Wave of UK Protests against Spending Cuts
Demonstrating in Bristol last Saturday
Teachers in the UK are in the forefront of the fightback against the spending cuts proposed by the new right wing coalition government
The government is intending to take £18 billion from the poorest people in the UK - those on welfare - while taking a mere £2.5 billion from the banks - who are responsible for the vast majority of the deficit. Such drastic cuts will have a dire effect on poor children in the UK - all analysis shows that families and particularly poor families will be hit hardest.
The UK government has also embarked on a major attack on publicly accountable education by paving the way for so-called free schools - like the charter schools in the US - which can be set up by anyone who chooses and will of course eventually be run by the private sector. Meanwhile the education budget is being cut and teachers and other public sector workers told that they will have to pay vastly increased contributions to their pensions - in effect a pay cut. Analysts predict that the cuts will mean the loss of 40,000 teaching jobs in England alone - with a further 450,000 other public sector jobs going - many of which will be in education.
This weekend has seen a wave of protests over the UK against the spending cuts. 4-5000 people turned out on a rainy Saturday in Bristol and in London there was a large demonstration outside the officess of the transport union RMT where their leader Bob Crow said campaigners must go: "into the housing estates, into the workplaces, into every part of society and say we aren't paying the price for the corruption of the bankers". 20,000 people marched in the Scottish capital Edinburgh and there was also a march in the Welsh c apital, Cardiff. Meanwhile in many other parts of the UK there were demonstrations and rallies. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has called a mass demonstration for March 26th.
Teaching unions are planning to work with other public sector unions to oppose the cuts by any means possible.
For a fuller report go to: http:// http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11612012