Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/9940
Hull: Rallying against the austerity budget
AROUND 100 trade unionists gathered in Hull city centre on Saturday 3 July to protest at the shocking cuts coming to the public sector following the Con-Dem budget.
Jack Walker, Youth Fight for Jobs, Hull
Banners from a range of unions including the NUT, PCS, GMB, NASUWT, Unison and Ucatt showed how the spending cuts will affect all workers across both the public and private sector.
There was a range of speakers, each talking about the problems in their particular workplace, with reports of agency workers being used to undercut full time workers and plans for redundancies in most workplaces.
Two of Hull's Labour MPs, Karl Turner and Diana Johnson, tried to use the protest to whip up support for Labour, having previously promised deep cuts to the economy.
Their speeches, however, were received with polite applause only.
In contrast, the best-received speeches of the day were ones that put forward a united union fightback against the cuts and that laid out clear socialist policies.
Matt Whale, speaking for Youth Fight for Jobs, highlighted the situation facing young people in the city and demanded free education, jobs for all and a higher minimum wage.
Mike Whale, secretary of Hull National Union of Teachers, was greeted by cheers when he called for the nationalisation of the banks and a programme of public works to tackle the need for more houses in Hull, as well as creating more jobs in the city.
The loudest applause came when Mike called for a new left party prepared to fight for working people in the way the current government is fighting for the rich.
The protest was a brilliant success and laid important foundations for the struggles that will undoubtedly be coming our way.
Already plans are in hand to lobby the Liberal-led city council with a petition calling for no redundancies.