Sunday, March 29, 2009

Put People First - what next?

Tired children and a very heavy banner combined to provide an excuse for myself and a couple of other comrades to leave fairly early from the excellent People Not Profit demonstration yesterday in Central London. It was great to be there though!

This was a consciously anti-capitalist protest, and was matched by protests elsewhere in Europe. As Le Monde points out the demands of yesterday’s demonstration were wide-ranging. Not only does this differentiate the demonstration from most mass London demonstrations which are generally built around a single unifying demand, it also demonstrates that the supporters of the demonstration are – in effect – already supporting the, if anything less ambitious, demands expressed in the recently launched Peoples Charter.

The alliance which was built around yesterday’s demonstration has an obligation to continue to work together in the face of an economic crisis which has barely begun to inflict its damage upon our communities, jobs and pensions. We have to seize this moment, when the prophets of free market liberalism have been widely discredited, to articulate an alternative which reflects the interests of working people.

As some UNISON activists were saying in today’s Observer, trade unionists also need to prepare ourselves to take whatever action is necessary to protect ourselves from the coming attacks. The alliances built for yesterday's demonstration will be invaluable - and the Peoples Charter may be a useful tool with which to work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

lots of ordinary members
UNISON delegation looked good

and leafleting,paper sellers better behaved

which was nice to see