Popular militia vs standing army

Jack Conrad takes issue with those on the left who oppose, shun or want to keep silent over a basic democratic demand

Many so-called Marxists consider upholding the right to bear arms divisive, unnecessary, provocative or dangerously off-putting. According to Sam Fairbairn, national secretary of the People’s Assembly, calling for a popular militia risks the unity of the anti-austerity movement and should therefore be barred from consideration. In the attempt to stop the question even being debated, he bureaucratically announced that a Teesside motion - which advocated the “dissolution of the standing army and the formation of a popular militia under democratic control” - was “outside of the remit” of the December 2015 delegate conference of the People’s Assembly.1

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