Star date: 27th March 2011 


"I believe in standing up for what you believe in" Fran

Coaches from all over Salford landed in London yesterday to join over 400,000 people marching against the ConDem Government cuts.

Salford Star took the Salford Against The Cuts coach, and followed our own trade unionists and activists throughout the day.

See our report by clicking here – and find out why posh food palace Fortnum and Mason was attacked…

Salford Marches For The Alternative Salford Marches For The Alternative Salford Marches For The Alternative
Salford Marches For The Alternative Salford Marches For The Alternative Salford Marches For The Alternative
Salford Marches For The Alternative Salford Marches For The Alternative Salford Marches For The Alternative
Salford Marches For The Alternative Salford Marches For The Alternative Salford Marches For The Alternative
Salford Marches For The Alternative Salford Marches For The Alternative Salford Marches For The Alternative
Salford Marches For The Alternative Salford Marches For The Alternative Salford Marches For The Alternative
Salford Marches For The Alternative Salford Marches For The Alternative
click image to enlarge

Why was Fortnum and Mason attacked by activists yesterday?
Because proper tea is theft!

It's the top joke doing the rounds of Facebook and stuff today, after the toff's food shop was occupied by splinter groups from the huge demo that took over London yesterday.

But the cuts being imposed by the ConDem Government are no joke. And that's why hundreds of people from Salford joined 400,000 trade unionists, community groups, students and activists who came from all over the country and beyond for yesterday's March For The Alternative.

The Salford Against The Cuts coach left Salford Precinct at 6:30am but even at that time of the morning people were passionate about the impending day, and why they had got up before the birds, determined to make their presence felt on the streets of London.

Fran has recently lost her job in the courts services with sections farmed out to the private sector…

"If you're over 50 they want you out, you're too dear, and I've got no chance of getting another job" she says "I believe in standing up for what you believe in, that's why I'm here."

Mark works for a youth organisation…

"I've come because of the annihilation of public services, they're being dismantled" he says "There's massive cuts across the board and I think it's completely morally wrong."

Helen, sitting next to him adds "I work for Connexions that's why I've got involved but I don't agree with any of the cuts."

Her words are echoed by rapper Aslan AK, from Claremont…

"I'm here because I think it's absolutely disgusting that the ConDems are imposing cuts, especially when banks get a bail out and people who were absolutely nothing to do with the recession have to pay for it" he says "I'm here to voice my discontent." 

And Salford student, David Brooks, adds: "I've come because I'm opposed to all cutbacks, and they will affect the poorest people in society especially in a city like Salford which has suffered so much in my lifetime especially. This is their crisis not ours and they should pay for it, not take away my mother and father's bus pass or increase tuition fees."

The Salford coach joins hundreds of others on the motorways leading to London. It's a party atmosphere that continues when the Salford crew finally arrive just after midday and take to the streets with the House of Commons starting point in sight.

The noise is deafening, the colourful protestors are everywhere and the power is palpable. Thousands upon thousands, upon thousands of people – every one with a story to tell, a banner that screams and a flag to fly. Air horns blare, whistles screech, bands dance and, at this point, the police smile. There's no beginning to the procession, no end, just a huge carnival exploding through the landmarks of the British establishment detonating its `No Cuts' message…

Past Parliament, past a heavily fortified Downing Street, through Whitehall and on to Trafalgar Square - where Keith, from Salford Against The Cuts, jumps on a lion, leading chants of `The people united will never be defeated!'.

The rest of the Salford contingent continue on the march up through Piccadilly Circus, past The Ritz, via Marble Arch and onwards to Hyde Park. En route there's a protesting gorilla, a cardboard `War On Cuts' tank and a specially made jail for bankers. Meanwhile, every monument is draped in banners and protestors. No-one feels the need to be angry or to smash anything up. Everyone's just enjoying the moment – moments like this have been so rare over the past decade.

By the time our section of the march reaches Hyde Park, Ed Miliband has already been on stage, and Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC, has made his speech, sent to us the day before…

"Let's be brutally clear about these brutal cuts, they're going to cost jobs on a huge scale – adding to the misery of the 2.5 million people already on the dole" he said "They're going to hammer crucial services that bind our communities together. And they're going to hit the poorest and the most vulnerable hardest. Anyone who tells you different is a bare-faced liar.
"The government claims there is no alternative. But there is" he concluded "Let's keep people in work and get our economy growing. Let's get tax revenues flowing and tackle the tax cheats. And let's have a Robin Hood Tax on the banks, so they pay us back for the mess they caused."

We do get there in time hear great speeches by Unite General Secretary, Len McCluskey, and PCS General Secretary, Mark Serwotka, who tell us that today is just the start…to go back to our communities and defend services and fight job losses.

At the far end of the park, the National Shop Stewards Network has its own stage where Salford's Paul Gerrard is giving a rousing speech. And all over the park we bump into students and lecturers and trade unionists who have come down in their own coaches from Salford. 

