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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 November 2010

Scotland: potential to build a mass movement against cuts

Anti-cuts demonstration in Edinburgh, photo Ray Smith

Anti-cuts demonstration in Edinburgh, photo Ray Smith   (Click to enlarge)

A very positive meeting of anti-cuts campaigns and trade unionists took place in Glasgow on Saturday 6 November. The Defend Glasgow Services campaign had invited representatives from anti-cuts campaigns, trade union organisations and community campaigns to the meeting to discuss the setting up of a Scottish anti-cuts alliance/federation.

Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland

Anti-cuts campaigns were represented from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Ayrshire.

The PCS civil service union was represented and trade union branches also sent delegates including Dundee Unison local government and Tayside Healthcare Unison. Shop stewards and branch reps from the Unison, Unite and RMT unions were also there. Clydebank trades union council was in attendance as well as Youth Fight for Jobs.

Brian Smith, branch secretary of Glasgow City Unison and the Defend Glasgow Services campaign, emphasised the importance of building the movement based on "opposing all cuts in jobs, public services, pensions and welfare benefits while working to build mass trade union and community opposition to the cuts".

Anti-cuts demonstration in Edinburgh, photo Ray Smith

Anti-cuts demonstration in Edinburgh, photo Ray Smith   (Click to enlarge)

Reports were given from local campaigns on the scale and impact of the cuts and the campaigning already taking place which has included organising local demonstrations, lobbies of councils, public meetings and mass petitioning.

The hugely successful Scottish Trades Union Congress demonstration of over 20,000 people in October showed the potential to build a mass movement against the Con-Dem savagery. However, an organised campaign with clear aims and a fighting programme is necessary.

A number of contributions explained the importance of organised and coordinated strike action by trade unions. Glasgow Unison has tabled a resolution for the Scottish Unison conference in December calling for the building of a one day coordinated public sector wide strike.

Important discussions took place on demanding that councils do not make cuts and instead set 'needs budgets' that defend local services.

It was made clear that the involvement of elected politicians was welcomed as long as they pledged to oppose all cuts and vote against all cuts in budget meetings.

There was unanimous support for a resolution that asked for delegates to report back to their campaigns and trade unions with a view to establishing a Scotland wide anti-cuts alliance at a conference in January 2011. A steering committee was agreed, with one person from each campaign, which will help coordinate activity and prepare for the conference in January.

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In The Socialist 11 November 2010:


Socialist Students

9,000 student fees: we won't pay!

No to 9,000 tuition fees: Fight for your future!

Ireland: Largest student protest in a generation


Anti-cuts campaign

Stop the Con-Dems' slave labour scheme

What the capitalist cuts really mean

National Shop Stewards Network: Anti-cuts conference


Socialism 2010

Socialism 2010: An inspirational weekend


Youth

Youth Fight for Jobs and Socialist Students conference

Leeds: Stop the closure of Union Books

Goldsmiths students occupy town hall


Socialist Party editorial

London firefighters' dispute: the fight is not over

Massive anger must be organised into coordinated trade union action


Socialist Party workplace news

London tube strike - picket line reports

BBC staff fight for pensions: picket line reports

Protest at law centre closure

Fight the mail centre cuts


Socialist Party news and analysis

Vendetta continues against Tommy Sheridan, socialist fighter

Angry campaigners discuss Stroud fightback

NHS - workers looking for a fighting lead

Fast news


Socialist Party feature

Attacks on disabled people's rights


International socialist news and analysis

Scotland: potential to build a mass movement against cuts

US elections: Bankruptcy of Democrats leads to spectacular fall


Socialist Party review

Review: Call Mr Robeson: A Life, with Songs


 

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