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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 October 2010

Thousands tell Tories: 'No cuts'

Lobby of Tory Party conference, photo I Dalton

Lobby of Tory Party conference, photo I Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

AS THE first Conservative Party delegates arrived for their 2010 conference at the ICC in Birmingham - a city whose Con-Dem council has threatened 26,000 employees with the sack unless they accept new contracts with reduced terms - thousands of trade unionists and political activists were gathering less than a mile away.

Dave Griffiths

Despite the heavy and almost non-stop rain, it was an impressive show of opposition to the Con-Dem policy of destroying the public sector. Several thousand demonstrators took their banners, placards and voices along a tortuous route to the ICC and beyond.

The weather and the police tactics of attrition - slowing down and breaking up the march, forcing it through narrow passages - meant that most didn't get as far as the rally in a flooded car park off Broad Street. This was a shame, because speakers including Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist and PCS civil servants union leader Mark Serwotka were speaking about how to develop the anti-cuts campaign.

Dave Nellist put the case for socialism. He also called on Labour councils to refuse to implement the cuts. However, he argued that - where Labour councils wield the axe we need a political alternative to the big three parties. He said: "We need independent trade union, socialist and community-based candidates standing on an anti-cuts platform. It's been done in a limited way before. We need to repeat that with hundreds of candidates next May."

Socialist Party members worked hard to distribute a leaflet arguing how, when the shouting was over, the organised work to oppose the cuts in workplaces and communities needed to begin - a message that struck a chord with the trade unionists. Whatever the drawbacks of Right to Work as a focus for an effective anti-cuts campaign, this demonstration proved that the will and the numbers for such a campaign are not lacking.

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In The Socialist 6 October 2010:


Defend Child Benefits

Tories turn clock back


Socialist Students

Students must fight back

Campaigning Socialist Students win support

YFJ and PCS unite against cuts in Leeds


Socialist Party editorial

National Shop Stewards Network and the struggle against Con-Dem attacks

National conference called against cuts in jobs and services


Anti-cuts campaign

No excuses for not fighting cuts

Thousands tell Tories: 'No cuts'

Paying below the minimum

Bristol MPs fail to answer young workers' anger at PCS debate

Meetings and protests against the cuts

Labour councillor's contempt for care centre users

Save Buttercups nursery

Protests on October 23 to fight the government's spending review axe

News in brief


Socialist Party workplace news

Solid strike by Tube workers

Time to strengthen RMT's fighting leadership

Support TSG strike


Health and Safety

Warning: this government could seriously damage your safety


Europe: fighting the cuts

Spain: workers demonstrate their strength

Ireland: a socialist alternative to the crisis

Portuguese workers win the promise of a general strike

Internationalism against austerity: 100,000 demonstrate in Belgium


Socialism 2010

Why you should come to Socialism 2010

Socialism 2010 - a weekend of discussion and debate


International socialist analysis

Chávez wins majority but right-wing gains ground


Socialist Party review

Made in Dagenham


Anti-racism

Nuneaton: community must organise against racism

Leicester: action needed against EDL

Campaign defeats BNP in Stroud


 

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