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31 August 2016

Trade unionists for Corbyn rally in Cardiff

Cardiff Socialist Party member

Trade unionists took the ideas of socialism onto the streets of Cardiff on 26 August, gathering at the foot of Aneurin Bevan's statue on Queen Street to rally in solidarity with the movement building around Jeremy Corbyn.

David Bartlett, secretary of Cardiff Trades Council and member of the civil servants' union PCS, said: "For working-class people the last 20 years have meant nothing but austerity, cuts and privatisation. We are now living in the most unequal society in the history of the planet."

Participants listened to the speakers and also leafleted passers-by, many of who stopped to listen and engage with us throughout which also generated much street-based political discussion.

Cardiff County Unison was represented by branch secretary Emma Garson and Owen Herbert spoke for transport workers' union RMT. Both spoke of Corbyn's support for trade unions throughout his life. Speaking on the 1% benefiting from the suffering of the 99%, Owen argued "things have got to change."

The rally sought to strengthen the local trade union and socialist movement, to support Jeremy Corbyn and to challenge the aggressive establishment attacks on working class people.

Members of both GMB union's Young Members Network and Cardiff and Vale's Welsh Labour Grassroots spoke in personal capacities. GMB recently came out in support of Owen Smith, though many members complained they received no ballot papers.

Welsh Labour Grass Roots, Momentum's Welsh sister organisation, have been labelled a threat and a rabble by Tom Watson, deputy Labour leader. The rally showed solidarity locally among the left in spite of constant attack by the Blairites.

Gary Johnston, the regional secretary of the bakers' union BFAWU, ended by deploring the suspension of the general secretary of his union, Ronnie Draper, which took place the day before.