Sunday, 4 March 2012

Resisting austerity - from Athens to Brighton

PUBLIC MEETING Mon 5th MARCH 7pm Friends Meeting House, Ship St, Brighton

Kostas Skordoulis An activist in the Education Workers Union and the OKDE – part of the anti-capitalist coalition Antarsya, he grew up when Greece was ruled by a US backed military dictatorship until 1974.
He will speak about the resistance to austerity in Greece today, the role of the unions, and the popular demand for Greece to default on its debt.
He will also talk about moves towards Europe wide resistance to austerity.
And while the official Brighton opposition to the government argues about a 3.5% council tax rise, Kostas will bring the idea of defaulting on “our” debt as a way of saying “we're not paying for the crisis”. Is default, alongside redistributing wealth, a way of stopping all the cuts?

George Barrett spent 50 years in the Labour Party, and was part of the group of Labour councillors who helped kick out Barking's 12 BNP councillors in 2012.
But when he resigned from the Labour Group on Barking Council in order to vote against cuts, he ended up getting expelled from the party.
He said “Local councillors, trade unions and community groups should be uniting to resist the devastation of the welfare state. By passing on the government cuts, Labour councils are collaborating with the austerity measures which are increasing poverty. Instead, they should be defending the voters that elected them.”
With only one Green Party councillor not voting for the cuts budget in Brighton and Hove last week, George's experience raises the question about what we should be expecting anti-cuts councillors to do.

Planning Local Resistance
Council Cuts, Workfare, and 28th March Pensions Strike

There will be time for questions and discussion after our guest speakers, but it will be limited as our meeting also needs to help organise local activity against the cuts.
A council worker who had their post deleted in this year's cuts will lead off a discussion about the cuts planned in Brighton & Hove and what the union's response is likely to be.
The meeting will then have time to discuss and plan various ways of working with & community groups and the unions to prevent each cut.
We will also be discussing how we can help those local trade unionists in the NUT, PCS and UCU who will be striking in defence of their pensions on March 28th.
And with the protests against workfare causing the government and businesses to back track on their plans, we'll be planning how we can give support to the local Brighton Benefits Campaign's campaign against workfare and other cuts to benefits.
This part of the meeting is usually the “business” part of Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition meetings, but we hope those coming to hear our guest speakers will stay and get involved in the practical business of building opposition to the cuts locally.
Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition welcomes new people and fresh ideas.
We will continue to build a broad coalition of trade union and community groups to actively oppose all cuts.
So if you want to hear about resistance to austerity in Greece, how a councillor in London thinks councils can resist he cuts, and help us plan resistance to the cuts locally, come along to our open meeting on Monday 5th March.

Organised by Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition ( ) (Facebook Group )
If you want to get involved in your trade union but don't know how, please contact Brighton Trades Union Council ( )

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