We Shall Overcome – what trade unionists can do to help
We Shall Overcome has morphed from a weekend once a year, into an all-out assault on the impacts of austerity in our communities. And we are needed now more than ever.
To the uninitiated, WSO started the day after the 2015 General Election when a group of musicians decided a coordinated response was needed from the artistic community, and set about tagging and knocking on doors.
Since then We Shall Overcome organisers have run more than 875 events in 142 different towns and cities, across nine countries on three continents, raising an estimated £360,000 worth of food, cash, clothing, bedding, furniture, tents and sleeping bags which have gone direct to the front line of need in the communities which raised them, helping food banks, soup kitchens, crisis centres, homeless outreach and youth projects up and down the UK and beyond.
This is a genuine grassroots movement of ordinary people who have simply had enough, and refuse to believe austerity is anything other than a political choice, an ideological assault on the poorest and most vulnerable in society by the richest and most comfortable.
We call it ‘A Raised Fist and a Helping Hand’, and everyone is welcome. And it takes place this weekend.
WSO events have been standard gigs, poetry slams, history walks, snooker touranments, bake-offs, cabaret nights, art auctions…..you name it and we have brought people together to do it; ordinary people doing extraordinary things, because each one knows that no gesture is insignificant; that when added together all those tiny gestures become something very significant indeed.
This is working proof that in unity lies strength.
So we could do with your solidarity. We’re not coming cap in hand asking for donations, but we would love you to help spread the word, to pitch up at the events with a bag of groceries or some warm clothing to donate, to contact local organisers and ask for a few minutes to speak, to join in and help bring all the various anti-austerity voices together and in doing so turn up the volume against this government.
- Joe Solo is the brains behind We Shall Overcome. You can email him firstname.lastname@example.org