Part of the Isle of Wight from the air, photo Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)

Part of the Isle of Wight from the air, photo Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

John Hustler, Isle of Wight Socialist Party

A large group of anti-cuts protesters, including Socialist Party members, gathered outside county hall in Newport on the Isle of Wight last week. Inside, the council met to decide on where to make £12.75 million of cuts this year and further millions over the next four years.

The impressive turnout (which attracted much media attention) was bolstered by a fantastic reaction from passing pedestrians and honking traffic. One driver even pulled over his car to shake my hand and add his support.

A school bus filled with high school students, stopped at traffic next to the protest, drew cheers as they held up hand written anti-cuts signs in the bus window. If Tory austerity is going to affect anyone, it will be this generation.

Many of the people at the protest were not political before the cuts hit but after witnessing the damage being caused felt they had no choice but to make their voices heard.

A care worker told me that she feared not only for her job but for the service users as the threat of care home closure loomed ever closer.

Despite the opposition to austerity, the Independent-led council voted through the cuts.

Bizarrely, Tory opposition council leader Dave Stewart complained that the cuts didn’t go far enough blaming the council’s “socialist ideology”!