York Stop the Cuts in 300 words

Monday, 16th May 2011 at 11:26 UTC Leave a comment

Thought I’d share this one with you all. I was asked to write 300 words about the group for Coalition of Resistance’ next “broadsheet” about our local group. My first thought was “yes, that’ll be easy”. But its actually really hard to get what we’ve done into 300 words, and I really hope this is an accurate reflection of the group and its activities. My aim was to be pithy and convey something of the range of activities people could be doing locally to them, so its maybe a bit limited in other areas.

Over the last 9 months we’ve built a strong, active and diverse anti-cuts group in York, and helped start issue-specific groups on the NHS and Welfare. We set out to be an inclusive group; we have disabled people, students, trade unionists, retired people, Labour members, Greens, socialists, anarchists, and more. This means people come with a wide range of skills and ideas for how to stop the cuts locally and nationally.

A key way of reaching the public has been through street stalls. We hold regular stalls in the city centre, but we’ve also tried other spaces, mostly local shopping streets away from the bustle of the city centre where the conversation is often more practical. We’ve fliered workplaces, done banner drops at local landmarks and taken a 1400 signature petition to the council against cuts and privatisation of homecare services.

We put a lot of effort into building for March 26th, making sure local unions were organising transport, but also filling 4 coaches of our own – nearly 500 people went from York. We’ve also held local protests to coincide with the national spending review and local council budget, and on city budget night 5 group members climbed on Council Chamber table creating a local YouTube hit! We recently agreed a strategy to push for a General Strike, but its by no means the only tactic we’re working on. We held a Mayday picnic and right now, we’re working with the NHS group on a local “Defend our NHS” march. The nationwide strikes on 30th June are our next focus.

We affiliated to Coalition of Resistance because of its wide range of supporters and the need to be connected nationally; we were already affiliated to Right to Work and have since taken part in UKUncut days of action.

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Entry filed under: Activism, Austerity, York.

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