Over 100 people join Coventry protest against austerity

Over 100 people join Coventry protest against austerity

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Over 100 people marched through Coventry on Wednesday in a protest against the austerity measures announced at the opening of Parliament. The protest, organised by campaign group Youth Fight for Jobs and supported by a number of groups and trade unions, had speakers from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), the People’s Assembly, Coventry City Unison and Coventry TUC.

The march around the City Centre was loud and energetic, with chants of “no ifs, no buts, no public sector cuts” and “if you hate the Tory Party clap your hands”! People were there from a number of different campaigns such as Coventry against the Bedroom Tax, Save the NHS campaigners from 38 Degrees,  workplaces, schools and colleges, as well as a number of people who had travelled from outside the city – from Leamington, Nuneaton and Bedworth. A number of people were on their first protest and a common remark was ‘it is time to do something’.

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The protest was mainly built using social media, with the turnout showing some of the anger people feel at the prospect of “five more damned years” of austerity.

Kris O’Sullivan, president of Coventry Socialist Students, spoke about the importance of solidarity over the next five years of austerity, giving the example of socialist activists and local residents preventing bedroom tax victim Archie Millar from being evicted.

One young woman, Steph, spoke passionately about her experiences of working on a zero-hour contract while trying to study – she was forced to leave her job after having to work 9 hour shifts without a break.

Young people protesting against Tory cuts to their future

Young people protesting against Tory cuts to their future

Speakers  talked about the need for a mass turnout on the People’s Assembly demonstration in London on 20th June – coaches are going from Coventry and everyone should book a place!

One attendee at the Coventry protest, Peter, a retired worker from Holbrooks asked ‘Where are the Labour councillors? They should be here protesting against the Tories!’ It was true, once again local councillors, our representatives were completely absent from a protest against austerity.

TUSC candidate for Sherbourne, Jason Toynbee, closed the rally with a speech about the need to build an alternative to austerity – whether it’s being implemented by Labour or the Tories.

Unison members marching against austerity

Unison members marching against austerity

The point made by Jason and others was key. Austerity is going to be the ‘new normal’. We face the battle of our lives to beat back the attacks that our coming. We need more and bigger protests. It is abundantly clear that the only future that capitalism offers is one of austerity cuts, attacks on working class people and closure of vital services  – whilst the rich continue to make huge profits. We need to fight capitalism – we think the best way to do that is to fight for a different type of system, a socialist society that puts people before profit, our lives before the needs of the super rich. Help us build this movement, it really is time to get involved!

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Why we’re protesting against austerity

Why we’re protesting against austerity

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We asked some of the people supporting the anti-austerity protest in Coventry on Wednesday 27th at 5pm in Broadgate why they believe it is important to take part. The protest has been initiated by Youth Fight for Jobs and has the backing of Coventry TUC, Coventry Unison, and Coventry Peoples Assembly.

Here’s what they said.

Non Frenguelli, an 18 year old school student 

Non Frenguelli

Non Frenguelli

“I’m protesting, not only because of the Tories’ previous privatisations of vital services such as the Post Office and the outsourcing of disability benefits to ATOS whose “fitness-for-work” assessment has wreaked havoc for hundreds of disabled people, but also because of the recent announcement to sell £780million of the NHS to 11 private firms. From recent privatisations of the NHS we have seen that it is inefficient and provides poor treatment for patients, further privatisation will be a disaster for the public. Cameron has promised the world’s first seven day healthcare service but that’s an absolute joke if his current plans for mass privatisation go ahead unhindered. My friends and I will be at the protest to show our anger at the government’s austerity plans and to show solidarity to those who are suffering under his regime.”

Sarah Smith, campaigner against library closures

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

“I’m protesting because Coventry Council wants to close Tile Hill library, Sure Start centre and youth centre, which will rip the heart out of this community. Every library outside the City Centre is threatened with closure – we shouldn’t let them close any!”

Nicky Downes, local teacher and TUSC candidate

Nicky Downes

Nicky Downes

“I will be standing alongside young people and students at the protest on Wednesday in defence of education and city services. This government is blaming teachers and schools through unnecessary testing, slashing budgets and enforcing privatisation through academisation. It is doing nothing to improve the life chances of young people or to end child poverty. We did not vote them in and we will fight back against all cuts to jobs and services.”

Aidan O’Toole, a Coventry Uni student

Aidan protesting at Cov Uni

Aidan protesting at Cov Uni

“I’m supporting the protest because young people didn’t cause this crisis, but we’re paying for it. We’ve had tuition fees trebled, EMA taken away and housing benefit for young people slashed. Most of us can’t get jobs, and the jobs we can get are mostly low paid and on zero-hour contracts. Young people didn’t vote for Cameron’s austerity – but teenagers who can’t even vote are going to suffer because of him.”

