Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/10129
Plymouth anti-cuts meeting
The immortal words of Percy Bysshe Shelley helped inspire a 50-strong meeting to launch Plymouth's fight against the cuts.
Rob Rooney, Plymouth Socialist Party
90-year-old pensioners' campaigner, Paddy Ryan, galvanised the meeting by quoting Shelley: "Rise like lions after slumber in unvanquishable number.
Shake your chains to earth like dew, which in sleep had fallen on you. Ye are many - they are few". During the meeting, a succession of speakers gave notice that the lies of the Con-Dems and their media chums cut no ice with anyone.
Trade union representatives from Unite, Unison, RMT, PCS and CWU, and claimants' union and asylum-support workers all indicated they had had enough, that the time to fight is now and that it will be on the basis of 'no cuts, no compromise'.
Two Labour Party city councillors spoke. One said the city's business community is just waking up to the effect the cuts, if implemented, will have on them.
"We need to look beyond our normal political allies" she said. The other Labour councillor correctly raised the need to repeat this meeting in every ward in the city.
The magnificent example of the anti-poll tax campaign was invoked as a means of mobilising working people.
One speaker warned against strike action, suggesting instead that workers should refuse to cover the work of departed colleagues.
A CWU full-timer gave a fitting reply to this, as well as launching a broadside against the Labour Party for its attempts to privatise Royal Mail.
He said that action short of a strike is: "Like having a machine gun to your head and fighting back with a toothpick."
The readiness of workers to take strike action was shown by his members in Truro that day, when the result of their ballot came in.
Out of 60 members, 57 voted to strike. The No Cuts campaign heads onto Plymouth's streets in the coming weeks with a series of events. Members of the Socialist Party in Plymouth intend to play a full part in this vital campaign. For the campaign to reach its full potential, it will need to have an inclusive, open structure.