On Tuesday 12th October, representatives from trades unions, campaigns and community groups representing thousands of people across Oxfordshire came together to express their opposition to cuts in public services, jobs, pay and pensions which they say will damage Oxfordshire’s economy irreparably.
17 different organisations, representing people from all walks of life signed up to the following statement and agreed to form a united campaign, Oxfordshire Anti-Cuts Alliance, to build resistance to the cuts:
“We believe that the savage spending cuts proposed by the coalition government will wreck millions of people’s lives. They will decimate public services, cut jobs, pay and pensions, and risk plunging the British economy into further difficulties.
“We believe there is an alternative. We could raise revenue through progressive taxation, plugging tax loopholes, cancelling Trident and adopting a green approach to public spending – investing in renewable energy and public transport to create a million jobs. We call on our elected representatives to oppose all cuts in jobs and public services.”
The alliance has also called on people to join an Oxfordshire Day of Action Against Cuts on the 20th October when people from across the county will demonstrate their anger against the cuts at various events, including an evening rally in Bonn Square. The group will be running an information stall during the day on Cornmarket Street, central Oxford, which will provide analysis of the Comprehensive Spendng Review as it is released, showing the impact on local people.
From 5.30pm, people will gather together in Bonn Square to demonstrate opposition to the cuts and hear from various campaigns and trades unions working to oppose them.
Groups involved in the alliance include Oxford & District Trades Union Council, Unite SE625 (Cowley Factory Branch), Oxfordshire NUT, Oxfordshire NASUWT, Unison Oxfordshire County Branch, Unison Oxford City Branch, Oxford PCS, Oxford NUJ, UCU Oxford & Cherwell Valley College, UCU Ruskin College, Ruskin College Students’ Union, Oxford People’s Charter Campaign, Oxford Save Our Services, Oxford Right to Work, Oxford Coalition of Resistance, Oxford for Peace and Justice, Oxford CND.
Gawain Little, President of Oxford & District Trades Council, emphasised the importance of Tuesday’s meeting and called on people to support the day of action on October 20th.
“This alliance marks an unprecedented level of co-operation between different groups representing diverse communities across Oxfordshire. What we all have in commojn is that we rely on public services in a variety of ways, as do the majority of people in this country. Oxfordshire will be particularly affected by cuts because of the high number of people working in public services locally and this can’t fail to have a knock-on effect in terms of the local economy.
“We believe these cuts can be defeated and will work together to achieve that aim.”