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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 November 2020

Southampton trade unionists demand: "We won't pay for Covid"

Southampton Trades Council protest 7 November 2020

Southampton Trades Council protest 7 November 2020   (Click to enlarge)

Sue Atkins, Southampton Socialist Party

Southampton Trades Council held a protest rally on Saturday 7 November, which in the circumstances of lockdown was small, but with a bold, positive spirit.

We had done a risk assessment, maintained social distancing, and wore face coverings to be as safe as possible, while maintaining our right to protest.

As local trade unionists, we believe it is important not to lower our banner at this time, no matter what some of our trade union leaders might think. We are not 'all in it together' while kids are going hungry, students are in prison-like conditions at university, thousands are losing their jobs every week, and illegal evictions are taking place making thousands homeless. We raised the demands for "work or full pay", "defend jobs and services", "feed the kids" and "we won't pay for Covid".

Our protest attracted the attention of two police officers who personally were not opposed to our rally, and indeed explained that protesting is our human right. They told us about cuts to their own service which has meant all the preventative work they valued has gone out of the window. So it would seem that opposition to endless austerity is reaching deep into society. That is why it is vital that we continue to be out on the streets, to articulate an alternative.

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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.
  • 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 11 November 2020:


News

Capitalists vs working class - not in it together

Tory U-turn: Free school meals

Tory U-turn: Furlough extended - not enough to save jobs

Covid and poverty rising - Welsh lockdown ends with little progress

Covid law used against striking workers - for workers' control of safety measures

Schools need union action for safety


US election

After the polarised elections - what way forward?

Trump out! But mass workers' struggle needed

Trump is out - our readers react


Spycops

Spycops inquiry : why the capitalist state feared and continues to fear socialism


Workplace news

Rolls-Royce: Lancashire workers' strike shows the way to fight aerospace cuts and job losses

RMT union AGM votes to defend union democracy

Sainsbury's and Argos: Closures, cuts and soaring sales

Fight the witch-hunt of Corbyn and his supporters


Campaigns

Donate to the Socialism 2020 appeal now!

Solidarity with Manchester students - fight for democratic control of campus safety

Southampton trade unionists demand: "We won't pay for Covid"

Labour movement conference to defend Corbyn and discuss new party

The struggle for a new mass workers' party

Selling the Socialist


Review and readers' opinion

Trotsky's ideas live on in the CWI

The Socialist Inbox

Readers of the Socialist react to effects of lockdown


 

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Related links:

Southampton:

triangleStudents: Give us our money back

triangleSouthampton: Coxford community condemns racist attack

triangleStudents speak out: isolation and uncertainty reign

triangleSouthampton students oppose unjust collective punishment

triangleCovid generation says 'fund our future'

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Covid:

triangleNational Shop Stewards Network: Fight together against the Tories' and bosses' Covid offensive

triangleSouthwest London Socialist Party: Britain in crisis

triangleCovid vaccine nationalism threatens pandemic response

Protest:

triangleProtest against immigration enforcement centre in Newham

triangleSchool boy assaulted by police in Tottenham

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