The protest is on Wednesday May 27th at 5pm in Broadgate. Please join us and build the fightback against austerity!

We encourage people to attend the massive anti austerity demonstration in London on 20th June organised by the People’s Assembly. There will be transport from Coventry, get in touch to find out more.

To put an end to austerity we will need to build a socialist movement to end capitalism. To help us and to get involved, click here 

Dave Nellist thanks Coventry TUSC voters

Dave Nellist thanks Coventry TUSC voters

Former Labour MP and Socialist councillor Dave Nellist

Former Labour MP and TUSC National Chair Dave Nellist

TUSC’s National Chair and Coventry North West candidate, Dave Nellist, had the letter below published in the Coventry Telegraph.

“Could I use your columns to thank all those people across Coventry and Warwickshire who voted against austerity, and for a socialist alternative, on May 7th.

Candidates from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) received 4388 votes in the Coventry Council elections, and 3052 across the three city parliamentary constituencies. Whilst clearly not yet sufficient to win a seat, given we are a relatively young formation – only 5 years old – we feel well-placed to build in the future. We were also pleased with the warm response we received in Nuneaton, Kenilworth, Rugby and wider Warwickshire.

Thousands of people in our area will now be in fear of the misery that a new majority Tory government will mete out. Swingeing and fast tracked welfare and public spending cuts can be expected in the coming weeks, with even more pressure placed on fire, police and local council services.

A new party with a 100% anti-austerity stance is urgently needed. Trade unions which gave millions of pounds to Labour in the run-up to the election will now be questioning how best to prepare to deal with the attacks of the next 5 years. In my view that should include a serious debate over whether Labour, with its lack of any proper opposition to austerity, is still the best vehicle for the trade union movement.

Hundreds of new supporters have contacted TUSC nationally since Thursday. If you’d like to get involved in the building of a new party feel free to ring me on (024) 7622 9311.”

Do you want to build an anti-austerity party? Fill in the form below!


Socialist campaigns continue after election

Socialist campaigns continue after election

TUSC candidates campaigning in Coventry

TUSC candidates campaigning in Coventry

Socialist candidates and campaigners were out in Coventry City Centre on Saturday continuing the fightback against austerity. We had petitions calling for an end to council cuts, a £10 an hour minimum wage and against parking charges at Walsgrave Hospital.

TUSC candidate for Coventry North East, Nicky Downes, said “Unlike the other parties we don’t stop campaigning on election day – we keep fighting all year round. The fightback against the Tories needs to continue, not wait until the next election!”

Socialist Party members hold campaign stalls every week. If you want to get involved, fill in the form below!

TUSC wins nearly 400 votes in Kenilworth

TUSC wins nearly 400 votes in Kenilworth

Non Frenguelli

Non Frenguelli

The first ever Socialist candidate in Kenilworth has received a fantastic 397 votes in the district and town council elections. Non Frenguelli, an 18 year old school student and Socialist Party member, said she stood because she wanted to give people of Abbey ward in Kenilworth an anti-austerity alternative to the “old Etonians” running the country.

Non was delighted with the result and said “For the first Socialist to ever stand in Kenilworth, I am pleased that we gained hundreds of votes. In the most unexpected of places people are fighting back against Tory austerity and realising there may be a genuine alternative out there. I would like to thank all of those who voted for me in these elections but we will now need to get organised.”

“Young people have been hit hard by austerity policies from both the Tories and Labour – whether they’re in low-paid jobs, on zero-hour contracts, affected by benefit cuts or hit by massive university fees. If you want to fight back, join the Socialist Party and get involved with TUSC!”

Did you vote for TUSC in Kenilworth? Would you like to join the Socialists and/or get involved (in Kenilworth or wherever you live!)? If so, fill in the form below!

Thank you for voting Socialist!

Thank you for voting Socialist!

Vote TUSC!

We’d like to thank all the people across Coventry who voted against austerity and for a socialist alternative yesterday. TUSC candidates received 4388 votes in the council elections and 3052 in the three parliamentary seats – a total of 7440 votes for Socialist candidates.

A full analysis of the election results will follow. TUSC candidates will continue our campaigns against the cuts, and we urge you to get involved!

Did you vote TUSC? Let us know! 

Vote against austerity today – vote TUSC!

Vote against austerity today – vote TUSC!

Vote TUSC!

Vote TUSC!

Voters in Coventry and across the country can vote against austerity, cuts and capitalism today. The mainstream parties and UKIP all think that ordinary people should pay for the crisis that the bosses, the bankers and the super-rich caused. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is the only party that’s 100% against austerity and pledges to vote against all cuts.

Vote for the socialist alternative – vote TUSC!

If you want to help the campaign in Coventry on election day, phone Lenny Shail on 07530429441.

Will you be voting for TUSC? let us know!