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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 September 2010

Fight the cuts! - demonstrate on 23 October

Rail and tube workers, fire fighters, civil servants, teachers, and many other public sector workers will be joined by community campaigners, local anti-cuts unions and young people in central London on 23 October, when working class people in London say "No to cuts!"

Paula Mitchell

On 20 October, the full horror of the cuts planned by the Con-Dem coalition government will be revealed. The comprehensive spending review will announce what the 25-40% spending cuts across all departments will mean. Nothing is safe.

Cuts have already started in the most brutal fashion - like the threat to sack all Birmingham council's workforce, over 8,000 workers in Sheffield, and the entire London fire brigade. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

At the moment, for many people, the reality of what these cuts mean has not yet hit home. But that could all change after 20 October. On the day there will be protests in local areas, and some trade unionists and campaigners are converging on parliament. Young people will be protesting up and down the country as part of a day of protest called by Youth Fight for Jobs and Socialist Students.

An almighty resistance is brewing, with demonstrations, strikes and occupations necessary.

The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) organised the first national demo against cuts with its lobby and march at the recent TUC conference, demanding that the TUC calls a massive national demonstration.

23 October was the day named by the PCS civil service union in the resolution to the TUC. Under pressure to do something, the TUC has called for a week of action in the regions.

So the London RMT (rail workers), FBU (firefighters), PCS (civil servants), NUT (teachers) and NSSN have called a London demonstration to march to a South East Region TUC rally at Congress House.

The RMT and FBU in London are currently at the front of fighting vicious cuts. The RMT has already had one successful day of strike action against massive job cuts, and is preparing for another day on 3-4 October; the FBU is balloting for strike action against the attempted imposition of new shift patterns and the threat to sack the entire workforce.

The London region of the university and college lecturers union, UCU, has also backed the demo. The demo will be addressed by Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT, and Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, as well as representatives of other unions, the NSSN and Youth Fight for Jobs.

23 October is an opportunity to express the rage felt by public sector workers and service users. But it is more than that. It is an important step in building up a movement of organised working class people against the cuts, which can draw to it anti-cuts unions and community campaigns in a massive unstoppable force.

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In The Socialist 29 September 2010:

Anti-cuts campaign

We need action against the cuts... and a socialist political alternative

Fight the cuts! - demonstrate on 23 October

Stop wholesale sell-off in Suffolk

Suffolk Unison member speaks

Councils must defy cuts

Children's homes: Bosses' 'Tribalism' defeated

Fighting to save our services

Service users defend Ealing health centres

Anti-cuts demonstrations planned so far

Socialist Party editorial

No 'lurch to the left' for Labour

Socialist Party news and analysis

Stop the NHS sell-off

Death at Kington Court community care centre shows "regime of neglect"

UN fails to meet development goals

Housing bosses' pay goes through the roof

Unison elections: Socialists stand for a fighting and democratic trade union

Socialist Students

Students: Why we must all protest!

Socialist Students: showing an alternative to cuts and fees

Defend students' democratic rights

Socialist Party feature

Britain on the brink

Socialist Party workplace news

What's the point of the unions?

South Wales: Fight for car workers' jobs

Ballot victory against social enterprise

Bosses try to rewrite history

Workplace news in brief

International socialist news and analysis

Right-wing government re-elected in Sweden

Is Ireland's economy going bust?

Socialist Party feature

Global AIDS crisis: Profits punish poor


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