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Posted on 5 October 2010 at 21:31 GMT

Coventry against the Cuts public rally

Around 120 people packed into the first public rally of the Coventry against the Cuts campaign.

Coventry Socialist Party members

Caroline Johnson, secretary of Birmingham Unison, spoke about the 26,000 workers who have been given notice informing them that their contracts are being changed.

Alan Lewis and Tony Conway, from Unite and PCS respectively, emphasised the need for joint, united action.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, gave a storming speech, recalling the lessons of the successful campaign that beat the poll tax and the importance of organising in the communities.

Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor, described the cuts being planned by the council and outlined a fighting strategy.

The ruling Labour group say they oppose the Tory cuts, but they have 'no choice' but to implementing them.

Dave said that if Labour opposes the cuts, they should use the councils reserves to 'hold the line', which would give some breathing space to allow an anti-cuts army to be built by the trade unions in the city and in every community to fight for extra funding from the Tory government.

This was an excellent meeting, with a very good turnout considering the details of the cuts are yet to be realised.

Now the campaign needs to look at how we build across the city, involving not just the union movement but local communities.

A protest has been called on 20 October, the day of the government's comprehensive spending review.

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