Incredibly, when we finally leave Hyde Park at 4:30pm, a full four hours after the march set off, there's still thousands of people arriving, with no sign of the end of the procession. The scale of opposition to the ConDems isn't frightening, it's empowering.

We head down to a pub where the tv news has the march as the main story. And watch the splinter groups perform their masked attacks on The Ritz and the banks as the media sideshow that captures the headlines.

But the other 399,800 people didn't need to wear masks – this was an open show of defiance, a carnival against the cuts. A brick though a bank window might be fun, we ponder, but it ain't going to change anything. It's in our communities where opposition will be at the sharp end.

"I think the cuts will ravage Salford in pretty much every possible way as we've got some of the most vulnerable areas" says Salford Against The Cuts campaigner, Paul Jackson "I think that it's nice to see all these people from Salford coming together over the past few months, and carrying on moving forward, not just today but in the future.

"We all have a role to play in letting the Government know that the people of Salford will stand up with everywhere else in the country and say that we are vehemently against the cuts."

The coach arrives back at Salford Precinct well after midnight, with everyone agreeing the day has been brilliant – but the fight has only just begun…






Davey Foye wrote
at 14:33:45 on 12 April 2011
Davey Boy wrote
at 06:51:23 on 07 April 2011
Why the silence from the TUC ?Have they been paid off ?whilst we sit about doing nothing , the tory bastards are winning .
Jason wrote
at 17:51:23 on 06 April 2011
What happened to the fightback . The toryscum are pushing this country back 100 years , and we are letting them
Ed wrote
at 13:53:59 on 06 April 2011
So what happened to the fightback .Have the organisers colluded with the authorities so soon ?
EX Miner wrote
at 18:50:11 on 02 April 2011
When is the fight back being accelerated ? Surely the TUC have not sold the workers out already , as they did during the Miners Strike .
Lynn Cullimore wrote
at 15:44:06 on 31 March 2011
For any of you who are still thinking that government debt is a terrible thing and that the last labour government bankrupted the country, read Johann Hari's blog article. For 200 of the past 250 years, this country has had a bigger national debt as a proportion of GDP than we had last year. So why is it a crisis now? Because the Tories say so. Keynesian economics was proved right during the US Depression - when people are not spending much and saving more due to a recession, this is when the Government has to spend more. It worked then, it'll work now. Go read Johann Hari, check his sources, do the research yourself, don't take any politician's statements at face value. http://www.johannhari.com/
dave wrote
at 17:47:12 on 28 March 2011
Yes, we all believe in the money tree. It is called Q.E. and printed by B.O.E. This is the sham society we all wallow in , to our detriment and damnation .
Alice Searle wrote
at 17:46:56 on 28 March 2011
Sorry I wasn't with you on the 'Salford against the Cuts' coach. Went the day before because, unlike some of you, I was afraid I would over-sleep! However, I was there at the start and at the end and watched the 'Uk Uncut' folk take over the Posh Shop. Actually no damage was done at all in the store but an important statement was being made by 'UK Uncut' that, 'while some rich folk can afford their caviar and champange, others are counting the change for the milk!' This store was chosen because 54% of it is owned by Associated British Foods, whose owner has avoided £40m of tax! This is also why Vodacom was targetted by 'UK Uncut.' Stopping these massive avoidance of taxes is one of the alternatives suggested to what we are being asked to do to our public services. As for the banks being attacked. Need we explain that!! I was so proud to be on the Protest. It showed the solidarity of workers and our determination NOT to accept this idealogical unmantling of our Welfare State. Remember what Shelley said. 'Ye are many-they are few.'
Betrayed worker wrote
at 09:47:15 on 28 March 2011
This demo is just the start . Already Cable is spouting crap about the 'government listening but not altering policy'. Fine.Then we'll be back to smash the corrupt , evil,exploitive system . Smash the Government , local councils, illegal taxes,corrupt laws ,oppressors and exploiters .The Rioters showed the way forward , not a stroll round Hyde Park to listen to garbage-spouters .The Sheeple are fighting back , and it's the turn of the Oppressors to be crushed in the gutter.
Albert wrote
at 21:18:00 on 27 March 2011
Mark, if you actually understood "Money" you would know that it's ENTIRELY fictitious and the Governament can indeed make as much of it as they wish! (Quantative Easing anyone?) The WHOLE THING is a scam to oppress the lower eschelons of society. So is "Global Warming" or Gullibilty Tax as it's know in Government! WAKE UP SHEEPLE!
Mark Armstrong wrote
at 19:49:51 on 27 March 2011
Do you all believe that there is a money tree that the government just has to shake to produce additional funds? To little private sector income supporting to much public service outgoings, its no sustainable and you are all living under some labour delivered illusion that it is. The mathematics behind it all are quite simple and the requirement to cut expenditure is very obvious and yet you fail to realise it.
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