UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A sea of purple across the land

Hundreds of thousands hit the streets of London, Glasgow and Belfast yesterday to fight back against austerity. Marching for 'A Future That Works' and a 'Better Fairer Way'. In London the front of the rally was at Hyde Park before the end had left the Victora Embankment. The same in Glasgow where people were still in George Square when the GMB pipe band at the front was entering Glasgow Green.
..The Mirror follows the London March in words and pictures at http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/a-future-that-works-live-blog-from-tuc-1388672   The UNISON story is at http://www.unison.org.uk/20102012/  and http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/oct20/
It was a moment drenched in history in Glasgow as protest returned to its George Square home. A huge Daily Record screen played back moments from history from the rent strikes in 1916 to the UCS work-in and NALGO's Make People Matter campaign of 1987 which led to the union establishing its political fund.

A sea of purple in Glasgow's George Street
In Belfast the ICTU said the rally would "send a message to our MLAs and our MPs from all political parties that we the people are firmly opposed to the failed policy of austerity which destroys lives and futures". http://www.bbc.co.uk/

In London, UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis told the rally "If there is money available to bail out the bankers, there is money available for the NHS and our schools and to get young people back to work.

 "Today we march - tomorrow we march on. We march for decent pay that people can live on. We march to defend the NHS. We march to defend our community services. We march for a future that works.

"To the Tories we say: 'Hands off our public services, they are not yours to destroy'.

"We're told there's no alternative - but there is. The government could have the guts to go back to the banks and say: 'You got us into this mess - you get us out of it'.

"We're not here today for the millionaires - we're here for the millions."

And in Glasgow UNISON Scottish Secretary Mike Kirby said that in the debate on the constitution in Scotland "It’s not enough for those seeking our support to propose that this or that power should be exercised in Holyrood or remain in Westminster."

North West sent a huge contingent to London

He told the crowds on Glasgow Green: "They need to tell us how they believe that power should be used, and in whose interests. And it’s a debate about Social Justice for All.

"Ordinary people are being asked to pay too high a price, Key public services are under attack and politicians need to be told that “enough is enough”... Seventy years of social progress will be lost in a decade of destruction But there is a Better Future that Works."