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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 July 2012

Build the fightback against the Con-Dems: Join the lobby of the TUC on 9 September

For a one-day general strike

Nick Chaffey

Despite the best efforts of the Con-Dem PR machine, the Jubilee, Wimbledon and the Olympics, the Summer Circus cannot hide the fact that government cuts and the austerity agenda are provoking a fightback.

On 15 July, thousands of trade unionists will march in commemoration of some of its founders, The Tolpuddle Martyrs.

They were jailed and deported in 1834 for organising trade unions and fighting for a living wage.

Today it is the bankers who face demands for lengthy jail sentences because of the misery they have caused in the lives of workers, the unemployed, youth and pensioners.

Many of those marching will be the front-line troops, public sector workers who struck last year on 30 June, 30 November and this year on 10 May. As the speeches are made by trade union leaders in Tolpuddle, many will be asking: what can we do today to defeat the cuts?

The message from the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) is clear: turn this anger into action. This means drawing together all those trade union members hit by cuts and demanding the TUC, the national organising body of over six million trade union members, calls a national one-day strike of public and private sector workers against all cuts.

In mobilising for the national TUC demo on 20 October, an appeal must be made to the unorganised, the one million young unemployed, all those looking for work, to those hit by welfare cuts and pensioners, to join with the trade unions in a one-day general strike.

Only action can force this government of the super-rich, for the super-rich, into a retreat and out of office before their time is up.

That is why the NSSN is calling for trade union members to mobilise their branches and supporters in a mass lobby of the TUC conference in Brighton on Sunday 9 September in support of this demand.

Mobilising for the lobby are the young members of the RMT transport union who moved the resolution at the RMT annual general meeting in defence of pensions, calling for general strike action.

Emma Linacre, national vice-chair of RMT Young Members and a member of Youth Fight for Jobs explained why she was coming on the NSSN lobby: "Young people are taking the brunt of the Con-Dem cuts.

"Education means poverty - no EMA, tuition fees and student loans. Work means poverty as they are confined to low-paid jobs and benefits are being slashed.

"Young people have the most to lose in the long term - decent jobs, secure housing, occupational pensions, the right to decide how best to live their lives - and will fight hard to keep these things.

"The media claims that young people only care about body image, reality TV and getting drunk, that they don't care about political and social issues.

"This is completely untrue. In the RMT, young members have been at the forefront of strikes and demos to defend their jobs, working conditions, pensions and workmates from management harassment.

"Young members will continue these struggles and will be on the NSSN and TUC demos to show the Con-Dems we will fight them all the way and will defeat the cuts."

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In The Socialist 11 July 2012:

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The politics of fighting the racist EDL

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