Campaigners protest as Labour Cuts Budget is approved

A large and noisy protest greeted councillors as they arrived for Tuesdays budget setting meeting. Campaigners from Birmingham against the Cuts, Communities against the Cuts, Disabled People against the Cuts, Black Activists Rising against the Cuts, Benefit Justice Campaign, Handsworth against the Cuts, and Friends of the Libraries of Birmingham were joined by UNISON and UNITE activists, and delegations from local campaigns over Laurel Road leisure centre, Tiverton Road baths, Moseley Road baths, and Spring Hill Library.
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Speakers condemned the £85 million cuts as being targeted at all the most vulnerable groups in the city, the jobless, the young, the old and the disabled, contrary to Albert Bore’s promise to protect them.
The privatisation of adult services will leave both users and care workers at the mercy of unscrupulous private providers. The replacement of many trained workers with volunteers will leave users with a less reliable and inferior service.
Mark Jastrzenski from the Spring Hill library campaign stressed that the voluntary sector was already at full stretch and could not take on the role of full time trained staff.
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Robert Brenchley from the Benefit Justice Campaign said that it was a scandal that even as the Bedroom Tax collapses Birmingham City Council still refuses to reclassify rooms or promise no evictions for bedroom tax arrears. A fight back would require building new organisations to challenge the austerity policies of the three main parties.
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Godfrey Webster from BATC said that faced with another £200 million cut next year the only sensible choice for the council was to call a halt to cuts, set a deficit budget, organise a mass campaign with all the other big industrial cities, and challenge the government to dare send in commissioners to run all these cities in the face of organised obstruction.
Later anger in the public gallery boiled over as Albert Bore presented his budget and several protesters were roughly manhandled and evicted by security staff. The budget was approved against Tory and LibDem opposition, but with no labour councillors breaking ranks.IMG_0256

 

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Campaigners protest as Labour Cuts Budget is approved

  1. MARTIN SULLIVAN

    Dear BATC, contrary to your report, I was astonished at how few people were at the cuts protest on Tuesday. I counted barely 80 – it would have looked small as a Bull Ring Waterstones demo. It was very disappointing. For starters, there must be a 4-figure number of UNISON members in BCC – those most affected by the cuts – where were they? Must have comforted Sir Albert & co to see such a small gathering in the huge mass of Victoria Square. Maybe people have just accepted the cuts as inevitable.   Martin Sullivan
    >________________________________ > From: Birmingham Against The Cuts >To: martinsullivan45@btinternet.com >Sent: Thursday, 6 March 2014, 8:09 >Subject: [New post] Campaigners protest as Labour Cuts Budget is approved > > > > WordPress.com >Birmingham Against The Cuts posted: “A large and noisy protest greeted councillors as they arrived for Tuesdays budget setting meeting. Campaigners from Birmingham against the Cuts, Communities against the Cuts, Disabled People against the Cuts, Black Activists Rising against the Cuts, Bene” >

    • FA

      Or maybe the local movement is so incapable of engaging people outside of politics and protest groups to join the fight in a collective manner. It is mainly white or middle class people or often it is both and the kids involved tend to be students or people who found the idelogy before they found a cause.
      I would say the debate is still very insular .

  2. Pingback: Birmingham Trades Council » Campaigners protest as Labour Cuts Budget is approved

  3. Reblogged this on Eleanor Piercy and commented:
    the Birmingham against the cuts blog gave a short review of the events of the protest last week in Victoria Square.

  4. Pingback: REBLOG: campaigners protest as labour cuts budget is approved | Exploring life on the breadline.

  5. linda walker

    I live with my partner in a 2bed bungalow and are both disabled. Because of our disabilty we sleep in separate rooms. We had to give our housing association proof of this via a letter off my doctor before they would give us the tenancy. However, imagine our shock when we found out we still had to pay the bedroom tax even though we occupy both bedrooms fully. We were told that there was no legislation with regards to disabled couples like ourselves. I only hope that the law will take all these people like ourselves into consideration.

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