Sunday, 31 October 2010

Brighton & Hove Signals that the Fightback Against the Cuts Has Only Just Begun

On Saturday, the Trades Council organised one of the largest demonstrations against the Tory/Liberal Cuts, I counted 1,380 people marching through Brighton & Hove with the defiant message that we won’t accept cuts to public service jobs, benefits and pensions. (the Police as per usual with left-wing demonstrations reduced this to 900!).

The demonstration was led by workers at the Council’s own Brightstart Nursery who have been told the nursery is to be closed and staff at Connexions, a service that helps youngsters back into work, not least those with disabilities. A good place for the Cameron axe to bite!

As thousands face eviction and homelessness as a result of the caps on housing benefit the Tory/Libs have cut Corporation Tax for the multi-nationals. Vodafone have just been let off £6 Billion tax but if you claim an extra penny you are not entitled to on the dole then you will be prosecuted.

The march gathered at The Level, Brighton’s traditional rallying point and people streamed in as noon approached. There were many speeches – both at the beginning and the end. We even had a Labour councillor pledging to oppose some, but not all, cuts. There were many speakers - from Brightstart, the Save our Post Offices, UNISON, the Socialist Party, Brighton Benefit Cutss but the warmest reception of all was for the local MP and Britain’s only Green MP, Caroline Lucas. At the end a number of speakers spoke, starting off with an accordion and song rendition by Tom and then Tony Greenstein from Brighton Unemployed Centre, Di Leach from UNISON, Chris Bough from PCS, the civil service union and finall Gary Hassell from the railworkers’ union, RMT.

The local King & Queen Pub agreed that we should place stalls and tables in their courtyard so it was a great day all round but just the beginning.

Tony Greenstein

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