Update note: The meeting on 24th July advertised below is cancelled.
Update 2: Greater Manchester Association of TUCs have organised a replacement meeting which is 6pm on Tuesday 31st July at Methodist Central Hall, Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JQ. Facebook event here.
The TUC demonstration on 20th October is crucial for all of us. After the magnificent build-up of opposition last year, from the half-million strong demo on 26th March to the strike on 30th June and the huge strikes and protests on 30th November, the opposition to the government's disastrous austerity policies really seemed to be building up. But the leaders of the trade union movement wasted that momentum with delays, dithering, and shoddy deals.
The "A Future That Works" demo on 20th October is part of a push to get the momentum back. Some unions are already planning strikes around that date, and students are planning their own demonstration in the autumn too.
We need to make sure the demo on 20th October is bigger and stronger than the 26th March and that it gives people confidence to fight back. This is quite possible. The 26th March was the first trade union mobilisation on that scale for a decade. While it was magnificent there were many lessons learned - and if we learn them it should not be hard to make 20th October far far bigger. Amongst those lessons were the need to organise and book transport earlier and the need for better coordination between different organisations involved in building the demo.
Unite's "Manchester Area Activists Committee", which covers Greater Manchester, decided to initiate an meeting to help build for the demonstration and is sending a letter out to other unions, trades councils and community campaigners to invite them to take part. Below is the text of the letter (I've removed the contact details to avoid spam - please contact me if you have any questions).
To: all trade unionists and community campaigners across Greater ManchesterThe TUC has called a national demonstration in London on 20th October to send the message thatAUSTERITY ISN'T WORKING· spending cuts threaten a lost decade· invest for jobs and growth· defend quality public servicesThe aim is to make this demonstration even bigger than the one on 26th March 2011, and to achieve this we need to organise - now.Unite's Manchester Area Activists Committee, which covers the whole of Greater Manchester, decided to initiate an open organising meeting to build the maximum turnout for 20 October from Greater Manchester and to approach other unions, trades councils and campaign groups to take part.This open organising meeting will take place:6:30pm, Tuesday 24th JulyUnite the Union, Merchants Quay, Salford Quays, Salford, M50 3SGFree car parking is available and the Unite office is a few minutes' walk from Salford Quays Metrolink stopWe hope you will be able to attend the meeting and to publicise it through your own networks.TUC materials to help build for the demonstration are available from www.afuturethatworks.org.If you have any questions about the meeting please contact me, Jimmy Carter --- or Ian Allinson ---.We look forward to seeing you there and working with you to make 20 October a resounding success.In solidarityJimmy CarterSecretary, Unite Manchester Area Activists Committee