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Save our Services demo in Newcastle attracts 3,000
On Saturday 16th February Newcastle saw an excellent demonstration with up to 3,000 people from the local area participating in it.
Anti-cuts groups, community groups, trade unions, students and others gathered at the Centre for Life in Newcastle for a lively march going past services which are going to be devastated by the city council.
Newcastle City Council is planning on making £100 million of cuts over three years which are going to see the loss of all our youth services, closures of pools and libraries as well as other services. This has angered residents of Newcastle and was well reflected on the day.
At the end of the march we had a rally where we saw different anti-cuts organisations speak including Lizi Gray from Youth Fight for Jobs with a clear message to the council: 'It is better to break the law than break the poor'.
Another speaker was Steve Hedley, assistant general secretary of the RMT, who was representing the Churchill Metro cleaners who started a seven-day strike that day.
He raised the need to stand candidates against those Labour councillors who refuse not to implement the cuts.
The 'Stop the Cuts - Save our Services' demo was a grassroots based initiative having the backing of most anti-cuts groups in and around Newcastle and unions including the PCS and RMT.
It is not just going to stop at one demonstration. We are having a follow-up meeting on 2nd March at St John's Church in Newcastle where the Socialist Party believes we should establish an anti-cuts union.
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 18 February 2013 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.