Protests in Brixton expected late November


Anti-spending cuts protests are planned in Brixton at the end of November, according to its Socialist Workers Party branch.


By Hardeep Matharu

Protests are expected in Brixton at the end of November, according to the area’s Socialist Workers Party which is campaigning to mobilise action against government spending cuts. 

Three million public sector workers are being balloted to strike across the country on 30 November, in protest to the government’s plans to increase pension contributions made by employees.

The Brixton branch of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) believes anti-cuts campaigners, students, pensioners and the unemployed will join public sector workers in what it hopes will be the biggest strike in a generation. 

Party member Ruth Lorimer said: “The strike of 30 November is a massive step forward as it’s the first coordinated strike across the whole public sector.

“In Brixton there will be picket lines, striking workers and rallies which will finish at the Oval Stadium.   

“We’ve seen the children and young person’s services in this area being cut, people have lost their jobs, one o’ clock clubs and adventure playgrounds are being closed, and libraries are losing their funding.”

Ms Lorimer added: “People recognise that it’s part of a much bigger programme of austerity so we know we’re not going to win on a local level unless we win on a national level as well.” 

Lambeth Council is required to make £37million of savings in 2011-2012, with a total of £94million over the next four years.

The Brixton SWP was campaigning close to Brixton tube station on Wednesday evening, asking people to sign a ‘Stop the Cuts’ petition. 

Kay Roberts, 37, who signed the petition, said: “It’s inspiring that people are getting together to do something, it’s just whether the government will listen.  I hope it does.  Things are getting a bit out of hand.”

Ms Roberts said she would like to return to work after her youngest child starts school and has thought about starting her own business. 

“It’s not easy as you need determination, but I think people out there may be thinking the same thing.  A lot of people are still striving.  You’ve got to do something – you can’t just sit back and do nothing.”

Sylvana Bustamante, 25, who works at Brixton Hill-based charity London Creative Labs, also signed the petition.  The charity she works at is a social business aiming to generate new opportunities that provide and enable work in communities. 

She said: “The government doesn’t seem to care about grassroots organisations by the looks of the things that are being cut, which is depressing.  The entire third sector has been hit by the cuts.”     

“I think it’s important to help in any way you can and be united with one voice so changes can be made.”

The Chancellor George Osborne has previously said that strike plans for 30 November are deeply irresponsible.   

Ministers argue the change to pension contributions – scheduled for next April – is required to make pension schemes sustainable due to today’s ageing population.   

Lambeth Council declined to comment on any future protest action.

Related Articles