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Exeter Anti-cuts Alliance launched
On Tuesday 9 November over 70 people attended the Exeter Anti-Cuts Alliance launch meeting. This alliance was established as a federal, bottom-up organisation by members of the Socialist Party and other trade union activists.
Jim Thomson, Exeter Socialist Party
The alliance's aims are to lead the fight back against the unfair and unnecessary Con-Dem cuts and unite workers, youth and the community in the struggle.
The meeting was a great success. The speakers included Phil Chadwick from the CWU, who outlined the devastating affect privatisation of Royal Mail would have on communities; Rob Edwards from Youth Fight for Jobs who inspired the meeting with historical examples of the anti-cuts battle of Liverpool city council in the 1980s and the anti-Poll Tax movement a few years later; and Phil Bialyk from the RMT who pointed out the nonsense of Tory claims that we are "all in it together".
Mark Baker from the PCS NEC was the last speaker. He covered the dire need for united national trade union action and pointed out the TUC's lack of leadership.
He therefore urged others to support the PCS in calling for a national demonstration as soon as possible.
The discussion was equally as electric with comments about the situation of the Irish working class, the need for public activity and the task of building more anti-cuts organisations.
It was unfortunate that the Labour leader of Exeter city council who came into the discussion, refused to answer whether he would be making cuts, disgustingly calling the policy of 'no cuts' as "populist".
However as Andrew Duncan, a member of the Labour Party and on the steering committee of the Anti-cuts Alliance, said: "We will take a logical position; if councillors are against cuts we will support them, if they are for cuts though, we will fight them and even stand against them in the next election".
The meeting raised £125 for the Exeter Anti-Cuts Alliance and 12 people bought copies of the Socialist.