WORKSHOP: ‘In, Against (and Beyond?) the State’: What are our Strategies for Fighting Cuts?

How can we make sure the fight against cuts isn’t just about defending existing and often unsatisfactory public services, but becomes a struggle for a better way to organise our society and our lives? This workshop doesn’t pretend to have the answer to a question which we nevertheless believe is central to building an anti-cuts movement that will win. Instead we aim to provide a space in which together we can begin to find solutions and strategies. This workshop is for those of you think that the call to ‘defend public services’ isn’t enough, but are also repulsed by the perverted version of community autonomy advocated by Cameron’s Big Society, then we need you at this workshop. It is a workshop for public sector workers frustrated by lack of control or resources, and for service users sick of being short-changed and disempowered. It is for people who want to create alternative ways of educating, living together and supporting each other, but who want those alternatives to be available to everyone rather than just a middle-class elite. It is for anyone who wants to listen to and learn from each other to find political practices that will enable us to fight both within and against the system and in, against and beyond the state.

Suggest Reading (Pre-Workshop):

London-Edinburgh Weekend Return Group, In and Against the State (1980), available electronically at

Lynn Segal, ‘A Local Experience’ in S. Rowbotham, H. Wainwright and L. Segal, Beyond the Fragments: Feminism and the Making of Socialism (1979)