Calderdale People's Assembly says "No to Austerity' at the national march in London
Members of Calderdale People’s Assembly were among the fifty thousand people who marched in London last weekend against the swingeing cuts imposed on the most vulnerable people in society by the coalition government, in a demonstration organised by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity.
Calderdale People’s assembly are clear about the impact the ‘austerity’ agenda is having in our area, including the government’s Bedroom Tax, benefit cuts, reductions in standards of living, increase in food banks, no pay rises for workers, and a serious threat to the Halifax A&E.
People from all over the UK - young, old, trade unionists and community groups - gathered outside the BBC in Portland Place on Saturday 21st June, and marched through the heart of the capital to Parliament Square. They heard speakers, including the comedian Russell Brand, condemn tax cuts for the rich, tax evasion, spending on weapons and war, and privatisation, while ordinary people experienced attacks on their living standards and vital services, such as health, education, housing and disability support.
Speaker after speaker pointed out that the ‘austerity’ agenda pushed by the political elite and their friends in the media was a fig leaf to attack hard-won workers’ conditions and rights that had been achieved over centuries of struggle. Owen Jones reminded people that Britain has the sixth biggest economy in the world; yet the government is deliberately choosing to attack working people and the poor, while finding the money to replace Trident, handouts to the banks and tax breaks fro the wealthy and big business, while opening up education, housing and the health service for private profit.
Like the 50,000- strong march in Manchester last September, where the Tories were having their conference, the London demonstration was largely ignored by the national media (the Guardian and Independent gave it coverage), who are colluding in the ‘we have no choice but to make cuts’ narrative currently being pushed by all the main political parties. This was despite the march deliberately assembling under the noses of BBC staff outside their offices. By the standards of any journalistic criteria, this was an event that was worthy of coverage. The BBC is failing in its duty to be impartial, and appears to be bowing to political pressure. If you are angry by the media blackout, please contact media outlets, especially the BBC, to complain.
In addition, please sign the 38 degrees petition protesting about the lack of BBC coverage on austerity.
Action will continue, with big unions such as the NUT and PCS organizing for strikes in July.
The Calderdale People’s Assembly meets monthly in Halifax at The Last Drop Inn on Bull Green on the third Monday of each month at 7.30pm, and all are welcome.