Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/10468
York: Anti-cuts demo a resounding success
York held its first anti-cuts demonstration on Saturday 23 October with a significant and very visible presence by the newly-formed York branch of the Socialist Party.
Leigh Wilks, York Socialist Party
Along with York MP Hugh Bayley and representatives from Unison, the PCS and the UCU, I was invited to speak as the secretary of York Socialist Party.
Apart from speaking about the insane BBC "tour" of the country recently, which saw the Corporation asking ordinary voters what they would "cut" in order to "save" the economy, I reminded the demonstrators of the amount of money wasted on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the lessons of the Poll Tax - the last time the British public faced down the blatant unfairness of a capitalist Tory government.
With around 250 marchers on the demonstration, this was an excellent start to the anti-cuts campaign in York, which has long had the reputation of being one of the most conservative cities in the north.
Although there was a small contingent of Greens and Labour Party apparatchiks, the majority of people taking part in the march were explicitly socialist.
Marching through Parliament Street and the main (and very narrow) shopping thoroughfare of Coney Street, we attracted cheers and claps of support from shoppers obviously sympathetic to the cause.
Our very own Ben Mayor, who at the stall before the march sold 38 copies of The Socialist, led the chants on the megaphone and from the protesters, shouting: "Tax the banks! Tax the banks!" and "George Osborne, he don't care, 'cos he is a millionaire!" Our Socialist Party branch has plans to speak at the universities and colleges in the next few weeks and is currently making contact with community anti-cuts groups and campaigns.
We are making sure and steady progress, and as the last six months has proved, we have continued to grow as more and more people become affected by the capitalist crisis and disillusioned with the system behind it, and are actively searching for a more sensible, workable and fairer system for the organisation of society in the interests of working people.