demonstrations

Students to Sparks: Join Us!

We’ve seen cuts to education, leading to the destruction of EMA, tripled uni fees, mass redundancies and course closures. We’re now witnessing – if we fail to stand up and beat it – the virtual privatisation of education. But the government’s austerity measures are not just attacking education – pensioners, the unemployed, workers in all industries in both public and private sector are all facing massive cuts – leaving no-one spared!

Demonstration over City Council cuts at Liverpool Town Hall

Last night, Liverpool Solidarity Federation members were amongst protesters gathered outside Liverpool Town Hall. They demonstrated as Liverpool City Council held a Budget Question Time in order to seek views on how they could save £50m in the coming year. Whilst the audience inside gave the councilors a hard time, those outside disrupted traffic by blocking off a road.

Read Liverpool members' individual reflections on the day on the Truth, Reason & Liberty and Working Class Self-Organisation blogs.

Sparks fly: electricians' direct action over pay cuts

Earlier this year the ‘Big 8’ major construction employers announced plans to tear up an industry agreement on pay, grading and seniority which would result in pay cuts of up to 35%. Workers, not trusting the Unite union to act in their interests, organised themselves into ‘Sparks’, an independent rank-and-file electricians’ group run by a committee elected from their ranks. Their scepticism towards the trade union structures appeared to be vindicated when Unite official Bernard McAulay described Sparks as “cancerous” in a leaked email.

Chile: the movement for free education

This autumn, or spring in the southern hemisphere, Chile has been witnessing a series of student-led protests which have seen tens of thousands of people take to the streets. The movement has also included student occupations, and linked up with striking workers. The movement began by demanding free education up to university level, as much of Chile’s education sector is privately run for profit, excluding many.  But it has grown to include striking miners and environmental protests, fuelled by the economic crisis and united in anger against the right-wing government.

Demonstration against Andrew Lansley

Today saw the start of the Royal College of GPs conference in Liverpool. Keep Our NHS Public held a protest outside the venue, the BT Convention Centre, as health minister Andrew Lansley was set to be the day's keynote speaker. Members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation joined the action.

As the land was private property, the security had taken the trouble to set up a protest pen using steel barricades, in which the demonstrators were to be contained. Liverpool Solfed members and others were resistant to this, but too many of those who turned up complied willingly either by going inside or by keeping their distance from the centre whilst giving out leaflets. The minority who chose not to be caged - especially as there were no police present! - simply kept moving about so that they were never static enough to be herded back to the pen.

Tory Party Conference Demo

On Sunday 2nd October, members of Solidarity Federation were amongst those who descended on Manchester to demonstrate at the start of the Tory Party Conference. 30,000 people took part in the march, and there was an occupation of Albert Square which at the time of writing is still ongoing.

See Liverpool Solidarity Federation's pictures of the demo here.

Read Liverpool members' individual reflections on the day on the Truth, Reason & Liberty and Working Class Self-Organisation blogs.

National day of action against ATOS

ATOS healthcare are the private IT company tasked with kicking sick and disabled claimants off benefits by classifying them as fit to work using an automated program. The Brighton Benefits Campaign and Disabled People Against Cuts organised the local contribution to the national day of action against ATOS, which saw around 25 people assemble in Brighton, street theatre depicting the computerised 'fit for work' assessment and a short march to the nearby ATOS building.