouses strike

We appreciate the significance of the Picturehouses dispute, both as a bright spot in the general picture of low strike figures, and as a case of action by mainly young, precarious workers in private service industry. This battle has great significance. Momentum nationally should work hard to help the Picturehouses workers win.

As a Steering Committee we therefore resolve

1. To write to every group and all members and supporters about how they can support the Picturehouse workers, including by
• Raising the dispute in their local labour movement, putting motions and inviting speakers to their Momentum, Labour Party, trade union or other meetings.
• Organising collections (and considering organising a fundraising event).
• Organising protests, pickets or direct actions at Picturehouse and Cineworld cinemas. [If you want to do this you should contact the Picturehouse workers on strike in London first to get advise.]
• Talking to local cinema workers about the dispute.
2. To donate £200 to their strike fund and organise a collection at the upcoming NC. To organise a collection now at this meeting among ourselves.
3. To organise a Steering Committee visit to a picket line and press release this.
4. To approach Jeremy Corbyn to ask him to visit a picket line.
5. To circulate model motions for Labour Parties and trade unions.

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