There’s a month to go until the TUC’s 20 October mass demonstration. Trade unionists say the march has the potential to be a key day in the battle against the Tories.
Steve Sweeney is secretary of Huntingdonshire trades council. He told Socialist Worker, “20 October is important in re-establishing the momentum we had on last year’s march and the coordinated action on 30 November.”
Steve said that coach places to the protest are filling up quickly. The Unison, Unite and PCS union branches have all organised transport. They have also been working to pull in students, Labour Party members, and NHS activists involved in the campaign over the local Hinchingbrooke hospital.
Steve added, “Some have said it will be harder to build for the march this time round after setbacks in some key battles. But the Tory-led coalition continues to inflict misery on the lives of working class people.
“This is an opportunity to demonstrate the anger people feel—and hopefully something to build on. We need the demo to be as big as possible. People will be able to see the potential power of the working class when we mobilise for action.”
Jill Holland is a PCS rep in Shropshire, where she says organisation for the protest is gathering pace. “We have all either witnessed or been subjected to the coalition’s ruthless attacks,” she said.
The union is organising coaches to London and holding regular meetings to plan how to make the protest as successful as the one 26 March last year.
Hot on the heels of the TUC march, students are to march in London on 21 November. The NUS is organising transport from across Britain.
The actions can show that anger at the Tory assault on ordinary people hasn’t gone away—and give people more confidence to fight.
“The support shown on the 26 March demo last year was unprecedented,” says Jill. “It is so important to show solidarity on 20 October.
“We need public services to collect tax to enable new schools and hospitals to be built. We need to ensure that welfare benefits are administered to those who need them. And we have a responsibility to take care of the ill and elderly.”
Jill added that “it is grossly unfair and offensive that we and the public are being made to pay” for the crisis. She said, “There has never been a more crucial time to make a stand. We need to seize the opportunity.”
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