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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 July 2012

Tolpuddle festival shows fightback needed today

Sean Brogan, Exeter Socialist Party

Every year trade unionists make their way to the village of Tolpuddle in Dorset to mark the imprisonment and release of six agricultural labourers in the 1830s.

The six Tolpuddle Martyrs were arrested for trying to form a trade union, and sent to Australia. But, after three years of trade union campaigning including a march through London and an 800,000-signature petition, the six were pardoned and returned to Britain.

At this year's festival, the anger against this government was vocal. Railway workers in the RMT, TSSA and Aslef unions voiced their concerns about the massive redundancies proposed in the McNulty Report. Teachers in the NUT, NASUWT and ATL are being swamped by attacks from the new academies and so-called 'free schools'. PCS and Unison members campaigned against cuts in the public sector. The POA prison officers' union is fighting for the right to strike. Postal workers in the CWU are continuing to fight the privatisation of their service. The list of grievances was massive. There was even a 'Kids Union' marching!

Trades Union Congress

In these circumstances, it is the responsibility of the Trades Union Congress to organise a fight back against an unprecedented undermining of jobs and services. It has called a national demonstration against austerity on 20 October, but the question is what next?

Socialist Party members handed out leaflets calling on the TUC to organise a 24-hour general strike and urged support for the National Shop Stewards Network lobby of the TUC in Brighton on Sunday 9 September. We received a lot of support with over 100 copies of the Socialist sold.

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In The Socialist 18 July 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

March and strike against austerity

Miliband and Labour - no real alternative to Con-Dems

Tories stick the boot in on care funding

Oppose the closure of the Independent Living Fund

Witch-hunting Unison leadership "shabby" declares judge

Wales NHS - Reject the Case for Cuts report

Them... & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Support striking Remploy workers!

RMT cleaners Trans-Pennine Express strike

Fighting against exploitation of seafarers and port workers


2012 London Olympics

Olympics: The greatest sporting, and money-making, show on earth

Olympics G4S scandal shows failure of privatisation

Olympic-watch

Bosses bank in on corporate olympics - we get austerity!

Teachers fight school privatisation

Top-up fees: 50,000 debt leads to to 50,000 less students


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton: two Labour councillors vote against Labour council cuts

Bristol protests counter racist EDL

Tolpuddle festival shows fightback needed today

Obituary: Reg Fitch


International socialist news and analysis

Brazil: 'Miracle' economy slows

Spain: Class struggle erupts

Solidarity picket of Turkish Airlines


Reviews and comments

Review: BBC TV documentary "When I get older"

Bankers are "useless mouths"

Music review: Long live the struggle by The King Blues


 

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