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Posted on 24 October 2010 at 12:52 GMT

Sheffield anti-cuts demonstration, 23 October

300 students and trade unionists marched down from Sheffield university to swell the size of the Yorkshire and Humber TUC rally outside Sheffield town hall to getting on for 1,000 protesters.

Alistair Tice, Sheffield Socialist Party

The downpour of rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of a lively and noisy Youth Fight for Jobs (YFFJ) contingent.

At the rally, a tightly controlled speakers' list of Labour Party and pro-Labour trade unionists lambasted the Con-Dem coalition and Sheffield's Lib Dem council for their savage cuts.

Sheffield MP and coalition deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, the not-so-local boy made bad, was singled out for the most withering attacks.

He was graphically depicted in a Unison advertisement as "Cleggzilla - bringing havoc to a city near you".

However, it was Socialist Party member Marion Lloyd, who is on the national executive committee of the left-led PCS civil service union, who drew the greatest applause when she said: "I am pleased that the TUC have called a national demonstration against the cuts but we can't wait five months, we need it now to build confidence to prepare for a one-day public sector general strike".

Drawing on the example of France, Marion said that to build unity we must oppose ALL cuts and was therefore disappointed that the new Labour leader, Ed Miliband, an advertised speaker, had once again not attended a trade union protest.

Marion applauded the fact that Sheffield Labour councillors had joined protests on the town hall steps against the Comprehensive Spending Review, but called on them to "put your money where your mouths are".

After a by-election, Labour, with two Greens, now have more councillors than the Lib Dems, so Marion said: "Take control of the council, stop the Lib Dem cuts and start by reinstating the 95 jobs cut at Sheffield Futures" (the city's youth careers service).

About 30 people, including several local PCS members, attended the post-rally Youth Fight for Jobs meeting to hear speakers from Socialist Students, PCS Young Members Network and YFFJ, rounding off a successful day in starting the fight-back against the Con-Dem axemen.

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