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.
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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- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 30 January 2008:
End this market madness
No more school closures!
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
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, 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
The Socialist 30 January 2008 |
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