4pm – 6pm
Saturday 16th March
Dickens Conference Suite at the Birmingham & Midlands Institute Margaret street (next to the council house).
The cuts are an undemocratic imposition; they are resulting in a massive slashing of social services across Birmingham. These cuts represent an assault on people’s jobs, livelihoods and freedoms to live their lives happily, uninhibited by poverty. They amount to £102m in total this year, and year-on-year, reaching £625m by 2016/17; These cuts were be voted through at a special council meeting Tuesday 26th of February.
IN RESPONSE WE ARE CALLING AN ANTI-CUTS CONFERENCE ON SATURDAY 16th MARCH.
Not only must we fight these cuts on the ground service by service over the next year with a view to defeat them, but we must also organise across the city on other issues. The bedroom tax will soon be hitting families hard. Poll tax unions and non-payment campaigns in the 1990s helped derail the poll tax – something similar could be organised now.
Over the last year determined local campaigns have stopped cuts that appeared to be a foregone conclusion. West-Heath school was stopped from becoming an academy. The Charles House Respite Centre for disabled children was saved. The Merrishaw Nursery was re-opened. There is no reason why this cannot be done again and more successfully this next year.
Since the last cross-Birmingham meeting on January 16th, campaigns have been springing up in a number of wards across the city. They have successfully taken over the political agenda on several occasions. Citizens have joined together in occupying the council house on the day when the Labour group agreed to vote through the cuts, seizing the headlines for a day.
East Birmingham Against the Cuts has formed and started holding events & stalls [join their group here, also please add East Birmingham contacts http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbhamagainsthecuts/?fref=ts%5D.
Communities Against the Cuts operating in South-West Birmingham has been holding ever bigger meetings and its Facebook group has doubled in size [join here http://www.facebook.com/groups/391962750884669/ ].
New contacts from West and North Birmingham have expressed interest in forming new groups.
At this meeting we aim to continue building a cross-city structure that facilitates a collaboration between groups and districts, and enables a network of strong, fighting campaigns.
We want this meeting to be well-organised, structured and productive. As such we are asking that motions and proposals are submitted to the conference three days in advance of the meeting.
Meeting agenda to be released shortly.
Also on the 16th:
1pm, Bedroom Tax protest – Victoria Square – Facebook event
national Councillors Against The Cuts Meeting, which runs until 4pm. Attendance of both events is encouraged.