Monday, 28 March 2011

The Big Society marches

Just about recovered from Saturday's march. I carried the Green Party Trade Union banner for some of the way and started out at the Temple station helping distribute leaflets and placards. I saw many Green Party friends there, some of whom I had not seen for a long time. Caroline Lucas soon joined us and was with us in the early stages of the march until we inevitably got split up along the way. One of those carrying the banner with me was future Green Party councillor in Brighton (I hope) Phelim Mac Cafferty of the Trade Union Group and Green Left.

The size of the march was astounding and clearly staggered the TUC who had not expected so many. It was the largest trade union march in decades. But it was not just a trade union march, there were many disabled activists, voluntary sector workers, unwaged people, families and others. As one of the speakers said, although I arrived at Hyde Park too late to hear any of them, this was the Big Society.

Two of the best union leaders, and they have contributed to Coalition of Resistance also, are Len Mc Cluskey of UNITE and Mark Serwotka of PCS - here are their speeches on Saturday. Both call for a real resistance from the trade union movement and Mc Cluskey clearly tells the police to "keep your sleazy hands off our kids". Very relevant when one sees what happened in Fortnum and Masons and Trafalgar Square later.

I will be going to the Steering Committee of the Coalition of Resistance on Friday and we will be arguing for keeping the pressure on the government re the cuts. The next date in the diary is a  meeting organised by the People's Charter for next Saturday from 1pm at the RMT HQ, Chalton St, near the British Library to discuss possible industrial action for the unions. As others have said, the unions must now pull out all the stops.

No comments:

Post a Comment