Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Why are you marching?

On Saturday 26th March thousands of people will take to the streets in an act of opposition to government cuts. Cuts are coming hard and fast - from the voluntary sector to the systematic dismantling of the NHS - in an attempt to divide opposition, fragment dissent and nullify alternatives.

In anticipation of the March for the Alternative we canvassed online opinion from activists on why they are opposing government cuts. Here are some of the responses we received from ordinary folk - we hope you will share your own:
“I am not on the actual march, I am doing the armchair army march instead cos I am disabled. I am 'marching' because the govt is not chasing tax dodgers hard enough, my son and I live in poverty and he needs his EMA so he can get out of poverty and eventually find a job. I am marching for a living wage for my boyfriend who stands at a machine all night long for just above minimum wage. I am marching for people who need help in hospitals, for doctors, for nurses, for teachers, for the armed forces, fire services, other public sector workers and anyone else who is struggling under the reckless behaviour of our banks and financial institutions. I want those people who broke our laws in the financial crash brought to justice, their assets seized and returned to the people.” Clare Jordan

Chris McCabe is marching “for justice and against wars & the banksters’ coup”

“I’ve never been on a march before but I’ll be out on Saturday. I’m disgusted by the cuts to the Film Council and the effect it’ll have on the arts.” Jimmy Burns

“If there’s money in the Treasury reserve for war in Libya, why isn’t there money for public services? That’s why I’m marching.” Trev Fish

“I'm marching because I don't want my children to have to live in the same kind of miserable Tory world I had to endure when I was their age, a life with no prospects, no work and limited access to education. I am a member of the Socialist Party and Northampton Alliance to Defend Services, and was actively involved in the campaign against the Poll Tax under Thatcher when I was my daughter's age (18), and in supporting the miners when I was my son's age (10). My daughter hopes to go to University this September, the first member of my family ever to do so, yet she faces leaving education with a massive debt to cripple her early life. I am also marching for my clients. I am the manager of a Homeless Hostel and my vulnerable clients are having their access to benefits and health services slashed, and their home put at risk. I am also marching in solidarity with those in the middle east and across the world who are rising up against their capitalist oppressors.” Del Pickup
"I am marching on the 26th because I care.
I am appaulled at the current levels of unemployment, especially among young people. The Con/Dem Government's plans to cut public sector job, pay and pensions is unnecessary, cruel, and will ultimately do more harm than good. I am very angry with the absurd levels of tax avoidance, which the millionaire government deliberately turns a blind eye to.

I, along with over 100,000 people, want to show the Government and the big corporations that we will not take cuts to our essential services, privatisation, sale of publicly owned assets, rises in fees and brutal attacks on our trade unions.

I firmly believe that united, we can win against the government, and the March for the Alternative will hopefully earn the workers of Great Britain a place in the history books.
" Ed Stuttard.
Will you be on Saturday's march? Let us know why you will be marching below.


Anonymous said...

Everyone marching on the 26th is massively misguided. The deficit means that there needs to be a reduction in spending to help grow the economy. You can't encourage investment and recovery by spending needlessly. Today's budget shows that.

Labour Left said...

Yeah but as the person says above, if there's money for war then why not for public services? The deficit could quite easily be tackled by increasing revenue rather than cutting spending (i.e. raising tax on the rich, business, banks etc). Why not that?

Solidarity said...

I'm marching to oppose nhs cuts because, once it's gone, I don't think we'll ever be able to get it back

Anonymous said...

A tax on the "rich" will just drive them to other countries in which they will invest. The challenge is creating a progressive system that encourages investment rather than government handouts and higher taxes to fund them.

The NHS isn't being destroyed it's being opened up to more competition so that it isn't as wasteful as it is now. By being a tax payer I have no choice. I have to have choose the NHS however badly it's run.

Dan said...

The Sheffield protest, if you could call it that, only had 4000 protesters. The countryside alliance has more support than that. We'll see how many people turn out on Sat. You'll be lucky to get 20,000 which would be pitiful.

Pete @ Eyes on Power said...

I refute argument that the cuts will aid investment. Businesses need and rely on public services. They need good public transport for employees, good council services as well as well as directly selling and providing services to the public sector.

When you cut the public sector you create a mini recession within that sector. It is disruptive. It does not help grow the economy. It certainly didn't in the 1980s and it wont now.

Carol said...

I'm coming down from Scotland to march in London because I think its important to make the demo as big as possible so the media can't ignore it

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