Workers came out in their thousands in Belfast today to protest against government cuts that will see services slashed, benefits cut and an estimated 30,000 job losses.
Sammy Wilson may have told them they were wasting their time but workers came out in their thousands in Belfast today to protest against government cuts that will see services slashed, benefits cut and an estimated 30,000 job losses.
Gathering in the rain at St Anne's Cathedral before marching to Belfast City Hall trade union members, socialists and anarchists were joined by politicians claiming to stand in solidarity against the cuts. Among them Social Development Minister Alex Attwood and Education Minister Catriona Ruane - no strangers to implementing cuts in the past they perhaps sense the anger that is out there and want to appear to be backing the right side.
The speeches did not match the mood, and there was a bizarre/appalling piece of 'performance art' reminiscent of Daivd Walliams' and Paul Kay's satirical take of preformance art in an episode of Spaced. Trade Union bureaucrat after Trade Union bureaucrat by turn pleading or demanding 'our' politicians sort it all out for us. If this is the strategy to be pursued then perhaps Sammy Wilson is right to claim NIC-ICTU are giving people false hope. False hope that politicians at Stormont or any other devolved Assembly in the UK will sort it all out for us.
Sammy is right about one thing "holding placards" will not stop these cuts - a campaign needs to be built that puts workers in control of their own struggles, a strategy that is not afraid to take direct action and which works towards a general strike as the only means of stopping these cuts. Ultimately we need a new, revolutionary, union movement that is not afraid to take on the bosses and politicians - such a movement must be built out of and during this struggle.