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"End Austerity Now" demonstration, London, 20th June

Friday, 29 May 2015 12:15 administrator
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Poster to advertise coach transportCoaches from Gloucestershire to "End Austerity Now" demonstration

The People’s Assembly Against Austerity is calling a major national "End Austerity Now" demonstration & festival on Saturday 20th June to send a clear message to the Tory government: we demand an alternative to austerity and to policies that only benefit those at the top.

Stroud Against the Cuts is working with other local organisations to arrange transport by coach to the protest.

Coaches will leave from both Stroud and Gloucester (at around 8am on the day).
If you live elsewhere, including Cheltenham or Cirencester, please get in touch - we will arrange pick-up points as most appropriate depending on numbers. Final details will be circulated two weeks before the event, when we have a better idea of numbers. Already 50 people have booked with us to travel from Gloucestershire to London.

Tickets will cost £12 waged, £5 unwaged. No-one will be turned away for lack of funds but PLEASE BOOK your place(s).

If you would a seat on a coach, please contact: Hannah (one of SATC co-ordinators) via email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Alternatively call James Beecher on 07734 058789.

The new Stroud Against the Cuts Facebook page has an "Gloucestershire travels to the "End Austerity Now" demonstration" event where we will regularly share updates about the event, enabling you to help us publicise it ('joining' this will not guarantee you a seat - see above methods). There is also a Facebook event page for the national protest.

Make Banners for the "End Austerity Now" protest together

Banner making fun at the Prince Albert. Ready for the London Anti-Austerity Demo on 20th June.

Two Saturday afternoon sessions have been arranged - make banners and placards on the 6th June and/or make placards and banners on the 13th June (separate links to Facebook Events).

The organisers say: "Bring materials, paints, pens, people and dogs and make some great placards and banners for the March.

Everything made can be stored at the pub until the big day.

Open event. Please share far and wide. Everyone WELCOME!

Last Updated on Friday, 29 May 2015 12:29

Public Meeting on Austerity ahead of 2015 General Election

Friday, 20 March 2015 11:14 administrator
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Poster for Public Meeting on Monday 23rd March 2015Poster for austerity election debate listing panel


Our next public meeting is again at The Old Town Hall in the Shambles, Stroud (GL5 1AP). We will be looking at the effects of Austerity in the UK and discussing "How we can fight cuts and privatisation", all in the context of the forthcoming General Election. All are welcome, and entrance is free, with a collection to cover costs.

Candidates from local political parties will be present to debate in a question time style event.


Confirmed speakers:


Adrian Walker-Smith, Liberal Democrat candidate for Stroud constituency

Caroline Stephens, UKIP candidate for Stroud constituency

David Drew, Labour Party candidate for Stroud constituency

Haydn Jones, Conservative Stroud District Councillor for the Severn ward.

Sarah Lunnon, Green Party candidate for Stroud constituency

Sue Powell, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate for Gloucester constituency

We have now been informed that a representative for the MyStroudMP campaign hopes to attend (Richard Wilson, the candidate, cannot)



Last Updated on Monday, 23 March 2015 10:48

Updates for supporters of Stroud Against the Cuts - 2015

Friday, 09 January 2015 11:18 administrator
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2015 updates before March:

15th February update

In this update:

1. Details of our public meeting on the NHS, Monday 23rd February 7.30pm at The Old Town Hall
2. New NHS book and updates from Keep Our NHS Public
3. Sisters Uncut against cuts to domestic violence support services sees women shut down Oxford St
4. Boycott Workfare Day of Action in solidarity with unemployed activist arrest for representing a jobseeker
5. Disabled People Against Cuts day of action
6. ...and finally!
1. Is the NHS sustainable? Is PFI bankrupting the NHS? What’s wrong with privatisation? What demands should we make? How can we rebuild the NHS?

Find out the answers to these questions and more at a Public Meeting, Monday 23rd February, The Old Town Hall, Stroud, 7.30-9.30pm (doors 7pm). We will meet in Kings St outside the entrance to Merrywalks to hand out flyers on Saturday 21st at 10.30am. Please print a poster for your local noticeboard (email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for a copy), or share the link on our website with more information.

