Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/816/18825

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 June 2014

People's Assembly demo shows anti-austerity anger

Youth Fight for Jobs on the 21 June 2014 People's Assembly demo, photo by Sarah Wrack

Youth Fight for Jobs on the 21 June 2014 People's Assembly demo, photo by Sarah Wrack   (Click to enlarge)

On 21 June, a demonstration called by the People's Assembly marched to parliament to show opposition to austerity. Despite around 20,000 people assembling outside the BBC's central London offices, as with many previous protests, the BBC again ignored this one.

The demo was lively and there was a lot of support for the upcoming 10 July strike action which could bring out well over a million public sector workers. However, unfortunately, there was little comment from the platform on how to take the struggle forward from there.

National Union of Teachers general secretary Christine Blower wrongly described lobbying MPs as "every bit as important" as strike action. With MPs from all the main parties backing the Tories' austerity policies, simply appealing to their better nature will have little effect. Industrial action will force them to sit up and pay attention, as PCS assistant general secretary Chris Baugh made clear in his speech.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey echoed this, arguing for a general strike "when that is necessary". With the butchery of jobs and services already in full swing it is more than necessary already! The Socialist Party's call for a one-day general strike found a lot of support.

One of the rally speakers was comedian Russell Brand who last year pointed out that none of the main parties offer anything to ordinary people and called for 'revolution'. This struck a chord with millions of people, particularly youth.

One after another speakers laid into the Tory/Lib Dem government and the purple Tories of UKIP but the only criticism of the Labour Party - which has also pledged to inflict austerity - took the form of mocking Miliband for holding the Sun, mainly by his own MPs Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn.

Unions must give lead

This demonstration was yet more evidence that there is a mood for a fight against austerity. It had been promoted and funded by Unite, the NUT and other unions. But it was a step back from the hundreds of thousands who marched in 2011 and 2012 in demonstrations led by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

In March 2011, 700,000 people marched, led by the trade unions, calling for strike action. The massive two-million strong public sector pensions strike that followed on 30 November should have been a step towards a 24-hour general strike to seriously challenge austerity. Instead, in December 2011, the leaders of Unison and GMB retreated.

We're now in the fourth year of austerity, hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs, and been hit by the bedroom tax, cuts in pay and benefits. A mass movement against austerity is even more necessary, whichever government tries to enforce it. Such a movement would need to draw together all sections of the working and middle classes, but the Socialist Party has argued from the start that it is the working class, organised in trade unions, that has the greatest power to challenge the government and bosses, and should be at the heart of the struggle.

However, having stepped back at the end of 2011, union leaders have contracted out the fight against austerity to the 'broad' People's Assembly. Saturday's march had a turnout of thousands partly because it had some trade union backing. But at the same time it lacked the authority of a union-led struggle and there was no clear direction put forward by People's Assembly leaders. Mass strike action, the most powerful and unifying weapon the anti-cuts movement has, is considered by them as simply one option in a list of protest methods.

The trade union leaders have a responsibility to lead. The national pay strike on 10 July is another opportunity for coordination and should be a springboard for a renewed drive for a 24-hour general strike. The TUC should step up to the plate and name the day.

Socialist Party reporters

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 25 June 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

10 July: All out to end poverty pay

Western hypocrisy as Iraq disintegrates

Blame the profit system not its victims!

NHS: The world's best - but for how long?

Miliband - the emperor with no clothes

Poverty Britain

Them & Us


Socialist Party review

Thomas Piketty: The new Marx?


International socialist news and analysis

Hong Kong: Pro-Beijing newspaper attacks socialists

Israel: Nationalist thugs assault CWI members


Socialist Party workplace news

How can Unite lead fight against cuts?

Reinstate Bryan Kennedy!

Unison conference: members call for united action

GMB members question Labour link

Safety Glass strikers demonstrate their strength

National Museum Wales strike

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

People's Assembly demo shows anti-austerity anger

South Yorkshire 'Freedom Riders' attacked by police

Fighting for young people in Blackwall and Cubitt Town

Victory! York socialists win university letting agency

Tottenham: Stop fascist attacks

Winning recruits for socialism

Tax dodgers feel the heat


Readers' comments

Supermarket price wars

A day in the life of a supermarket worker


Socialist history

When Thatcher unleashed her attack dogs


Obituary

Gerry Conlon: Fighter against state injustice


 

Home   |   The Socialist 25 June 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

London:

triangleNorth London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

triangleSocialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

triangleYoung Socialist day of action

triangleSick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

triangleWest London Socialist Party: How can a new workers' party be built?

Austerity:

triangleSaving the music industry from pandemic and austerity

triangleBoris's new big deal

triangleNews in brief

triangleReading workers' movement responds to knife attack

Strike:

triangleOppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

triangleIran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes

triangleIsrael: Nurses strike and win

Union:

triangleEngage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

Unions:

triangleLabour payouts: unions must discuss political representation

General strike:

triangle100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Great Britain

Government:

triangleTories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/8/20

Young Socialists

After Scottish government U-turn, Young Socialists fight for a future on A-Level results day

10/8/20

NHS

NHS workers demand improved pay - 15% for all now!

5/8/20

NHS

'First you clap us then you slap us'

5/8/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialist day of action

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

5/8/20

Black Lives Matter

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

5/8/20

Hull

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

5/8/20

Young Socialists

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

5/8/20

Caerphilly

GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

5/8/20

Trotsky

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally

5/8/20

BAME

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

5/8/20

Doncaster

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

5/8/20

The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999