Monday, 26 March 2012

March 26th a year on, where is the anti cuts movement heading?

A year ago today we were heading to London from all over the country to descend on what we’d hoped to be one of the biggest predominantly working class demonstrations for many years. We were not disappointed an estimated 750,000 working class people and anti cut protesters out on the streets of London. Almost as many who are set to lose their jobs in the public sector due to the con-dem government cuts agenda.

A year on this feels a very long time ago this demonstration I thought I’d look at what has happened since then and the fight back that has or has not ensued.

To even get a national demonstration was incredibly hard work the good comrades at the NSSN were up in Manchester the September before demanding and lobbying the TUC to call a mass national demonstration. They were eventually dragged kicking and screaming to call one. It just goes to show what can be achieved when the TUC lift their little finger.

But the day itself was fantastic many great moments and speech’s and lots of calls to arms. One of the best and well received speech’s came from the PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka who proclaimed today we have marched together tomorrow we must strike together.

This was one of the main messages to come out of the day I felt where we go from here. The NSSN and the socialist party made a terrific intervention on that day giving out thousands of leaflets and selling almost as many papers. A special edition was printed for that day giving a very agitation message to workers picking up our paper for the first time that these cuts can be defeated if we take the right choices.

As we have seen over the last year possibly some of those choices haven’t been taken and a reluctance to fight on the behalf of some in our movement has held us back.

The socialist party has been impeccable in its stance against all cuts be them carried out by Tories, lib dems or labour councils. This has not been widely taken up with some on the left still till this day defending labour councils who pass on Tory cuts unfortunately.

One man who was on the march last year Ed Miliband has himself confirmed that any future labour government will not reverse any of the Tory cuts and instead add a further pay freeze to public sector pay as a bonus. Some anti cuts mood ay?

SO we cannot put our faith in the labour party they have shown themselves to be defenders of the capitalist system and a defender of cuts. This is not acceptable in the anti cuts movement and should not be in the labour movement either. The disgraceful selling out of trade union leaders over the pension dispute in the public sector is evidence of this treachery and a fear of upsetting a labour party who seem to want to curb the unions even further still by weakening their link even further.

March 26th 2011 will go down in history as one of the biggest working class demonstrations ever but unfortunately the response since then has been slow in coming and hard work. November the 30th last year was huge and very impressive but bigger and more concerted efforts by the trade unions is needed. I am not sure whether another national demonstration like March 26th would be beneficial. Certainly for the NHS it could be vital to raise people’s morale that the NHS can be saved. On the question of cuts I think workers are turning to other means including standing in local elections. TUSC again as I have blogged about on here countless times will be standing widely once again hoping to catch the mood of workers when they shift in consciousness.
There is an alternative out there and TUSC offers this in the London GLA elections and right across the country. If you don’t have a TUSC candidate standing in your area why not join in and stand yourself. If you are against all cuts and privatisation and agree with our basic programme you can stand for TUSC too in the coming may 3rd elections.

National demonstrations are good but not enough in their own we pointed this out at the time industrial action on a co-ordinated determined level is needed. We have started that and the working class has re emerged onto the battle scene but far more is needed and I am sure as this period develops we will see more strikes, occupations and demonstrations. Will it be enough to bring this government down.....? Only time will tell

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