The world is in crisis. The neoliberal project has, in the last few years, advanced at a faster pace than ever before. In its wake, our working conditions, our education systems, health systems, and the very future of our planet are being washed to one side.
But the strength of this attack is matched by the strength of the movement against it. Across the world, people are standing up. From Latin America to South Asia, Iceland to Greece, people are demanding a future that’s about more than short term profit for the few. People are refusing to allow themselves to be punished for the failings of rich men. We are standing up for a just, sustainable future.
But this movement is scattered. It is spread across the world, and located in thousands of organisations. In Scotland, there are many, many people working in different ways to challenge this rich man’s world – to reclaim it, and build it anew.
On the 2nd and 3rd of March, in Edinburgh, we are inviting those people to come together, to meet, and to discuss our place in this global movement:
“Rich man’s world? – the global crisis and Scotland’s role in fixing it” is at Augustine’s United Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.
The event will help us see our place in the global movement, then create space for conversation: a chance to talk about what we’re all up to, to share ideas and skills, and to work out how we’re going to set the agenda for the future.
The Saturday morning will open with a two speakers to frame discussion – feminist comedian and local activist Liz Ely – who is involved in the Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group and Edinburgh Uncut, will set the local context.
This will be followed by a session run by Nick Dearden, director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign. Nick has close links to movements against austerity across the world, particularly in the global south. He will examine the history and roots of the situation we are in, and give examples of the inspiring movements around the world he works with daily.
This will be followed by five discursive workshops:
Workfare to Foxconn: working conditions everywhere and how to protect them.
Dirty money: the cash driving the new dash for filthy oil and gas.
Who cares? Cuts, caring and feminist economics.
Beyond banking: Scotland’s role in building a fairer world.
Local responses: food, finance and fundamentals – building just communities from the bottom up.
After this, the whole afternoon will be handed over to participants to set the agenda through an afternoon of facilitated open space. In this process, you will be encouraged to propose conversations you’d like to have with other people in the room, and then to have those conversations. For the first hour, these will be on the problems the world faces, and for the second, they’ll be ‘what we can do about them’. The latter could be a skill share, or a discussion of a campaign you are running, or, well whatever you like.
The day will finish by retreating to Hemma, down in Holyrood.
The Sunday will provide a more relaxed space to learn together and chat together. We’ll kick off with breakfast at Hemma, before a radical history tour of Edinburgh with university rector Peter McColl and city councillor Maggie Chapman. This will look at how the city was shaped by the activists of the past. Next up, we’ll have a series of short films and discussions, including a sneak, pre-release preview of a new series of films interviewing those involved in struggles for economic justice in decades past.
And all of this for free! Everyone is welcome. You can book your ticket through the People & Planet website.
The event is organised by Jubilee Scotland, People & Planet, the Jubilee Debt Campaign and Democratic Left Scotland. We’ll be working with the World Development Movement Scotland, War on Want, Radical Independence Conference, Compass, UK Uncut, Bright Green and many more.