Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/640/10323
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!"
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.
In The Socialist 29 September 2010:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party feature