‘WE ARE DETERMINED TO DEFEAT THE COALITION!’ – says Campaign Against Cuts & Fees

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Youth and students in their tens of thousands marched for free education and to defend the EMA last November
Youth and students in their tens of thousands marched for free education and to defend the EMA last November

‘We are determined to proceed with our march today and defeat the government’, said the National Campaign Against Cuts and Fees (NCACF).

The Committee added: ‘Far from viewing last year’s student revolt as a failure, we are determined to block the cuts and privatisation agenda before it becomes a reality, and build a sustainable movement to defeat the government.

Monday’s announcement that the Metropolitan police may use baton rounds – similar to rubber bullets – on student demonstrators has reinforced the disenfranchisement of those planning to march: not only is our future being dismantled, but we will be violently repressed when we attempt to defend it.

‘In using a press conference to ramp up the threat of violence, the police are pre-criminalising protest, making unrest more likely in the process.

‘The fundamentalism of the policies being pushed by the Tories, and echoed in police tactics, is rooted in desperation of the material collapse of global capitalism – and the scope of reform runs much further than the darkest years of Thatcherism.

‘The coalition’s marketisation of education and health; its criminalisation of squatting; its dismantling of youth work – all can be viewed as a completion of the Thatcher-Blair years.

‘It has become clear to ordinary people that the political elite has run out of ideas and its agenda is born of desperation.

‘It is in this context that movements of resistance, including the students, are appearing so dramatically and with such public support.’

The campaign added: ‘Either you believe in public services or you don’t – and the challenge of defending education has become the challenge of defending the concept of the welfare state.’

The Campaign concluded: ‘All that is left to students and young people is to fight against this government – and to link our actions to the struggles of ordinary working people everywhere.

‘The period from November 9th to the TUC day of action on November 30 may yet be remembered as the phase of resistance that began to break the government’s agenda.’

l Electricians and other construction workers from all over Britain are holding a National Day of Protest against a 35 per cent wage-cutting, union-busting onslaught by a cartel of eight major construction privateers who have declared that they intend to tear up the long-standing Joint Industry Board (JIB) Agreement.

They are assembling at 7.00am at the Pinnacle building site, Bishopsgate near Liverpool Street in the City.

Then there will be a march to the Shard, London Bridge, where Unite is calling on members to assemble at 11.00am, followed by a rally at the huge Balfour Beatty Blackfriars Station building site 1pm-1.30pm.

This will be followed by a march down the Embankment to the House of Commons for a lobby of parliament.

London rank & file sparks have addressed their call to ‘Sparks, brickies, chippies, plumbers, scaffolders, H&V, groundworkers, spreads, labourers . . . .’

It continues: ‘The big electrical firms want to cut our wages by 35 per cent – We are going to fight this all the way.

‘We intend to shut down big building sites in London on November 9th – come and join us.’