19 June 2013
We need a strategy to beat the Tories
Today’s People’s Assembly provides us all with the chance to debate the way forward in the battle against austerity. We urgently need that debate.
The Tory assault on working class people is gathering pace. Our public services are being destroyed, jobs lost, benefits cut and wages driven down.
Increasingly claimants and migrant workers are being scapegoated for the economic mess, not the bankers and politicians who are to blame.
The Cameron government wants to make us pay for the crisis. We face the fight of our lives to turn things around.
Every mainstream party is signed up to the cuts agenda. We are faced with a choice between the Tories’ austerity and Ed Miliband’s “austerity-lite”.
The assembly statement outlines plans for a mass protest in November and for a day of direct action. That’s a good start. It’s clear we need to build the resistance against this government at every level.
The Tory party conference starts in Manchester on Sunday 29 September.
Unite the Resistance took the first steps to organise a demonstration there. Now major unions are calling for a protest at the conference to defend the NHS. Bedroom tax and benefits justice campaigners who have been organising across Britain have called for people to join a protest at the Tory conference too.
We should demonstrate at the Tory conference in our tens of thousands.
But we also need strikes to defend services, jobs, pay and pensions. On 30 November 2011 2.5 million workers took strike action to defend pensions. It showed the potential power that the unions have to derail the Tories. But the chance to break the Con-Dem coalition was wasted.
Since then the TUC has consulted members on the “practicalities” of a general strike.
This call was backed by the TUC congress and has been endorsed by trade union leaders like the PCS’s Mark Serwotka and Unite’s Len McCluskey.
We urgently need the talk about strikes to be turned into action.
Next week tens of thousands of teachers will strike in the North West of England. Teachers are set to take more regional and national strike action in the autumn. We need to back those strikes. But we need the unions to come together and build a campaign of co-ordinated action across the public and private sector that can stop the attacks we face.
The economic crisis dominates the lives of billions of people across the globe. Austerity is the only answer our rulers have. But the attacks on ordinary people are leading to mass resistance. Just look at the mass protests and strikes in Greece and Turkey over recent weeks.
It’s time to build that scale of resistance here. That means a campaign of direct action, mass protests and strikes that can put an end to austerity for good.