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Voices and portraits from the anti-cuts protest in London

This article is over 11 years, 4 months old
Dave Sewell speaks to some of the protesters gathering on London’s Victoria Embankment for the TUC demonstration against government cuts
Issue 2325

Mark Jarvis (centre) is here with a delegation from Leicestershire FBU. “I’m here for my pension rights. After 17 years in the job I’m faced with my pension being cut in half potentially. And we face the threat of station closures that will put the general public at risk. Personally I think we need a general strike—otherwise, the way workers are treated in this country, we’ll just be pushed to the side.”

Desiree Cranenburgh (right) and her mother Annette Chambers have been campaigning against hospital cuts in west London. Desiree said, “There’s no need for these cuts. There’s money in this country but it’s not being distributed to those who need it. It affects everything—health, education, housing. They don’t want to talk about a class divide, but that’s exactly what it is.”

Nawaz Ahmed (second left) is here with a delegation from Carshalton and Wallington Labour Party. “We need to oppose all these austerity cuts. They’re squeezing working families for the benefit of big business and the bankers. They’re cutting social services. We need to stop this government at the next elections—and I’d like to see a general strike too.”

Ally (left) and Susan are rail workers from Whitstable in Kent. Ally said, “We’re worried about safety. They can’t keep cutting jobs on the railway. If there are trains without conductors and unmanned stations, what’ll people do when there’s a problem? They should cap the extortionate salaries of those at the top in goverment and the private rail companies, and put the money back into the services. It’s not rocket science.”

Chris (left) is an electrician at Wyndeham’s Theatre and a member of the Bectu union. “It’s nonsense when the government says it’s only public sector workers who are affected by austerity. In very simple terms I have less money in my pocket. For everyone it’s a constant struggle for pay deals, a constant squeeze on terms and conditions. We need to kick the Tories out.”

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