Anti-cuts protest, Bristol, 9.9.17, photo by Matt Carey

Anti-cuts protest, Bristol, 9.9.17, photo by Matt Carey   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Thousands march in Bristol

Mayor needs real anti-cuts strategy

An estimated 6,000-8,000 people marched in Bristol on 9 September in an anti-cuts protest called by the Labour mayor, Marvin Rees, in conjunction with Bristol People’s Assembly and Bristol Labour Party.

Bristol and District Anti-Cuts Alliance (Badaca) made a good intervention and, with the help of Bristol Socialist Party, gave out dozens of placards and thousands of leaflets pushing the messages of ‘no to all cuts, and ‘set a legal no-cuts budget now’. These are messages we feel mayor Rees will need to take on board if he is going to successfully campaign for more money from central government.

Rees and the other core city Labour leaders (Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol), are in Westminster this week to present their ‘green paper’ to the government.

Although we support the initiative of lobbying the government, Badaca is disappointed that the document is not more explicitly anti-austerity and doesn’t set out a clear strategy to beat the government. We hope that the Tories do make concessions in the budget but knowing them, it may take more pressure.

Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said at the National Shop Stewards Network rally in Brighton on 10 September that he doesn’t see the Unite bin workers’ strike in Birmingham as a strike against the Labour council, but a strike against austerity.

But we believe that McDonnell, Corbyn, Rees and the core city leaders will need to halt the cuts in order to mount a credible and successful campaign to end austerity in local government.

Matthew Carey, organising secretary, Bristol and District Anti-Cuts Alliance (Badaca)