Category Archives: Stockland Green Against the Cuts
Around 15 people, aged from 7 to 70, met at 11am and marched down the high street, past workfare exploiters like the British Heart Foundation and Greggs, and down the dual carriageway past the job centre and Jack Dromey MP’s office, handing out leaflets and talking to passers-by.
The demonstration was largely met with support, shoppers on the high street stopping to share their stories of unemployment, economic hardship and ideas about what should be done. A few disagreed, still hanging on to the idea that austerity can work, despite the mounting evidence against it.
After the march there were some speeches, talking about how workfare undermines paid jobs, increases employment and fails to help people find work; about the difficulty for young people to find jobs in the midst of the worst economic times for over 100 years; about the closure of education and training opportunities with the scrapping of EMA, increased university tuition fees and the downsizing of Connexions; about the difficulties disabled people are facing with cuts to DLA, the closure of Remploy, the handling of work capability assessments by ATOS and attacks on the NHS; about the general economic situation and what the alternatives to austerity are.
A good demo, and great to see one of our local groups active on their high street, taking the argument to the suburbs, to people’s neighbourhoods and communities, rather than staying in the city centre.
- Scrap Workfare!
- Create Real Jobs!
- Restore EMA!
- Save Connexions!
- Stop the Privatisation of Leisure Centres
No education, no jobs, no homes, no services. This is the bleak future that young people face. We are expected to pay for a crisis caused by the rotten system we live under.
There are currently 1 million 18-14 year olds out of work. This joblessness is a result of the ConDem austerity yet the government tries to punish the unemployed by forcing them to work for their dole. This gives their big business mates the opportunity to get some work done on the cheap.
The cap on tuition fees has been raised to £9,000 a year, pricing many working class people out of universities. And in one of the stingiest attacks, EMA has been scrapped. Education is becoming the preserve of the rich.
Extortionate housing costs and cuts to housing benefit mean that areas such as London will see social cleansing as only the super rich will be able to afford to live there. In Birmingham, 34,500 housing benefit claimants – many of whom are in work – will be chasing 23,000 low cost houses, and it is unknown how many of those are available to people on benefits, as the “No DSS” clause seems to be getting more and more common.
Youth services are being cut to the bone. The riots last year were fuelled by cuts to youth services. If the government carries on its present course then we could see the inner cities set ablaze again.
They say there is no money, but they found the money to bail out their cronies the bankers, and the rich owe £120 billion in unpaid taxes!
Fight for a future
Now is the time for young people to fight back! We need to stop the ConDemolition wrecking ball that is smashing our hopes and futures.
Join us in Erdington on Saturday 19th May
This affects people all over the city, and Handsworth Against the Cuts were out on Saturday, raising awareness and gathering signatures on a petition to keep these services in house.
Outsourcing and privatisation are all too often used as a way to cut costs at the expense of services or through changes to staff pay and conditions, rather than as a way to improve the services provided.
As the council seek to make £100m of additional cuts over the following year, we can be sure that this is being used as a way to cover some of that, or at least it will be if we let it.
On Saturday 10th March, Birmingham Against the Cuts will be co-ordinating local groups and individuals around the city to petition at leisure centres that are under threat.
As we receive confirmation of times, this list will be updated. If you live near one of these centres, or use it regularly, go and join them, or tell us that you will be there between certain times, and we will put that on this list and try to get people to join you.
A city-wide petition is being finalised, and will be available to download and print closer to the day, along with leaflets and posters.
— Alexander Stadium,
— Beeches Pool,
— Billesley Indoor Tennis Centre,
— Castle Vale Pool,
— Cocks Moor Wood Leisure Centre,
— Erdington Pool,
— Fox Hollies Leisure Centre,
— Handsworth Leisure Centre, 11am on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th Handsworth Against the Cuts
— Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre,
— Kingstanding Leisure Centre,
— Linden Road Leisure Centre,
— Moseley Road Pool: 11am onwards, Friends of Moseley Road Baths
— Nechells Sports Centre,
— Newtown Pool,
— Northfield Leisure Centre 11am onwards, Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts
— Saltley Leisure Centre,
— Shard End Leisure Centre,
— Small Heath Leisure Centre,
— Shenley Court,
— Sparkhill Pool and Leisure Centre, 11am-1pm Sparkhill & Springfield Against the Cuts
— Stechford Cascades,
— Stockland Green Leisure Centre,
— Tiverton Road,
— Wyndley Leisure Centre.
Please note that this is not a complete list – the tender document says that these are included, but does not limit privatisation to just these facilities – so if your local centre is not listed here, do not think you are safe.
Email us at BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@Gmail.com or just turn up if your centre already has times listed.
Tell us your outstanding memory of 2011, a year which has seen huge demonstrations around the UK, direct action, two huge strikes and of course the legwork of stalls, leafletting and petitions.
Our first organising meeting for 2012 will be on January 9th, 6:30pm, Unison Offices, 19th Floor, McClaren Building, 47 Priory Queensway, B4 7NN. Please come along to help plan campaigning for next year.
People and Placards
Stalls, Leafletting and Petitions
With thanks to everyone who has contributed photos over the year.
For more photos of Birmingham protests this year, see Geoff Dexter’s Flickr Page
Almost every public sector union is taking part in this co-ordinated action, and there are plenty of things happening in Birmingham. This strike is not just about pensions, it is also about cuts, and defending the whole idea of a public sector providing services on the basis of need.
From 4am there will be pickets at refuse collection depots around the city, with other workplace pickets running from 7am. Some confirmations of pickets have been received, and are listed here, but you should expect them at almost every council and government workplace.
Parents should have heard from schools as to whether they will close, but with almost every teaching union, including the NAHT head teachers union, on strike we expect to see all schools closed.
At 9am the first local demo, organised by Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts, gathers in Cotteridge. It will proceed to join the Selly Oak rally, and then the main TUC demo.
10am sees 4 local rallies around Birmingham:
Selly Oak – at the University South Gates, by the New Bristol Road (the newly opened bypass)
Handsworth – By Handsworth Library, Soho Road
Erdington – Six Ways
East Birmingham Heartlands Hospital
These rallies will feed to the main TUC march which assembles from 11:30am at Lionel Street Car Park, and should proceed through the city centre. We have had uncomfirmed reports that Birmingham City Council want to charge us £10,000 to walk through our city! We hope that the TUC do not bow to pressure and pay up, and that we march through the city in defiance of this blatant attempt to prevent us expressing our democratic rights.
The march proceeds to a rally at the NIA which beings at 1:30pm – doors to the NIA open at 12:30pm. The rally has many speakers from the union movement:
CHAIR: Lee Barron, CWU Midlands Regional Secretary & Midlands TUC Chair
Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary
Kevin Courtney, NUT Deputy General Secretary
Janice Godrich, PCS President
Karen Jennings, Unison Assistant General Secretary
Martin Johnson, ATL Deputy General Secretary
Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary
Barry Lovejoy, UCU Head of Further Education
Joe Morgan, GMB West Midlands Regional Secretary
Tony Woodley, UNITE Executive Officer
Tomorrow is set up to be a great day – all it needs now is you!
Remember that you can sign up to a union on the day and still strike, so at work today, or on the picket lines tomorrow, make sure anyone who isn’t unionised knows this, joins up and comes out tomorrow.