The People’s Assembly held a Press Conference last Thursday (4th June) for the 20 June national demonstration.
Speaking on the panel were: Rachel Maskell - Newly elected Labour MP for York Central, Steve Turner - Assistant General Secretary, Unite the Union, Sam Fairbairn - National Secretary, The People's Assembly, Charlotte Church - Singer and Activist and Amelia Womack - Deputy leader of the Green Party.
We held this Press Conference to highlight the importance of the National Anti Austerity Demonstration on the 20 June and to challenge the policies and legislation carried in the Queen’s Speech to Parliament on Wednesday 27 May.
Steve Turner said “Unite is incredibly proud to be associated with the People’s assembly since it’s formation less than two years ago. The vast majority of unions throughout the country are involved with the People’s Assembly. We are proud not only to be involved directly with the People’s assembly but we are very proud to be mobilising our members for the June Demo.
This Demonstration will be fantastic, it will be the largest Demonstration we have seen on our streets for many, many years. The People’s Assembly is the broadest coalition against the most vicious and destructive attacks we will see against our communities. Austerity has failed economically as well as politically.”
He also went on to say “ working people in this country have seen a shrinking in living standards that hasn't been seen since Queen Victoria was on the Throne”
Next to speak was Amelia Womack. “It is our duty to stand up and join the Demonstration on the 20th of June. The main objective of this government is to undermine our rights through cuts.
We need to protect communities and services on which we depend. It is time to strengthen the voice against this immoral government's agenda. The biggest lie being told is that the cuts are inevitable and yet here we stand as the People’s Assembly showing that there are big radical solutions. Right now radical solutions are rational ones.”
“This is our time, a generation to prove that things can be done differently. We need to work together and shake up our political landscape, the time for change is now, we need to go out on June 20th no matter who you are, who you voted for or whatever political party you are affiliated to.”
Newly elected Labour MP for Central York said “ Some things are bigger than politics and that is people's lives. That is what this movement, that is being built right across the country, is about. It’s a movement about bringing change to the country and ensuring that the people have a voice. That is why the demo on the 20th of June is absolutely vital for allowing voice from all over the country to be heard.”
She went on to say “They want to take our NHS and we can expect it to be thrown onto the market place over the next 5 years where the vultures will come and take those services making profit out of the sick and there is nothing to stop that happening except for the will of people.”
Next to speak was singer, activist and People’s Assembly supporter Charlotte Church. Charlotte said “I feel that the public is being misled and being misinformed and I think that is unfair and unacceptable.”
She continued “A lot of the time when we think about the Welfare State we think about the most vulnerable in society who receive benefits but the Welfare State is everything, it’s our Fire Service, it’s our travel, it’s our education and we will all be affected by the cuts. As soon as people realise the extent of it and that it is going to pretty much impact all of us, they will be a lot more angrier and a lot more discontent. I urge everyone to get on the 20 June demo. Come down have some fun, educate yourself.”
Sam Fairbairn, National Secretary of The People’s Assembly said “Austerity has created nothing but suffering for the majority of people while at the same time the richest in society have doubled their wealth since the recession hit.
Sam went on to say “This government thinks because it has a small majority in Parliament that is a mandate for dictatorial rule over the next 5 years without opposition. The point of this national demonstration is to kick start that opposition. It is to start an opposition to austerity and what this government are planning on doing. This demo is just the start of a Nationwide campaign.”
Here are some of the News reports that followed:
Daily Mail (believe it or not!)