Scotland United Against Austerity

STUC and Scottish PA announce rally for 20th June

You may have noted from the media, or social media, that on Friday 15th May, the STUC announced that it would be throwing its weight behind, and effectively becoming the key organiser of, a rally in George Square on Saturday 20th June 2015 against austerity.

The event, now entitled, “Scotland United Against Austerity”, will take place on the same day as a number of rallies throughout the UK, organised by the People’s Assembly. A particularly large event is anticipated in London. The event in Glasgow will take the form of a rally and will be taken forward in co-operation with the People’s Assembly in Scotland and the main organisations involved in that coalition. The event explicitly aims to involve a range of organisations opposed to austerity, including those who took positions for Yes and No during the recent referendum. A meeting was held with the People’s Assembly Scotland on Saturday morning and they are supportive of the strategy outlined. Equally, discussions will be taken forward with a range of other civil and campaigning organisations in the days to come.

This decision to hold the rally was taken quickly in the context of fast moving events towards the end of last week. The secretariat was able to confer with a number of, but not all, affiliates in coming to this decision. It was felt that the trade union movement in Scotland was best placed to take a leadership role in the anti-Tory, anti-austerity consensus and swift action was required to ensure that this was the case.

The main focus of the rally will, of course, be to unite opposition to austerity and provide a show of strength in opposition to the Tory Government. You will also have noted the immediate announcement by David Cameron of proposed legislation to further attack trade union freedom. Therefore, it has been agreed that trade union freedom and the need to join a union and get active as clear statement of opposition to austerity will be a key message for the event.

As of Saturday morning a Facebook event has been running (https://www.facebook.com/events/1432486387055800/), over 2000 people responded in the first 24 hours to indicate attendance. We expect the outline details of the event to go live on our websites in the next 24 hours. Further updates will be provided in due course.

Clearly, it is of immense importance that the plurality of the anti-austerity consensus in Scotland is represented on 20th June. An organised trade union presence and trade union banners are particularly important. I would, therefore, be grateful if you would communicate the details of this event through your networks, on websites and through social media.

Yours sincerely

Grahame Smith

General Secretary STUC

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