Southampton Marches Against Cuts (and campaign to save Bitterne Walk-in Centre)

Posted on February 9, 2011 by

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so many hands...

Saturday 5th Feb 2011 Southampton saw a mixture of Trade unionists, community campaigners, students and socialists march into the city centre to protest against  business and Government cuts – both local and national – which they say will have a detrimental effect on essential services, pay levels and jobs in Southampton. Shoppers and passers-by stopped to hear speakers, sign petitions and take leaflets.

The demo was organised by Southampton Shop Stewards Network, whose secretary Nick Chaffey told The Blowhole that:

“We have to nail the lie that these cuts are necessary. While the government picks our pockets with rises in VAT they hand over our money to the super rich through cuts in Corporation Tax. Their policies are to protect the profits of big business at our expense.”

After the demonstration there was a lobby and meeting where the RMT Wessex Regional Organiser, Pete Gale, spoke to council workers, posties, civil servants, Women Against Cuts, students and NHS campaigners about organising mass opposition to the cuts not only industrially but also politically:

“The Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition has been initiated by the RMT as a means to offer a real alternative to the three party unity on making cuts.”

Hugo Pierre, also from the National Shop Stewards Network, explained how the trade unions could organise national co-ordinated action to stop the cuts:

“The TUC demonstration will be massive but we must be there to raise the call for a one day public sector strike to intensify the pressure on the government and demonstrate the power working people have.”

SSSN have resolved to launch a Southampton Anti-Cuts Union to spread a fight against cuts to every area of the city.  They’ve also continued to campaign on the Bitterne Walk-in Centre, and the Save Bitterne Walk-In campaign will be lobbying the Council Health Committee on Thurs 10 Feb at 5.45 in the Council Chamber, Civic Centre.

With the upcoming Lobby of the City Council budget meeting on the 16th by disgruntled council workers too, it looks like the Council will have a lot of resistance on their hands…

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Posted in: News, Southampton