Cuts – A step towards resistance

Cuts – A step towards resistance

Date: 21 October 2010

Dan Iles, used to be activism and events intern

Wednesday 20 October was a day marred with the realisation that we face the biggest threat to our welfare state in decades. With this concern in mind a large contingent from the World Development Movement offices left early from work to join the Coalition of Resistance’s march to Downing Street. From the perspective of an intern new to office life, it was a hugely inspiring feeling to be part of a workplace where so many of my colleagues came along to a political rally. If only every office in the country had this amount of political consciousness!

The rally itself was host to a decent and diverse collection of left wing organisations; students, anti war groups, black activists, public service trade unions, socialist and green parties, and anti-fascist groups. In particular there was a good turnout from the international development NGOs like us, the Jubilee Debt Campaign and War on Want. Inspiring speeches from the likes of John McDonnell, Caroline Lucas, Tony Benn and Jessie Jackson made a very commendable challenge to the dominant Tory dogma that ‘there is no alternative’.

However, in terms of building a big enough movement to challenge these cuts, it is clear that we are some way off. With notable absences from the TUC, the Labour party hierarchy and indeed the vast majority of London’s citizens. It is clear that if we are going to have even a fraction of the impressive demonstrations that we’ve seen in France, Greece and Spain, there needs to be a dedicated push to persuade society that our welfare state is worth protecting. From the World Development Movement’s point of view this is about tackling the political consensus in parliament and in our press that these cuts are unavoidable.

Nevertheless, it was great to be surrounded by such a lively and conscientious crowd. Here’s to building the resistance!