by New Worker correspondent
MORE than 100 protesters gathered outside Southwark Town Hall in south London last Tuesday night to tell Southwark Labour council: “Stand with us; Don’t do Tories’ dirty work; make the rich pay!”
They were lobbying a full meeting of the council that was set to implement cuts imposed by the Con-Dem government.
The protest was organised by Southwark Save Our Services and the Coalition of Resistance, who warned: “If the council push this budget through we will get: 580 vital council jobs cut including housing, children’s services, health and more.
“Early years centres cut; youth services cut; Orient St Respire Home cut; play schemes cut temporary accommodation cut; housing repairs, emergency furniture, hostels cut older and disabled people’s support services cut; day centres cut …” The list went on a long way.
At the rally outside the Town Hall Sue Cane from the local trades council spoke of the promises the Labour councillors had made during the election when they took control of the borough from the Liberal democrats to protect the jobs, wages and conditions of all their workers.
Tracy Edwards from the PCS civil service union spoke of billions of pounds in tax that the banks and other big businesses – who were rescued two years ago from economic collapse by taxpayers’ bail-outs – are avoiding paying by the use of tax havens and other measures.
And Tony Parsons of Southwark Pensioners’ Action called for more people to get involved in the fight against the cuts.
AROUND 1000 people defied the rain last Saturday to take part in a Carnival of the Cuts. The protests began in the morning with groups with placards, megaphones and leaflets outside various libraries, unemployed centres, children’s centres and other places threatened by the cuts.
At 1pm the protestors made their way to Lewisham Town Hall where they assembled for a noisy and colourful march through the High Street to Lewisham Library.
Earlier in the week protesters had occupied New Cross library, which is threatened with closure.