Anti-cuts rally defies council ban and BNP

Salford anti-cuts rally defies council ban and BNP

Hugh Caffrey

Three hundred people joined Salford Against Cuts for a “Rally on the Lawn” outside the civic buildings on 17 June. Campaigners from all the services affected by the Labour council’s cuts rallied together in a fun and peaceful festival.

Numerous Salfordians spoke about why they are fighting to save the services on which they rely. TUSC local election candidates Steve Cullen and Sally Griffiths spoke and brought support, and support was given from all TUSC’s nine anti-cuts candidates standing across the city, as well as from the Reality Party standing in the Irlam ward.

Shamefully, this rally had been banned by Salford’s Labour council! Not content with following Tory orders to impose massive austerity on the city, they had tried to gag those outraged at this by claiming that laws restricting election-time campaigning meant there couldn’t be an anti-cuts protest on council property this month.

Labour is quick enough to say it’s opposed to the cuts, but even quicker to attack those actually doing something about it! Such sickening hypocrisy has a more sinister twist – the BNP was allowed by the council to book a public meeting last Thursday in the same civic buildings, under the excuse of the same laws about elections.

Swiftly organised protest meant the BNP never showed up, not for the first time. Provocatively, the BNP’s election van stopped near the rally, but angry mums from the Save Our Children’s Centre campaigns intimidated this ‘master race’ within moments and they quickly drove away.

Salford’s Labour council try to censor communities outraged at austerity, but give the freedom of the civic to the racists of an Adolf Hitler fan club. While they don’t seem to care about the far-right propagating racism, they are bothered that Salford’s burgeoning anti-cuts movement exposing their complicity in the Tories’ vicious austerity cuts could cost them votes at the elections. This is why more and more people are getting involved in Salford Against Cuts and supporting TUSC, because a fightback is so obviously needed and quislings don’t lead resistance movements!

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 19 May 2014 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.