Trade unionists, anti-cuts activists and campaigners are preparing to protest in their thousands outside the Lib Dem conference in Birmingham on Sunday.
Some 100 trade unionists and activists organising the TUC march rallied on Thursday of last week. The event was organised by Birmingham Against the Cuts and Right to Work and backed by Birmingham NUT and Birmingham Unison—which is set to strike during the conference.
Birmingham Unison branch secretary Graeme Horn told the meeting that a large demonstration at the conference would be a vital part of building support for the council workers’ strike.
“The Lib Dems will be staying in comfy hotels, arriving in comfy cars and telling us that we have to pay for someone else’s crisis,” he said.
He pointed out that Birmingham is the flagship Tory-Liberal council is “the proudest jewel in their crown”.
“And on 21 September,” he added, “that flagship will be out on strike.”
Julie Sherry from Right to Work made it clear the marches on the government parties are part of building the momentum for mass strikes that can bring down the government.
“We will see at least a million out in November,” she said. “This has the power to bring the entire union movement out.”
By far the biggest reception was reserved for Bob Crow, leader of the RMT transport union. The cuts, he explained, are about priorities. “If there was a war tomorrow they’d find the money for it,” he said.
He appealed for all trade unionists to back those on strike in November. “It is our duty to stand by them, to raise solidarity for them and to stand together.”
“The cuts, the closures, the attacks aren’t going away,” he argued. “The demonstrations at the Lib Dems and the Tories have got to be us saying something different.”
With just days to go, many activists left pledging to leaflet the city in order to get the maximum numbers joining the first leg of the demos in Birmingham on 18 September.
March on the Lib Dems, Sunday 18 September. Assemble 11am, Granville Street, B1 1JW.
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