Report: Youth Fight Austerity budget day protests
Youth Fight Austerity challenged austerity on budget day
Osborne attacks the youth…we take to the streets!
The Tories' vicious austerity budget wasn't announced without opposition - protests took place up and down the country. Young people were singled out for particularly vicious assault, so Youth Fight for Jobs organised 20 of these under the Youth Fight Austerity banner.
Below are some of the reports from around the country.
Find out what Youth Fight Austerity says we need to do next to stop the Tories
Daily Mirror budget day live feed featured Youth Fight for Jobs / Youth Fight Austerity and our protest & Russia Today
Birmingham Youth Fight Austerity held an anti-austerity demonstration on budget day, 8 July. The evening protest was very well attended, and grew to over 300 after a feeder march from Birmingham Against the Cuts joined in. The crowd had lots of energy and there were numerous speakers of different ages, some being new to the experience.
A group photograph was taken in support of the Greek people, after which, everyone marched to the West Midlands BBC office. Chanting all the way, and gaining attention from passers-by, the march delivered a letter to the West Midlands BBC director requesting they present more anti-austerity coverage.
YFA’s lively stalls and their demands of a £10 an hour minimum wage, rebuilding public services and a 24 hour general strike were extremely popular. A short but vibrant rally included speakers from the transport union RMT, communication union CWU, and public sector union Unison as well as Youth Fight Austerity and campaigners against cuts to local library services.
Overall, with a youthful and fresh feeling, the protest has added to the range of demonstrations held in Birmingham, has received much positive feedback from people, and over 100 who had never participated in political activity before signed up to be involved in future Youth Fight Austerity campaigns.
Conrinthia Ward, Birmingham Youth Fight Austerity
On 8 July, Youth Fight Austerity planned national action to counter the new austerity budget. We had a platform outside Downing Street for us to voice our anger at Osborne’s planned cuts. Socialist Party member Mary Finch made clear, the scrapping of the maintenance grant and its replacement with a loan is not only another attack on students who already struggle to survive, but an attack on young working class people who now face an even higher level of debt if they get to university.
Youth Fight Austerity then marched on Parliament Square to join with other anti-austerity protesters, blocking the road and making lots of noise. While some despaired at the ‘death’ of the public sector, we made it clear that an organised, united fightback is needed - starting with further action on 11th July.
Marianne Murray, London Youth Fight for Austerity
Around 50 people gathered for a protest called by TUSC and Youth Fight Austerity in Huddersfield at lunch time. The protest heard from local trade union speakers and campaign groups including Iain Dalton speaking on behalf of the campaign.
Especially noticeable was the numbers of people stopping to listen to the speeches on their lunch break. The vast majority of these were young people including young workers and one group of six-form college students. Most left their details to find out more about Youth Fight Austerity.
Huddersfield Youth Fight Austerity
Nuneaton’s Youth Fight Austerity demo was a great success. We had lots of good conversations with people who were disgusted with the Tories’ austerity attacks and were more than happy to sign petitions and take away leaflets about building the anti-austerity movement.
Aidan O'Toole, Nuneaton Youth Fight Austerity
Nearly 100 people came out and voiced their anger at the spectacularly divisive budget that will see those with least, suffer the most. The Youth Fight Austerity stall was manned by young supporters, who are proportionally more affected by the official age discrimination in pay, benefits and further attacks on the right of education that this government is delighted to enforce. A poignant speech from a schoolgirl expressed the indignation at the news that grants for student from low-income households will be totally removed and replaced by loans. The pots and pans of the crowd rang out, conviction for further action was strengthened and future students were made of the campaign.
Vlad Tomes, Nottingham Youth Fight Austerity
Over 20 trade unionists and socialists gathered at Chester Cross to protest the continuing attacks of the ruling class. Armed with a hastily produced leaflet, placards and a megaphone we vowed to carry on our campaigning against the many attacks our community and class are facing.
Kenny Cunningham, Chair of West Cheshire TUC
25 turned up to protest against the budget in Worcester, including Youth Fight Austerity, TUSC, Worcester TUC, and members of the newly formed Unite Community branch. I was interviewed for BBC Hereford and Worcester radio as were others. Lots of people looked at our placards and banners, some signed petitions, and I had many worthwhile conversations with people in the space of an hour.
Pete McNally, Worcester Youth Fight Austerity
The announcement of further cuts on budget day brought together anti-cuts campaigners under the banner of Youth Fight Austerity to protest at the Bargate before marching through town to join a protest organised by the People’s Assembly. Campaigners to save Woodside Lodge care home, and the Bitterne Walk-In NHS service, joined with young workers and trade unionists organised by Youth Fight Austerity. Our banners, leaflets and megaphone attracted many people, some stayed to join the protest. Others we had never met before came with their own placards and stories to tell. After half an hour we marched through town, a small but lively and noisy protest, getting plenty of support. As we arrived at the People’s Assembly protest chanting, "We can stop the cuts!" we were applauded by all those there. Many people agree that opposition to these cuts must grow, many are new to protests and politics.
Southampton Youth Fight Austerity