Anti-cuts activists will join a huge swathe of public sector strikes on 30 June 2011, as part of the largest day of action against the government’s cuts programme so far.
Some 750,000 public sector workers from major unions, including the PCS, the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (who have never gone on strike before) are expected to take part in the first day of mass co-ordinated strike action against the coalition’s policies.
The action group UK Uncut will be part of the ‘Big Society Breakfast’ joining striking teachers and public sector workers across the country to show support for the strikes.
They will join picket lines across the country, bringing breakfast to the striking staff and building links between local direct action groups and union members.
The protests will highlight that the strikes by the unions are another form of direct action against the cuts being taken by people in towns and cities across the country.
It is predicted by many analysts that strike action will grow rapidly towards the autumn and UK Uncut are vowing to support and build on the strike action with more direct action protest against tax avoiders and the banking system.
The show of increasing unity between direct action groups and the unions follows UK Uncut’s last major day of action against NHS cuts when Unite, the UK’s largest union, and the PCS both called on their members to back the actions.
Talks have taken place this week between the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and UK Uncut - which has come to prominence by occupying hundreds of banks and retail shops belonging to tax-avoiding corporations over the last eight months, in towns and cities across the country. It is a direct action network with a national reach, and some 30,000 followers on the social networking site Twitter alone.
Jane Harris, aged 34, a teaching assistant from Birmingham commented: “We are used to taking part in sit-ins, now it’s time to stand up with the people going on strike and the trade unions who are challenging the government’s cuts agenda. These strikes are about much more then public sector pensions, they are part of a fast growing national movement against the cuts. These cuts do not have to be made and will punish teachers, nurses and students who did not cause this crisis. That’s why on the 30th I will be out on the picket lines, side by side with the unions.”
Mark Williams, aged 26, from London added: “By joining the unions we can help show there are alternatives to the governments cuts. There are alternatives to the cuts, for example, making the banks pay for a crisis they created or stopping tax dodging by corporations and the rich. But the government is making a political choice in making ordinary people pay with job losses and savage spending cuts. As a national movement working together we can stop the coalition’s cuts and defend vital public services.”
In London, following the trade union march and rally in central London, UK Uncut are planning what they call a "public spectacle", inviting union members to take part in a creative protest to highlight the injustice behind the government’s cuts.
* More on the J30 day of action - http://www.j30strike.org/
* Coalition of Resistance - http://www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk/