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Bristol: Hundreds march against millions of pounds of council cuts
The Bristol and District Anti-Cuts Alliance (Badaca) has written a letter to every councillor in Bristol calling on them to vote against the £101 million cuts budget being proposed by mayor Marvin Rees. Councillors met to vote on the budget on Tuesday 21 February, as the Socialist goes to press.
200 people marched through Bristol on 18 February in the run-up to the meeting. The demonstration was called by Badaca in defence of jobs and services in the city. Protesters called on the mayor and councillors to reject the cuts budget and join a campaign to force the government to return the funding they have slashed.
Speakers addressed the crowd from Bristol Trades Council, several local union branches and from specific campaigns to protect libraries and transport.
Socialist Party member Tom Baldwin, speaking for Badaca said: "These cuts take out over £200 for every single person in the city. But they won't be distributed evenly. Despite claims to protect the most vulnerable, they will inevitably be hit the hardest.
Bastions of resistance
"Councillors will have a chance to show which side they're on. They can vote to further decimate services in this city or to stand with the people of Bristol and vote against the cuts.
"Councils like ours should be bastions or resistance to the Tory government, not accomplices in their war against the working class."
A petition with hundreds of signatures against the cuts was presented by Badaca to the council meeting with the following demands:
- Stop these cuts. Use reserves and borrowing powers to protect services
- End the outsourcing and privatisation of services. No to volunteers replacing paid workers
- Build a mass campaign to reverse Tory austerity and to win back the money stolen from the city. The campaign should involve the trade unions and service users in Bristol and link up with other Labour councils