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- Socialist Party media release - for immediate use
Socialist Party calls anti-austerity protest on Budget Day 11 March
The Socialist Party is calling an anti-austerity protest on budget day 11 March 2020, from 1pm in Parliament Square.
Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary and former editor of Militant, says: "We are calling this protest to say austerity must end.
"Johnson has claimed it's over but he lies as he speaks. The Tories have already indicated they will demand 5% cuts across government departments.
And the Tory plan to wind up the funding of local government means further devastation for millions of people piled on what has already been suffered. We have no choice but to carry on the fight against austerity.
"In fact, the level of poverty is indicated by the fact that mortality rates in parts of Britain, such as Blackpool, Manchester and Hull, is higher than in parts of Turkey, Slovenia and Romania.
Since 2010 almost 800 libraries have been closed; there's been a 73% cut in spending on youth services; social care is a social crisis; councils have cut over 800,000 jobs in that period; almost 200,000 council homes have been lost. Young people in particular are shown there's no future on offer for them.
"But the mood to fight the cuts is growing. Look at the recent decision by the million-strong Unite trade union in its London and Eastern region -it voted to back anti-cuts Enfield Labour councillor Tolga Aramaz and call on other councillors to make the same stand.
"Even Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson appears to be finally coming round to the position of refusing to carry on carrying out Tory cuts.
"Is he finally learning the lessons of the heroic Liverpool council in 1983-5 who built a mass movement in the city? They refused to make cuts and mobilised a mass movement in the city - including city wide general strikes and mass demos of 50,000.
"They won £60m back off the Thatcher government and built 5,000 homes, opened six nurseries and created 2,000 jobs.
"If Joe is prepared to fight and not to postpone the battle but defend the living conditions of working people now - then we will fight with him.
"When Liverpool council started out in its battle it linked up with councils across the country. We are prepared to give the maximum support to councils and anyone who is prepared to stand up and defy Johnson and the Tories and fight for the money stolen by them from working class communities.
"The Labour leadership candidates are keen to show they're on the side of the working class. We call on the Labour leadership and deputy leadership candidates to demand that Labour councils take a stand, refuse to make cuts and fight for the money the Tories have stolen from our jobs and services.
"We're calling for the trade unions and the communities to rise up against Tory austerity. We call on trade unions to commit to fight the Tory plans to attack the right to strike and to back workers to fight every cut.
"We demand councils take the Liverpool road - using their existing powers to fight austerity - no-cuts budgets and mobilising a fight in the workplaces, colleges, communities, tenants and residents associations, and everywhere austerity's cold cruelty touches our lives.
"If they don't do that, they will face a challenge by those who will and the Socialist Party will be there in the front line.
"On Budget Day Johnson's lies that he has working class interests at heart will be exposed."
Info for press
- The Socialist Party is a campaigning, democratic organisation. Our members played a leading role on Liverpool Labour council in the 1980s when it defied Thatcher and refused to implement cuts, winning £60 million to spend on jobs and services in the city.
- Socialist Party members were among the leaders of the struggle in the late 1980s and early 1990s when 18 million people nationwide refused to pay the hated Poll Tax.
- We fight against all attacks on the rights and living standards of working class people and stand for a socialist alternative.
- For reports and video clips about the Socialist Party: www.socialistparty.org.uk
- To arrange interviews and any other information requests, please contact: Sarah Sachs-Eldridge: 079 580 320 71 020 8988 8771 [email protected]
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 31 January 2020 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.