Building an anti-cuts campaign in Lewisham

28 07 2010

Regular readers will be familiar with the carnage set to be wrought upon Lewisham by Labour mayor Steve ‘Butcher’ Bullock.

£60m in spending cuts over four years, widespread job losses, reductions in children’s services, five libraries closing, and much more besides.

Last night saw the start of a local anti-cuts campaign. Initiated by local trade unions, the Lewisham Anti-Cuts Alliance held a meeting to work out how to fight the local attacks.

Some points and observations from the meeting:

  • direct action will be needed, and campaigners may have to break the law in order to defeat the cuts
  • wide agreement of the need to keep building the campaign throughout August, despite the tendency to label it a ‘dead month’
  • support for the PCS union’s call for a national demonstration against the cuts on October 23rd, which the TUC general council is apparently not keen on
  • the campaign must be broad based and non-sectarian
  • various speakers mentioned the need to promote an alternative to the cuts agenda
  • attendance was about 30, mainly trade union activists and members of socialist parties, and there was hostility to the idea of working with Labour politicians
  • despite the presence of different socialist groups, there was no evidence of sectarianism – open debate, but not sectarianism
  • not many young people (even defined as those under 30) were in attendance

After the meeting four of us briefly debated whether it was better to refer to Lewisham’s esteemed mayor as Butcher Bullock, or simply liken his surname to a testicle. I can’t remember what we agreed.

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