Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Resistance is fertile

The spirit of the many thousands of young people who have today protested against the ConDems is an inspiration and a challenge to the organised working class.

I was moved at lunchtime today by the spontaneous enthusiasm of students at Lambeth College to sign up to a petition against the truly savage cut that will take away the EMA.

That a Cabinet with a majority of millionaires can take from teenagers from low income households the thirty quid a week that helps them stay in education tells you more than you ever wanted to know about the nature of this hideous Coalition.

We must of course build towards a million strong demonstration on 26 March, but in the mean time we must learn from the example of the young people who have turned anger into action up and down the country.

This means we must reject the counsel of those who would "march in March and not before" - we must lobby before breakfast, protest before lunch, organise before tea and agitate before supper. The Welfare State our grandparents bequeathed us is at risk - and if we wish to be able to look our grandchildren in their eyes we must now turn every effort to its defence.

I have just left a freezing Parliament Square where I have watched the Met Police unlawfully kettling two thousand mostly young people in Whitehall. I saw police officers prevent a Member of Parliament from going down Whitehall to see what was going on.

Some damage may have been done in Central London - but that is nothing to the damage being done to our public services. If they will kettle kids to try to contain our protests we need to raise the temperature and bring things to the boil.

Respect is due to the trade unionists kettled in there with them, who include the General Secretary of the CWU and the Assistant Branch Secretaries of Lambeth UNISON.

Kettles can only be so big. There are so many of us. We have the power to defeat the Government. We need our leaders to rise to this challenge. We also need warmer coats and more layers...

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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