Hannah Basson - an NHS health worker and Equalities Officer for the Gloucester
Health branch of Unite the Union (personal capacity).
Cllr Caroline Molloy - Editor of the OurNHS website, freelance writer, and
Green district councillor for Stroud Central.
Chris Moore - led the local anti-poll-tax non-payment campaign in the 1990s,
Trade Unionists and Socialists against Cuts (TUSC) candidate.
James Beecher - Chair of Stroud Against the Cuts, Economist.

Our NHS is under sustained attack
Earlier this year our local A&E department declared a ‘major incident’. Local non-emergency ambulance services have been handed to a private company. Health and social care services have seen their budgets cut, while the government’s 2012 Health & Social Care Act was just the latest way to introduce privatisation. Morale in the NHS is at a low ebb and workers deserve better.

...but we can resist - and win!

In 2011 and 2012, a determined Gloucestershire-wide campaign led by Stroud Against the Cuts successfully used legal action, petitions and protests to force local NHS bosses to halt the transfer of local community hospitals and 3000 health workers out of the NHS.

The meeting will involve short speeches by the four campaigners mentioned above, followed by plenty of time for Q&A and discussion of the demands we should be making of politicians and the actions we can take.

2. New NHS book and updates from Keep Our NHS Public
The latest collection of stories about the NHS via Keep Our NHS Public and SATC member Hannah Basson is attached. You can read emails discussing these and other stories by people interested in campaigning on the NHS locally over the internet via a yahoo group - access an excellent source of documents and news items.
KONP also pass on information about a new book: NHS FOR SALE - Myths, Lies and Deception by Jacky Davis, John Lister and David Wrigley.

Owen Jones describes it at 'the most important recent book about the future of the NHS. It examines the havoc created by Andrew Lansley's costly and damaging "reforms" and George Osborne's spending cuts. It's a must read.'
KONP say "This book sets out what needs to be done to protect the NHS against corporate greed, and enable future governments to meet the challenge of delivering high quality and affordable health care for all."
Copies will be available at the public meeting mentioned above. You can find more details on the Merlin Press website.
3. Sisters Uncut against cuts to domestic violence support services sees women shut down Oxford St
Yesterday, Saturday 14th February, women-only direct action group Sisters Uncut "stopped traffic on Oxford St... resisting cuts to domestic violence services". Earlier the group laid flowers at Picadilly for women who died from domestic violence. There are some great photos on the group's twitter account (you do not need to use twitter to view them). The protest was partly about the cuts and changes that have been made to the legal aid system. Emma Scott, director of Rights of Women, describes Laspo as a "fundamental attack on the rule of law". "There are women who tell us that without [access to] legal aid they are staying in abusive relationships. It is not over-dramatic to say that women will die," she says. Read the full article from which that quote was taken in The Guardian.
Sisters Uncut have issued a "Feministo" which includes the following demands explaining other aspects of the protest. The full text is available on the Sisters Uncut Facebook page.


  • No more cuts to domestic violence services
  • Restore funding that has been cut
  • Secure funding for specialist domestic violence services; this should be ring-fenced* at a national level.
  • Local Authorities to fully meet the demands of their communities, recognising that different women have different needs.
  • Guaranteed access to legal aid for women experiencing domestic violence.
  • Provide access to safe and secure social housing for women who otherwise cannot afford to flee.
  • Panic rooms should not be classified as a spare room under the Bedroom Tax.
  • Safety should not be subject to immigration status; extend access to safe housing to women with no recourse to public funds."

4. Boycott Workfare Day of Action at Jobcentres Nationwide - 25th February 2015

Scottish Unemployed Workers Network activist Tony Cox was arrested on 29th January after Arbroath Jobcentre management called police to stop him representing a vulnerable jobseeker. Boycott Workfare are urging supporters to join a Day of Action on 25th February at Jobcentres round Britain to show your solidarity. Is anyone able to attend an event in Stroud on Wednesday? Please get in touch if so and we will arrange a time.

Boycott Workfare have circulated the following message from Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty:

"We must fight back against this clear attempt to intimidate claimants and deny us the right to be accompanied and represented... As we face unprecedented sanctions and benefits cuts, it's more important than ever that we support each other and stand up to the DWP bullies. The Scottish Unemployed Workers Network, Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions and other groups have established a strong presence at the Jobcentres in Dundee and in nearby towns and cities like Arbroath, Perth and Blairgowrie, supporting claimants in opposing sanctions and harassment.

