Sunday, 21 October 2012

Thousands march against austerity

SWSS block on the demo
Cambridge students joined hundreds of thousands of others to protest against the actions of the Tory government on the “For a future that works” demonstration called by the TUC yesterday. The march saw over 150,000 people (official TUC figures) take to the streets of London with many thousands more joining demonstrations in Glasgow and Belfast.

In workplaces across Cambridge trade unions organised coaches for their members to travel down to the demonstration, joining huge blocks formed of members of individual unions. Two coaches of Unite members joined the 10,000 strong contingent towards the front of the march, as well as coaches from Unison, PCS, NUT and UCU.

RMT placard calling for further action
Other groups also held feeder marches and actions., including a climate block leaving from St Paul's which called for support for the million climate jobs campaign, and Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) who occupied the road at the end of the demo, blocking the way to Park Lane.

The numbers and spirit on the march demonstrate that the anger and desire for action which, in numerous cases the trade union bureaucracy have tried to stifle and sell out after the magnificent mass strike on November 30th last year, has far from dissipated. People know we need to take on the Tories and that we have the power to do it. Ed Milliband was booed when he said labour would make cuts, but when trade union leaders talked about a general strike, they were drowned out with applause. The march yesterday won't, on its own, stop the government, but a general strike could.

The militant education block, which Cambridge students joined, showed the kind of spirit we need to bring to the NUS demonstration on the 21st November. The previous NUS protest in 2010, which CUSU organised 10 coaches of students to travel down to was the spark which ignited widespread strikes and protests against cuts and austerity. Over the next month we need to ensure that this is also a huge demonstration to defend the future of education!

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