Monday, 12 March 2012


Recent protests over ‘Workfare’ have forced the Government to retreat - and shows that protests can win! The thousands protesting outside Parliament last Wednesday have also helped to maintain pressure on the Government to abandon its Health Service ‘reforms’.

In the weeks following Southwark Council’s £18 million-cuts budget and before the next phase of cuts to be announced in George Osborne’s Budget, many protests are taking place – over Workfare, the Health Service, support services for vulnerable children, libraries, public transport and pensions.

Please come along to one of these events, or to the planning meetings, listed below. Cuts are biting into every household and we need to increase the pressure on the Government, as well as Southwark Council who are implementing many of these cuts.


Tuesday 13 March
11am. Lobby of Southwark Council by Pupil Support Assistants (staff supporting vulnerable children traveling to school) who are facing over 40% wage cuts. This service cut affects vulnerable children. Parents and supporters welcome to come along. Assemble 160 Tooley Street SE1 2TZ. Supported by UNISON, UNITE, GMB. For More information and to send messages of support, phone Southwark UNISON on 0207 525 6030.

Tuesday 13 March
11.30am onwards. Lobby of Parliament calling on politicians to protect vital library services. Called by various national campaigns for libraries. Details here. At Central Hall Westminster, SW1H 9NH. The lobby of Parliament will start at 2.30pm.

Wednesday March 14
All day. National student walk-out (called by NUS) Background information about Week of Action, 12-16 March, here. Facebook Event here.

Wednesday 14 March
9am. Demonstration: Help to form a mass dole queue outside the DWP in Westminster on the day unemployment figures are released. Assemble  outside DWP, Caxton House, Tothill Street, London SW1H. Called by Right to Work campaign. Facebook Event here.

Wednesday 14 March
7 pm. Meeting of Southwark Trades Union Council, to include planning for March 28th industrial action on pensions. Venue: 160 Tooley Street SE1 2TZ . Open to affiliated trade unions. To affiliate, or for more information: email here.

Thursday 15 March
7pm. London Unite the Resistance Rally, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square. (Nearest tube Holborn) Speakers: Mark Serwotka, General Secretary PCS (pc) , Magarita Papamina, Greek activist and primary school teacher, Sean Vernell, UCU NEC (pc), Steve Kelly, Unite, electricians dispute. Film of recent speech here . More information here.

Tuesday 20 March
2.30pm. Demonstration calling for the next mayor to upgrade London’s transport, so that older and disabled people can travel with the same freedom and independence as everyone else. Assemble at City Hall The Queen's Walk, London, SE1 2AA.  (Nearest station, London Bridge which is stepfree) Organised by Transport for All, disability and pensioner’s organisations, taking their demands for accessible transport direct to City Hall and launching their manifesto. All details here.

Wednesday 21 March - Budget Day
11am onwards. Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay. Not one more cut – protest outside Downing Street, to coincide with when George Osborne leaves Downing Street to present the budget to the Queen. Bring signs and dress up in costumes that show the public service cuts that you’re concerned about. Organised by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Coalition of Resistance, Right to Work, PCS union and Stop the War Coalition.  More details on Facebook event here.

Wednesday 21 March
7pm. Southwark Save Our Services Campaign Organising Meeting: Main business – Stopping closures forced by Southwark Cuts; Supporting strikes over pensions on 28 March. Venue: LSBU London Road Building, SE1.  (Room tbc); For an agenda, contact

Monday 26 March
9am -12noon. Solidarity demonstration outside Kingston Crown Court on the first day of Alfie Meadow's trial. Alfie demonstrated on the day of the tuition fee vote in December 2010, he received a life threatening injury but outrageously he has since been charged with violent disorder. Assemble at 6-8 Penrhyn Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, KT1 2BB. Initiated by Defend the Right to Protest Campaign. Facebook Event here.

Wednesday 28 March
All Day. National Strike of public sector unions (PCS, NUT, UCU and perhaps others).  Picket lines across the borough. Details of action, including assemblies and demonstrations will be posted on our website. Please contact Southwark SOS and Southwark TUC if you are organising  picket line or event on the day, or if you want a speaker to address your TU, student or campaign group  meeting.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

F29 Anti-cuts protest at Southwark Town Hall

 Report by Peoples Republic of Southwark

Southwark Save Our Services staged another anti-cuts protest at the Southwark Town Hall last night, before the Council Assembly about the budget.
A good turnout of some 50+ people who made enough noise and who also got plenty of support from passers-by as well as passing traffic. Elected representatives, the ones whose decisions continue to devastate the lives of growing number of local residents, were nowhere to be seen. The late-comers literally flew through the protesters without so much as a hello.
photo courtesy of Nicola Field
Speakers included members of Southwark Save Our Services and affiliated groups and unions, such as Southwark Pensioners Action Group, Unison, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and others.
In reality, compared to previous anti-cuts protests, we found this one rather subdued, as if there was a feeling of resignation, as all the decisions had been made a long time ago, the moment both the national and local labour party decided it was not going to challenge the cuts in any way but rather work on the 'good' cuts, as 'cuts are inevitable'. The irony is that the majority of the protesters were members of unions who are still financing the same 'good-cuts-labour party'.
photo courtesy of Nicola Field
Meanwhile, in the town hall, there seemed to be have been less of the 'my party is better than yours', which is a welcome change. A lot of the dicussion seemed to have been about the free school meals which the opposition councillors continue to argue is a waste of money. A question was raised about the justification for newly created 'Deputy Cabinet Members' posts, which Cllr Oyewole defended saying they made a difference although it was not clear who to. One of the comments implied that Cllr Althea Smith admitted the Labour was storing money for pre-election, and how 'all parties did it'. One good thing we understood happened was the commitment to London Living Wage for all staff or subcontractors.
Chris Haydon of Southwark TV caught up with some of the councillors after the meeting, and you can watch his report here.
photo courtesy of Nicola Field
While the local protests and discussions seem to have little impact on what the council does, the national and local battles are far from over. Tactics may have to be slightly different though, as majority of us, mad, bad, young, old, well and ill, continue to be pushed further and further into despair.