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Local opposition is brewing to the orthodoxy of cuts – first on Saturday “Sunderland Against the Cuts” rally has been called by the newly formed Sunderland Left Unity, with active involvement of Sunderland Green Party members. The rally is 1- 3 pm on Saturday 19th in the Market Place next to WH Smiths.

Then on Budget Day, Tuesday 22nd, Tyne and Wear Left Unity, in which several Greens are involved, are planning various actions – more info after steering group meeting on Thursday. The key message that TWLU are aiming to get across is that there is an alternative to slash and burn of the public sector and the welfare state – instead justice demands that those who can afford it pay more tax – the richest individuals and companies, especially the banks – and of course, as PCS have pointed out, simply collecting the huge sums of uncollected tax (due to cuts in HMRC staff and smaller offices), as well as clamping down on tax evasion and avoidance, closing tax loopholes and tax havens. More info from the Tax Justice Network.

On Thursday 24th the PCS and UNISON unions are holding a meeting to launch a regional Public Services Alliance to promote the campaign to defend and prioritise public services. The leaflet inviting activists says:

This Alliance will seek to build community alliances at local level, bringing together Trade Unions, community, voluntary and faith representatives.

The meeting is from 4 – 7pm at the Regional Assembly Rooms, Newcastle, with buffet provided!

More info from Helen Grinter at h.grinter@unison.co.uk or call 245 0829

A real opportunity for getting involved and making sure that trade unions work with as wide a network as possible. We have to be united or we will be defeated…

PS Get a sense of the alliances that are possible by watching the video of the recent Can’t Pay Won’t Pay rally in London with speeches from Tony Benn and Caroline Lucas, along with Greek activists and trade union speakers – brilliant!

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