Some 130,000 marched in London on 20 October against government policies, according to the Trades Union Congress.
POSTAL WORKERS, firefighters, nurses, transport workers, prison officers, teachers, civil servants and many other trade unionists gathered across Britain and Northern Ireland on Saturday 20 October to march against the government’s brutal economic policies. The TUC estimated 130,000 in London (even the police said 100,000), 5,000 in Glasgow and 1,000 in Belfast – all showing visible anger and rejection of a ruling Coalition whose policy is for huge enrichment for the few and impoverishment of the vast majority, what they laughably call “austerity”.
The many home-made banners expressed the marchers’ feelings: “Cameron has butchered Britain” and “Plebs against Toffs”. As the London march passed Downing Street there was a great chorus of booing, echoing that which greeted George Osborne during a Paralympic stadium medal ceremony on 4 September. Ed Miliband was also booed, at the rally in Hyde Park in London, when he admitted that Labour might tinker but not change the “cuts” (actually slash and burn) strategy of the present government.
There were the usual calls for a “general strike now” from some, without acknowledging that a coordinated act of industrial action has to be based on actual action in the workplace and sector. It was noticeable that some unions had achieved a significant turnout of their members at the London march, whereas some other unions were less successful. There is a great deal of work to be done. ■