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Sign our open letter of protest – you can leave a comment here to do so or see us at our Stall at the Monument, Newcastle at 1pm tomorrow. Then join the TUC Save Our Services rally at 4.30pm outside the Civic Centre, Newcastle (Ceremonial Way).

The open letter is:

Building resistance to the cuts and job losses –
The ConDem coalition government presents its spending cuts as both justifiable and unavoidable. Prime Minister David Cameron is doing his best to convince us that we should quietly acquiesce to a cuts programme that will affect “our whole way of life.”

We are told that we have to ‘rebalance the economy away from a reliance on government jobs’ and we are ‘too dependent on the public sector for jobs.’

We keep getting told we are all in this together and should therefore share the burden. But the financial crisis was the fault of the bankers, and the politicians who deregulated the financial sector to allow them free rein. When in trouble, the banks received generous bailouts to the tune of a staggering £850bn.

We are not ‘too dependent on the public sector for jobs’. These jobs are vital to the functioning of our society. We cannot afford to see them slashed and our public services weakened beyond repair. We reject the idea that working class people must pay for a crisis they didn’t create.

We reject the current blind acceptance that “we’re all in this together” and that we – and that always means ordinary working people, of course, not the rich – have to accept changes that will affect “our whole way of life.”

Workers in Greece, Spain and elsewhere are already showing that it is possible to fight back. We need similar resistance in Britain. We call for a coalition of trade unionists, campaigners, community groups and public service users to campaign for a different set of priorities to that imposed by this bankers’ coalition.

We should collectively tell the bankers and the ConDem coalition that we can’t pay for their crisis – and we won’t pay for it.

Signatories (so far):
Dave Anderson MP (Labour)
Tony Dabb (NUT rep)
Alan Docherty (Unison member)
Tony Dowling (membership secretary, Gateshead NUT)
Paula Holland (curriculum manager, Adult Learning Alliance)
Fazia Hussain (Regional Officer, Unite the Union)
Martin Levy (Chair, Northern Region UCU)
Norman Maines (Unite the Union & branch manager, Victim Support)
Barry Purdy (Unite the Union)
Yvonne Ridley (European President, International Muslim Women’s Union)
Rizwan Sheikh (Unison & co-ordinator, Vulnerable Workers Project)
Alex Snowdon (NUT member)
David Stead (Asst Secretary, Tyneview Park PCS)
Nigel Todd (Labour councillor, Newcastle)
Mark Tyers (Unison member)
Alison Whalley (Green Party member)
John Whalley (Green Party member)
Steve Whitley (retired union member)
Katherine M Yarrow (Unison rep)
(All in personal capacity)

And me!

The Sunderland rally on Saturday was great, despite seriously windy weather – but the great music helped “Stand up for your rights!” Lots of people signed the petition and took leaflets about the public meeting this Thursday evening at Sunderland Civic Centre. Sunderland Greens very active in this and going from strength to strength – involved in the Sunderland Welfare Action Group too, which will be another key battleground….

There’ll be another Left Unity stall at the Monument next Saturday 26th too, 1pm.


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