Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/856/20732
Election aftermath: anti-Tory austerity protests
Sheffield: Socialist Students mobilise for city protest
In Sheffield, on 16 May, over 600 people marched in protest against the Tories and their austerity policies. The demonstration, organised at short notice, followed a call for a response to the general election result by Socialist Students members.
Speakers from a variety of campaigns and trade unions addressed the rally, including Sam Morecroft from UCU lecturers union. Sam received a fantastic response from the crowd when he called for nationally coordinated strike action to "bury this government and bury its austerity policies".
Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader, called for electoral reform, but had little to say about how austerity could be resisted.
The demo showed that the Tories election victory has driven people not to despair but to anger.
Matthew Green, Hallam Socialist Students
Bristol: Huge response to demo call
Many were shocked to wake up on 8 May to the prospect of a Tory majority government. But the response of a group of Bristol sixth form students was to call an anti-austerity demonstration on Facebook. It struck a chord and support for the event on 13 May quickly snowballed.
As we moved through the city centre more people joined. In total around 5,000 marched on a week day evening.
The demo was overwhelmingly made up of young people from schools and colleges. This generation potentially has the most to lose from austerity (see back page) and yet most wouldn't have had any say on their future under this flawed democracy. Fighting for a future can't wait another five years.
Home-made placards showed that people weren't just against austerity. They wanted a fairer, more equal society, anathema to the 'greed is good' philosophy of the main parties.
At the end of the demo I spoke on behalf of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition on the need to keep the protests going and develop a movement to bring down the Tories.
This march was a great start but maintaining and building momentum will be crucial. Repeated demonstrations alone won't be able to do this. General strike action, including school student strikes, must be the next major step.
People may have woken up full of dread on 8 May but we can make sure it's David Cameron who wakes up fearing for his job every morning, from now until he's kicked out of Downing Street.
In The Socialist 20 May 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party comments and reviews