Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Anti-cuts coalition holds in south east London

Trades unionists in Southwark, south east London, will protest outside the town hall tonight – to urge the newly elected Labour council not to implement Tory cuts.
Activists from the Southwark Save Our Services (SSOS) group have been leafleting in recent weeks in Bermondsey, Camberwell, Dulwich, Elephant and Castle, and Peckham.
They’ve supported students protesting about big price rises for adult education classes in the borough, and against the closure of the language school at London South Bank University.
The campaign was instigated by Southwark Trade Union Council – the umbrella body for unions in the area.
It has brought together activists from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), National Union of Teachers (NUT), the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), Unison, Unite, and the University and Colleges Union (UCU).
Those involved have worked hard to stay united after the anti-cuts movement in neighbouring Lambeth was torn asunder by splits between rival left groups.
Tonight Southwark council will meet to discuss its budget in the wake of the government’s spending announcement.
A delegation of trades unionists will meet representatives of the ruling Labour group- who took control in May's election - and urge them to put people in Southwark before the spurious need to cut the deficit.
The lobby of the council starts at 6pm tonight - October 20 - outside the town hall on Peckham Road, London, SE5 8UB.
Tomorrow - October 21 - there is a meeting to organise the next stage of the campaign, at which a convenor will be elected. Everyone who lives or works in Southwark is welcome. It's at 7pm in room A3, London South Bank University, London Road, SE1 6LN.
There will be a SSOS public meeting on Thursday November 4, at 7pm in the Salvation Army Hall, Elephant and Castle.
I've been involved in Southwark SOS and was delighted to learn that between 100 and 150 people attended tonight's protest - which is brilliant on a freezing night.
I'm very pleased we have held everyone together and have some words for my friends in small left organisations.
If someone in another small left organisation does something that annoys you, think of your obligations to the wider trade union movement. Bite your lip and carry on - don't go off and form a rival campaign.
Until the latter becomes the default position we will rarely win.
In Southwark - so far - it has been.

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to thank everyone who attended the protest yesterday. It marks the start of a campign which needs to build towards Council budget setting in Feb/March 2011. After that we'll be working hard to prevent redundancies etc. If you wish to join in the campaign see the SSOS website and or course if your TU isn't already affiliated to Southwark Trades Union Council please ask your branch committee to do so

    Sue Plain Secretary STUC