On 29 January Tony was accompanying a vulnerable woman claimant, who suffers from severe dyslexia and literacy problems. The claimant, D, had been signed up to the Universal Job Match (UJM), the computerised job search system, and was being forced to complete five job searches per day, the pressure of which had led to her having several panic attacks. Tony proposed that D's UJM account be closed, and that her number of job searches be significantly reduced. The adviser refused to consider this, and so Tony and D met with the Jobcentre manager.

The manager likewise refused to even look at the issue, falsely claiming that all jobseekers had to be registered with UJM. She even suggested to D that she should arrange another meeting without Tony or any other witness or rep present. Despite the pressure D was being put under by the manager, she replied that she would not attend another meeting without Tony. At this point the manager demanded that Tony leave the building or the police would be called. Tony refused to leave, but the meeting ended when it was agreed that a further meeting be arranged to discuss the issue further. Tony was arrested after he left the Jobcentre.

The right of claimants to be accompanied to interviews, and for the accompanier to have the right to speak, has been established by groups like Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty, who have forced the DWP locally and Britain-wide to apologise for calling the police on ECAP reps, and to affirmclaimants' right to representation. The DWP clearly state "Claimants accessing Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits and services can have someone to accompany them to act on their behalf..."

The attack on benefits and claimants is part of the austerity assault on the entire working class. We call on all unemployed and claimants groups, anti cuts and anti austerity groups, human rights groups, workplace activists, and all working class people, waged and unwaged, to show solidarity with Tony and the right of the unemployed and all claimants to organise collectively to fight back.

Visit your local Jobcentre on 25th February with banners and placards and distribute leaflets to claimants on Tony's case and the right to be accompanied to all benefits interviews.

Call out by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Supported by Scottish Unemployed Workers Network
Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions
Boycott Workfare

Please add the support of your group/organisation: email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "


5. Disabled People Against Cuts have a day of action following week on Monday 2 March.

Disabled People Against Cuts say "the Day of Action is aimed at the objective of ending the Work Capability Assessments and destroying the credibility of Maximus which should be relatively easy to do given their appalling track record". Maximus is the company set to replace ATOS, to whom the Work Capability Assessments (WCA) have previously been outsourced.

Actions are planned or in planning for Aberdeen, Balham, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brighton, Cardiff, Croydon, Dundee, Ealing, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester,  Lincoln,  Manchester,  Norwich, Plymouth, Reading, Sheffield, Sunderland, Toronto, Truro, Wrexham and Maximus HQ in central London.
You can also show your support via social media - see information on the DPAC website.
6. ...and finally!
After a week in which the skullduggery of the financial sector and the tax avoiding habits of political donors have once again been in the spotlight...

"Everyone has threatened to sue former Conservative Party treasurer Lord Fink after he claimed yesterday that everyone avoids tax.

Lord Fink was accused of making the untrue and defamatory remarks about everyone – and has now also been threatened with legal action by everybody after the Tory peer claimed in a newspaper interview that “tax avoidance is so wide that everyone does tax avoidance at some level,” and that “everybody does it” too.

In a statement, a spokesperson for everyone and everybody strongly denied the accusations and said that if the Conservative Party donor does not withdraw the accusations and issue an immediate apology, then legal action against him will be considered."

from Thomas Pride's blog.

James Beecher

for Stroud Against the Cuts


Read previous updates by clicking "Read More" below:


Last Updated on Thursday, 25 June 2015 10:26

SATC supporter attends austerity seminar for young greens

Sunday, 23 February 2014 17:52 administrator
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From 6th to the 9th of February Sahaya James, a supporter of Stroud Against the Cuts, participated in the Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) London Seminar focused on austerity.

