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30 January 2008

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Police march for pay

AS PART of their battle against Brown's public-sector wage freeze the police held a demonstration of their own, with over 18,000 attending, in London on 23 January. Nobody was there in uniform and officers on duty were not allowed on the demonstration so the turnout was impressive under the circumstances.

Alex Gounelas

This is in many ways a momentous occasion, since the last time they took any action over pay was 1919. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's decision to delay the 2.5% wage increase is a sore point with even this traditionally 'non-political' group of workers.

The police have been used many times to attack workers in struggle but this demonstration reflects the angry mood amongst all public-sector workers.

Socialist Party members got a mixed response but there was clearly a strong underlying anger at the government. Everyone we spoke to very much agreed with the idea of the need for joint public-sector action to beat the wage freeze.

One officer commented: "I used to be in the bricklayers' union and I believe in the right to strike". Another said: "I'm a socialist and I think what is happening in the public sector at the moment is a disgrace".

We sold five copies of The Socialist in 20 minutes and got three sheets of our petition for a living wage and joint public-sector action filled in.

Unusually compared to most demonstrations, the police did not talk the numbers down! And the Police Federation had to distance themselves from the presence of the BNP's London Mayoral candidate on the march.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 30 January 2008:

End this market madness

No more school closures!


Education

Teachers' union calls strike ballot on pay

Anti-war protests save teachers

Labour councillors anger parents and tenants


Socialist Party news and analysis

New Labour attacking our vital benefits

Incapacity benefit cuts hit the sick

Hain resigns but stink of sleaze remains


International socialist news and analysis

Jail break from Gaza

Suharto: "One of the 20th century's biggest killers and greatest thieves"

US elections: The Barak Obama mirage


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS in crisis


Debt and Housing Feature

Debt and housing slowdown threaten Britain's time bomb economy


Socialist Students

Student elections: Not just a 'beauty contest'!

College students seek socialist ideas

Reality of London students' debt trap

More foo than fight as rockers agree to cross picket line


Marxist analysis: history

How Hitler came to power


Global Warming

Global warming, climate change and human activities - Part 2


Socialist Party workplace news

Burslem postal workers march back to work

Giving the real facts on Burslem strike

National Shop Stewards Network meetings

Police march for pay

PCS suspends strikes


 

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Related links:

Pay:

triangleNew left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now

trianglePublic sector pay - NHS, teachers - Prepare for action!

triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts: Fightback needed

triangleWorkplace round-up

triangleDagenham school workers strike against 'fire and rehire' pay cuts

Police:

triangleBristol: Police to blame for protest violence

triangleDalian Atkinson - police found guilty of killing ex-footballer

triangleCan Biden reform the police?

triangleWomen and the criminal 'injustice' system

Public-sector:

trianglePCS: the real issues at stake

Article dated 30 January 2008

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