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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 March 2011

Defend jobs and services: Protest 26 March

Labour councillors' conference lobbied by hundreds of angry trade unionists, photo Suzanne Beishon

Labour councillors' conference lobbied by hundreds of angry trade unionists, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

The protests and occupations of council budget-setting meetings across the country are a sign of the opposition to the Con-Dem cuts. Wage cuts, job cuts, benefit cuts and now cuts to pensions are stirring the anger of workers young and old. Never has so much been taken from so many by so few.

Nick Chaffey, Secretary, Southern region Socialist Party

Recently a retired council worker gave me a 10 donation for the Socialist at a county council lobby in Winchester. He was there to support his daughter who works for Sure Start children's centres. The council aims to cut these services by 6 million.

He told me how he grew up in a council house in Winchester and walked to school in his bare feet. He said everything we had gained since then was now under threat. Young mothers came to that lobby to protest at the cuts, angry at the possible loss of these vital services.

Labour councillors' conference lobbied by hundreds of angry trade unionists, photo Suzanne Beishon

Labour councillors' conference lobbied by hundreds of angry trade unionists, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

In Southampton mass meetings and demonstrations of council workers have opposed the cuts to jobs, pay and services.

At Southampton General Hospital over 200 privatised NHS cleaners are striking over unpaid wages and sick pay.

Parents gathered with their children at Hampshire county council to deliver 12,000 signatures opposing cuts to Sure Start. Opposition to the closure of a local NHS Walk-In service has forced a u-turn. Revolt is brewing against the Con-Dems' austerity.

The fightback is not just growing in the public sector either. Ford workers are holding a national lobby over attacks to their pensions that could result in Ford's first national strike since the 1970s. The pressure is being felt by ordinary working people who face paying mounting bills from frozen pay packets.

Everywhere there is angry talk over the impact of cuts. The Trades Union Congress demonstration in London on 26 March will be a beacon to those who want to fight back.

Steve Hedley, RMT, speaking to NSSN Labour councillors' conference lobby of hundreds of angry trade unionists, photo Suzanne Beishon

Steve Hedley, RMT, speaking to NSSN Labour councillors' conference lobby of hundreds of angry trade unionists, photo Suzanne Beishon

The message of the Socialist Party will be to turn that anger into effective action. To tie together the thousand threads of anti-cuts campaigns across the country into united action to oppose all cuts. The call for a one-day public sector strike has been supported in mass meetings of council workers.

This must be linked to a bold political alternative to the 'Cuts Accord' of the Tories, Liberals and Labour. We don't want Con-Dem quick cuts or Labour's slow cuts. We say no cuts!

The call by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition to stand anti-cuts election candidates on a programme to defend all jobs, services and benefits will be a vital step in building a political backbone to the anti-cuts movement.

Last week a young Unite union member came to change my electricity meter. Soon we were discussing the cuts. John bought a copy of the Socialist and has now joined the Socialist Party. He will be with other Socialist Party members on the TUC demonstration, putting a fighting, socialist alternative to the cuts. Join us there!

Support University and College Union (UCU) members, striking to defend jobs, pay and pensions.

TUC March for the alternative

Saturday 26 March, 11am

Victoria Embankment, London WC2

march to Hyde Park, W1

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 16 March 2011:

Anti-cuts campaign

Defend jobs and services: Protest 26 March

Building the battle against the cuts - now and beyond 26 March

Campaigning against all cuts and privatisation

Save our NHS!

Socialist Party news and analysis

Hutton's plans mean savage cuts - Fight to defend your pension!

Vote for a socialist alternative

Huge protests against job insecurity

The rich get richer - by another $1 trillion

Wisconsin occupation

Yahya victory

Hunger strike

Youth fight for jobs

March from Jarrow with Youth Fight for Jobs

Save our youth services

For real jobs not exploitation

Review: Classroom Warriors

Socialist Party workplace news

Northern Ireland: Broad left gains in union elections

Privatisation threat to the blood service?

Defend jobs and education at Newcastle College

Action called off by Birmingham bin workers

Left victory in building workers' union

Support the UCU strike

International socialist news and analysis

Japan: Tsunami results in misery for millions

Workers hit hard by earthquake and tsunami

Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories: "We'll struggle like in Egypt"

Tunisia: 'You come back - we come back'

Saudi troops to suppress Bahrain protesters

Socialist Party campaigns

Thousands protest against Lib Dems in Sheffield

Protester challenges Lib Dem MP to debate

Students want to protest too

Thatcher was no heroine

Lively discussion at LGBT meeting

Leeds: Celebrating International Women's Day

Celebrate International Workers' Day in the Socialist with a May Day greeting


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