Archive for January, 2011

The Community Unites to Defend Council Jobs!

January 19, 2011

Over 300 trade unionists, students and community organisers marched through the centre of Portsmouth on Saturday in support of city council workers who face losing their jobs as the government’s cuts agenda begins to bite.

The march, organised by Portsmouth Against the Cuts Together (PACT) began at the University Library before passing through the centre of town and ending with a rally outside the city’s civic offices.

“We are marching in solidarity with the 400 council workers who face losing their jobs is a direct result of the government’s austerity plans,” Socialist Party member Andy Waterman told BBC radio. “Students in this city are already fighting to defend their education and the crucial thing now is to unite these two movements to defeat the cuts.”

PACT has called a lobby of the Council’s budget setting meeting at 1.30pm on the 8th February at the Civic offices where campaigners will demand that councillors refuse to vote for cuts passed down by central government.

While the march, the first large event organised by PACT since its official launch in late November, was a success it is clear that marching and lobbying alone will not defeat these cuts.

PACT is a community group supported by the Trades Council with a clear mandate to oppose all cuts.  To develop the campaign PACT must work alongside the city’s trade union members, particularly council workers, to support a strategy of industrial action.

PACTs strength is its ability to unite the local anti-cuts movement under a clear banner against all cuts. Yet as the May elections draws nearer it must be made clear that the anti-cuts movement is not simply a proxy support group for the pro-cuts Labour Party, it is a campaign for uniting working people, students and pensioners to defeat the cuts and save our community.

Tottenham Fans: Defend Your Club!

January 17, 2011

The latest plans by Tottenham Hotspur owners to move the club to the new Olympic stadium in Stratford are nothing but a further attempt by billionaire owners to take football away from the supporters in the name of profit.

 Football clubs, with their historic roots in the working class, can be a genuine focal point for a community. A match is one of the few times in modern society that thousands of working people can unite together under a common banner to support their team, not only as a release from everyday life, but as an expression of community unity.  

Last year Portsmouth FC, ravaged by financial ineptitude and profiteering by the owners, was facing administration and a winding up order from HM Revenue. The fans were faced with not only losing their club, but losing the name, the community heritage it represented and Fratton Park itself. This was resisted by grassroots campaign run by supporters, including members of the Socialist Party.

Portsmouth fans had to fight to save the club because the community were being forced to pay for the crisis of the owners. Now Tottenham fans are facing the same prospect thanks to the owner’s greed.

Before their team become Stratford FC, Tottenham fans must join the growing number of football supporters across the country who are realising that their game can and must be reclaimed.

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