Hundreds attend general assembly of the left in London

Up to 1000 people attended the General Assembly of the Radical Left last night in Logan Hall in London.

Photo: Jonas Liston
Photo: Jonas Liston

Called by the activist group Brick Lane Debates, the assembly brought together people from across the radical left to discuss building “a new joined-up radical left movement or network… something that is truly democratic, bottom-up, radical, and based on mass action from below.” Its success surpassed most expectations, near filling the vast lecture hall.

Having so many people at short notice presented some challenges, and made detailed discussions about the way forward difficult. But the turn out and thrust of the day showed a clear desire to build co-operation and co-ordination between groups on the radical left. A further meeting has been called for the 23rd May in order to discuss proposals in more detail, and the meeting agreed to support coming demonstrations in May and June, and to consider calling its own.

Alison Lord, UCU activist at Tower Hamlets College told rs21:

It was vibrant, young and anti-capitalist. If it achieves a network across London of people who are fighting in their neighbourhoods and workplaces we could be looking at a serious challenge to this most nasty government. Let’s hope so.



  1. I concur with comment about Occupy movement. I participated in Victoria but we were so splintered the average citizen didn’t know what we wanted. There must have been 30 different groups from single moms to homeless all waving their banners under the Occupy umbrella. We need leadership, intellect, passion and discipline if we expect to be heard.

  2. Ray B, fyi Neil Faulkner quit Counterfire along with a bunch of others (incl myself) last year. We immediately set up a loose collective called the Brick Lane Debates to experiment with horizontal and participatory ways of organising

    In terms of decision making of the RLGA, that happens at the (I suspect what will become) monthly general assembly meetings. The first substantive GA is on 23rd May.

  3. Neil Faulkner of Counterfire for one. Sadly trotting out cold war canards proscribing sects selling newspapers at one point. As opposed to sects using social media I suppose? I don’t think this kind of rhetoric helps build unity. Apart from that, a really good achievement. There are many out there across London who want unity.

    One general concern though is how many more networks need to be formed before the left comes together? I’m also interested in the decision making process of this network. I found the decision making process of Occupy rather opaque.


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