Hundreds of thousands of workers from across Britain are making the final preparations for the TUC’s mass march in London tomorrow, Saturday.
Dozens of trains and hundreds of coaches will bring trade union members and activists to the streets of the capital.
The march will assemble along Victoria Embankment on the north bank of the Thames from 11am.
Jo Rust is a Unison union and Labour Party member in Norfolk. She says she’ll be up early to travel to the march “because this out of touch government of millionaires doesn't care that it's hurting the vulnerable and poor”.
She talked about a relative of hers, “a young parent who is daily being faced with the harsh realities of life with no money, no support and no services, stuck out in the middle of no where in rural Norfolk”.
“She phones up crying because she’s got no money for food, no money for nappies and certainly no money for luxuries like a night out,” said Jo. “Yet all she hears is that she’s part of a benefits culture and she must be punished for it.
“March with me and send them a clear message. We’re marching for a better future, one that the Tories and Lib Dems can’t—or rather won’t—deliver.”
Meanwhile three anti-cuts marchers who have walked 156 miles from Cardiff to join the demonstration are due to arrive in London this evening, Friday.
Civil servant and PCS rep Richard Evans, teacher and NUT member Steffan Ap Dafydd and firefighter and FBU rep Cerith Griffiths will be greeted by a welcome party.
Richard said, “The cuts being made under so called ‘austerity measures’ are vicious and hit the most vulnerable in our society hardest, while those who can afford to pay more get tax breaks. This is our opportunity to tell this government how we feel.”
Firm’s smears over cancelled trains
Two trains chartered by the NUT union from the north west of England to the Saturday demonstration have been cancelled, the TUC has announced.
An email from the firm responsible for the cancellation blamed “recent industrial action by Aslef”. It claimed train union members had refused to drive them.
But Aslef’s Chris Proctor said this is “complete bollocks”. He explained that the trains had been booked through a firm called Train Chartering—which had subcontracted the work to DB Schenker.
The union had a dispute with DB Schenker, but it ended earlier this month. He added that the problem was caused by chaos within private firms.
The cancellation does not affect the trains from the region chartered by Unite, Unison, RMT and Aslef. There is also still space available on some coaches.
There are still almost 20,000 people expected to come to the demonstration from the north west. Anyone booked on the north west NUT trains can contact the union’s regional office on 01204 521 434.
Send Socialist Worker your reports
Socialist Worker will be reporting live from the demonstration tomorrow. Send us your news and photos from the march to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7819 1180.
Read more of our 20 October coverage