Below is a report of the Anti-Cuts Public Meeting held in Scunthorpe last week.
Thank you to Martin Coposon for sending the report as I could not attend due to me being in London at a Unite National Metals Meeting
Around 50 people attended the 'North Lincs Against the Cuts' meeting in Scunthorpe hosted by the local Coalition of Resistance group. The audience included a broad spectrum of political groups,public sector workers, trade unionists and members of the public. Speakers at the meeting included Cllr Mark Kirk, the leader of North Lincs council, who told the meeting about his personal experience of the public sector and his opposition to the cuts. However, when questioned about whether he would take a stand on the council against cuts, Cllr Kirk said he would do his best to minimise the effects of the cuts but had to implement them none the less.
Paul Holmes, Kirklees Unison Branch Sec, told the meeting that the richest 1000 people in the country increased their personal wealth by £77bn last year alone. this statistic becomes even more relevant when counterpoised to the £83bn of savings the government plans to make over the next 4 years. Paul said that this shows that there are people who can pay and who should be made to pay.
Martin Deane of Hull Green party also put forward alternative ways of cutting the deficit including cracking down on tax loopholes and cancelling Trident.
Other speakers included Dot Gibson of the National Pensioners Forum who stated that she had felt the hope after the second world war that a society could be built based on the ideas of solidarity and a common interest, and that all of the gains made since are at stake as a results of the austerity program.
The undoubted star of the show was local sixth form student Max Bell who put the case against tuition fees and in defence of EMA passionately and eloquently. Max highlighted the hypocrisy of politicians who benefited from free, high quality education telling the next generation that they must come out of university with debt the size of a mortgage.
Everyone went away buoyed up for the ongoing struggle against the government's program of cuts, privatisation and wealth distribution from the poor to the rich.
The next coalition of Resistance organising meeting will take place on Tuesday 1st February at the Highfield House pub in Scunthorpe at 7.30pm.