A sea of people engulfed the streets of London on Saturday 20th June to express their anger and disgust against the austerity measures implemented by the government of the monopoly capitalist class. The march, which started at the Bank of England and ended at Parliament, was initially estimated at 250,000 people by the police, who later stopped giving updated estimates indicating that the real figures may have been higher. The march was organised by the people’s assembly, which is a broad national campaign against austerity which is affiliated to no political party. The march was attended by trade unions of the working class including, teachers, university lecturers, fire brigade, pensioners, public services workers and hundreds of organisation of working people who had travelled from all over Britain. It was also attended by individuals and groups of working class people who made up their own placards and banners. The main slogans were against austerity, privatisation and calling for an end to cuts in social spending and for defence of the national health system and state education. Some slogans called for a one day general strike against austerity and denounced the Trade Union Congress (TUC) for not supporting the demonstration. People shouted:
‘TUC where are you? You must fight the bosses too!’
There were also slogans calling for revolution as a solution to the problems caused by the capitalist system such as:
The system is broken – we need a revolution!
And ‘Organise for revolution!’
The fire brigade workers had a large balloon that said: ‘we rescue people not bankers!’ The teachers had a giant balloon in the shape of a hand with ‘hands up for education!’ printed on it. There was also a model of a missile with the letters TTIP on it opposing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the US and the EU, which is aimed to lead to further privatisation. There were similar demonstrations held in Manchester, Glasgow and many other cities all across Britain.
Indian Workers Association (IWA) participated in this action as a part of British working class. Members of IWA carried a banner which read: ‘Workers of all countries unite’. A statement issued by the IWA was distributed the text of which follows:
The austerity is defined as the policy of reducing government budget deficits. Austerity policies may include spending cuts, tax increases, or a mixture of both. Following the global banking and financial crisis of 2007-08, the governments in US and Europe took out massive loans to bail out the biggest banks. The British government spent more than £108 billion to bail out banks (Lloyds, former Northern Rock, Bradford and Bingley and RBS); of this, more than £45.8 billion were spent to buy out 80% of shares in Royal Bank of Scotland alone (which they are now selling for £32.4 billion when it has started to make profits). The current deficit which is an outcome of this. At the same time, the expenditure on the most essential services are being cut back, causing misery to the people, especially to the most vulnerable people, like disabled and pensioners.
The ruling conservative party is claiming that their policies have led to economic recovery without disclosing who has benefited from this recovery. This so called recovery has only benefited the big banks and monopoly capitalist corporations not the working people. 10000 jobs will be cut from public sector.
The representatives of the capitalist class do not hesitate to borrow billions to launch unjust wars against sovereign countries but refuse to spend on what is needed for benefit of people. The top 10% of the richest people own 70% of wealth in Britain and their total wealth has doubled during the recession. Government’s own figures show that this 10% owes £120 billion in unpaid tax and it will grow by another £70 billion in the coming year.
British working class and working people have no say in decision making in how the country is run, whether it is about the budget or the direction of economy or to launch war against a foreign country. Once we have cast our vote and a government comes to power, we have lost our right to influence anything which matters to us.
So while waging a militant struggle to put an end to austerity, we should also organise to replace the present system of bourgeois democracy with one in which people are empowered to have their say in how the country is run. We should not be fooled by David Cameron’s demagogy. Neither the conservative party is the working people’s party nor is British society classless. The conservative party is the party of monopoly capitalist class and the British parliamentary system is system of the capitalist class. No party of the rich, whether conservative, labour, liberal or any other party of the rich can run this system to benefit both, the capitalist class or the working class.
Indian Workers Association calls upon the working class and trade unions and all progressive organisations of working people to wage a militant struggle in unison to end austerity measures and demand to make the rich pay for the crisis of capitalism.
Working class must be empowered to take decisions in its interests. It must organise to replace the capitalist system by socialist system – a system free of recurring economic crises which ensures the wellbeing of all.
No to Austerity! Make the rich pay for the crisis, not the working people!
Organise to change the system and establish a socialist system!