Several hundred protesters – trade unionists, community activists and environmental campaigners – defied the wind and the rain to demonstrate in central Glasgow on Saturday 12th February. Their message, echoed in towns and cities throughout Britain, including other Scottish actions in Dundee and Edinburgh, was simple: despite the best efforts of the government, the corporations and the banks, working people won’t pay for the crisis.
The event, called at only a few days notice, by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity and supported by the Scottish Trades Union Congress, was addressed by a large number of speakers but the mood of the crowd was perhaps best summed up in the words of the first: “Don’t piss on my back and tell me it’s raining!”.
For years wages and benefits have stagnated whilst, more recently, working people have borne the brunt of the COVID outbreak. Now that prices are spiralling, and subjected to the most openly corrupt government in living memory, the same people who were hailed as heroes during the pandemic are now being told – by the governor of the Bank of England no less – that they must endure cuts in living standards for the sake of the ‘economy’.
Numerous speakers highlighted the need for an alternative, to tax the rich and the big energy companies, and to take these and other utilities into public ownership. More importantly perhaps, was the acknowledgment that faced with a ruthless offensive by the ruling class, a united and militant fight back is required and that Saturday’s events are just the beginning.
Speakers included: Roz Foyer General Secretary of the Scottish Trade Union Congress; trade unionists from Unison, Unite, RMT and PCS; parliamentarians included Mercedes Villalba Scottish Labour MSP from the Holyrood Parliament and Tommy Sheppard SNP MP at the Westminster Parliament. The intrepid ecosocialist.scot video camera and photography team braved the rain managing to catch a number of the speeches for our new YouTube channel and the pictures below.
ExclusiveYou Tube Videos of the Protest:
- Roz Foyer (STUC)
- Shami Chakrabati (Labour)
- Mercedes Villalba MSP (Scottish Labour)
- Unison Glasgow City Council,
- Gordon Martin (RMT Scotland)