Sahaya writes:

“The intensive four days were filled with a fantastic variety of workshops, talks and panel discussions on an array of current concerns, especially austerity, the many ways in which it is affecting youth in Europe, immigration, Roma-phobia, food production, green economy and fuel poverty, and on related matters such as the importance of the EU, the Green New Deal, youth participation in politics, being a young politician, working with social media, winning debates and campaigning speak. These talks and workshops were given by many passionate and prominent figures in UK green politics such as Natalie Bennett, MEPs Keith Taylor and Jean Lambert, former London Mayoral candidate Sian Berry and other inspiring speakers.


We considered which effects of austerity are going to affect young people across Europe, and we all recognised that the ones that will affect them most are primarily less affordable access to education (due to rising tuition fees, living costs, etc.) and high unemployment. Though these two basic needs for young people (education and employment) are where we are going to be hit hardest, many other factors associated with these, such as unaffordable housing and rising food costs, are going to harm us no less.

We all acknowledged and agreed that the austerity policies that are being imposed upon us are far from being the necessity and only option that they are often portrayed as. We discussed how it was not a lack of resources that led to the cuts we are facing, but the way the abundant resources are managed and distributed.

When we started to discuss more formally the solutions we would propose (though we had been discussing these throughout the seminar), most of us found it almost amusing how simple the possible solutions were, and how clear it was that the cuts we are all facing across Europe are in most cases ideological and far from necessary. We spoke of how simple taxes paid in proportion to each person's wealth or land, and more effective implementation of the laws already in place for regulating large businesses, could quickly clear the deficit and solve other issues at the same time.
When we discussed how the key to solve both the problems that have caused austerity and the problems that austerity is causing is to divest from unethical industries and businesses and reinvest in ethical and sustainable ventures that will benefit the majority rather than just a minority, we started to realise how despite initially speaking about austerity, the solutions we were discussing were equally relevant to a range of ultimately interconnected issues that are being faced by us all.

Though our solutions were far from original and were sometimes even highly specific, such as supporting a citizen's income, we agreed that despite our solutions being so obvious and so easy to implement, we are living in a society and economic system that is far from applying them.

All the seminar participants also joined the Student Loan Sell Off protest outside the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

As I am sure most of you know, some student loans are currently being sold off to private debt collector companies, meaning that not only will students be unable to know to whom their debts will be owed in future, but also that in a completely arbitrary manner the interest and payback requirements for each student are going to differ drastically. This will not only affect students starting their course after the law is passed, but any former student with a loan currently outstanding. This is of course of great relevance to all present and many past students, but also to young people generally, since many of them will become the students of tomorrow and be the ones suffering from this.

The protest was organised by The People's Assembly Against Austerity, and was also attended and supported by some NUS officers, London Greens and Young Greens, as well as FYEG members. Though the numbers were not representative of the number of students and former students in London, it was nice to see the SU president of MidKent College (an FE college) lending his support to show solidarity on behalf of his SU, even though its member are not directly affected (though they could be in future if they decide to go on to study at any university). For more information, please see The Student's Assembly Against Austerity, and to take action, visit Fight the Student Loan sell-off and support EDM 542 to stop the sale of student loans.

I greatly enjoyed speaking to YGs from across Europe and hearing of both the similar and the different challenges we face, and felt I learned so much from this. I had the most incredible time at this brilliant event and would like to thank FYEG and the fantastic prep team – Benali Hamdache, Riocárd ÓhOddail, Fiona Costello, Paul Cohen and Darcy Lonegran.”



The Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) serves as a key link between the many Young Green wings of the Party from across the EU, and also between them and Green representatives in the European Parliament. It enables Greens under 30 to share their local concerns with those of their counterparts in other countries, while also providing them with opportunities to contribute towards bringing about the changes they wish to see and to broaden their understanding of the diverse challenges that are faced by young Greens in modern Europe. One of the objectives of these seminars, which take place across Europe, is to find the key concerns of young Greens. This is done by getting participants to prioritise the changes or polices they would like Green MEPs to push forward or issues they would like them to address, and at each seminar we must decide a final top three of these. At the end of the current round of seminars, which is likely to be one in Brussels, all the prioritised responses (top three changes or polices) will be collated into the Youth Manifesto, which is to be used by Green MEPs when representing youth opinions at an EU level.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 18:41

Mark Servotka - PCS G.S Speaking in London

Monday, 28 March 2011 19:23 administrator
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Last Updated on Monday, 28 March 2011 19:29

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