No to the #Bristol #CouncilCuts! #Tories Out Saturday 27th of August

No to the #Bristol #CouncilCuts! #Tories Out  Saturday 27th of August
Job cuts bristol post

Screen shot Bristol Post article 22/08/2016

Join this Emergency Protest following the announcement from the Mayor and council on Monday of an awful £29 million – 1000 council jobs and 17% of all staff – to be cut by spring 2017, due to cuts in central (Tory) government funding!

Hundreds of jobs are planned to go by the end of September.

Services which would inevitably be hit in a big way are *** social care for vulnerable adults, older people and children and families ***.

So join us on the streets on Saturday to make it clear that Bristol simply will not take these cuts from the Tory government any more!!

 

Bristol's Mayor George Ferguson joins hands with members of the Rainbow Group outside City Hall.

Bristol’s Mayor George Ferguson joins hands with members of the Rainbow Group outside City Hall. Front three L-R: Martin Spellacey (Co-ordinator Friends of Rainbow), Bristol Mayor George Ferguson and Amy Mosley (Co-ordinator Friends of Rainbow). Date:14/05/2014 Photographer: Dave Betts/Freelance. Reporter:

This is not a one-off. There are other Cabinet and Council meetings planned for the weeks ahead, and we need to take to the streets again and again to make our opposition and demands for a stand on fair funding (reversing austerity) felt.

After years of cuts of tens of £millions from the council budget (which have all damaged lives), there is no question now that these cuts will be eating into what anyone would call ‘essential’ services, and will have dramatic consequences for our city, undoubtedly costing lives.

We also demand that the leadership of the city take a strong stand, alongside other city leaders, in calling out and making serious demands of central government over these devastating cuts that disproportionately affect poorer communities and vulnerable people and are seriously damaging the services we all need.

Action called by Bristol People’s Assembly and Unite the Union.

There is also a national ‘Tories Out: Austerity Has Failed’ Demonstration at the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham on October 2nd where we can also escalate our action: bristol2toryconf2016.eventbrite.co.uk

NEIN CUTS

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Bristol goes to emergency National Demo – No more austerity, No to racism, Tories must go!

Coaches organised by Bristol People’s Assembly to the Emergency National Demo called by The People’s Assembly and Stand Up to Racism.

TICKETS HERE (From £8 Unwaged): https://bristol2july16.eventbrite.co.uk 

***Please buy a FULL PRICE TICKET if you can afford to, as we have limited funds, are struggling for donors (after raising money for the Convoy to Calais) and coach prices are in their premium period!***

NoAustNoRacismToriesGo

 

Coaches leave 8.15am from Anchor Rd W-bound bus stop outside At-Bristol Science Centre.

Assemble in London 12pm, BBC HQ, Portland Place, London W1

4.45pm departure from London

The timing couldn’t be more crucial for the Left to go on the offensive – the Tory government is in disarray with no regard for increasing racism after the referendum campaigns, there is major financial turbulence that some would wish to use against ordinary people, and, in spite of the major attacks from establishment MPs & the right of his party, a leading figure in the anti-austerity and anti-racist movements, Jeremy Corbyn, is receiving huge grassroots support that could change the picture of British politics hugely.

But we need all the left, Greens, Labour, unionists, socialists, NHS campaigners, strikers, community campaigners to unite to help defeat this government, its austerity and its racism.  We must keep pushing to force their capitulation and a General Election!

Official national information: http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/emergency_demo_16july

Demand a Mayor Against Austerity (and Council too)!

Bristol's Mayor George Ferguson joins hands with members of the Rainbow Group outside City Hall.

Bristol’s Mayor George Ferguson joins hands with members of the Rainbow Group outside City Hall. Front three L-R: Martin Spellacey (Co-ordinator Friends of Rainbow), Bristol Mayor George Ferguson and Amy Mosley (Co-ordinator Friends of Rainbow). Date:14/05/2014 Photographer: Dave Betts/Freelance. Reporter:

At the beginning of April, Bristol City Council released a very important report (with a very dull-sounding name). This was the report of the council department charged with implementing its ‘efficiency program’ (read ‘cuts’), ‘The Change Board’; its 6-monthly progress report. Buried towards the end of its fairly opaque, jargonistic pages were its predictions on the scale of future cuts to our city.

‘The current modelling suggest that an additional £75.3m will need to be saved by the end of 2019/20’

On top of the almost £90m cut so far, this will have reduced council budgets by almost 80% since 2010.

Cuts of 80% cannot be implemented without triggering the widespread failure of essential frontline services. The compilers of the report itself know this. As they said: –

‘We stated in the last report that “inevitably a time will come when the drive for efficiency within the Council starts to yield decreeing returns”…. It should be acknowledged that this time is with us now

‘It has been a cornerstone of the programme that we will do all that can be done to avoid cutting frontline services and whilst that continues to be the case, the challenge is increasing’

In a report that emphasised the virtue of ‘optimising’ and ‘modernising’ council services as seemingly the only impulse behind the councils ‘restructuring’, and that makes no mention of funding cuts, this is strong stuff.

*** These cuts are the most significant challenge our city and its citizens face over the next 4 years.

They will fundamentally alter local government as we know it. ***

We mean to put these cuts back at the forefront of the agenda in the current Mayoral and local electoral debate that instead has been trivialised by focused on parking zones, 20 mph speed limits, and the personal rivalries of opposing candidates.

>>> We’re also asking you to challenge all of the main candidates on how they will respond to these £75m CUTS, and whether they are really willing to stand up for Bristol’s people against austerity.  Whether that be by email (we will be trying this ourselves), at hustings, or otherwise.

Over the coming months, and years (if the Tory government lasts that long), we will be building the local resistance (working with local trades unions and other local campaigns) to stop these cuts and protect the services that we rely upon. Only a massive mobilisation of ordinary people in Bristol on the streets can save our city.

But to make that job easier for us, we need to use these elections to get the most anti-austerity council possible.

None of the candidates for Mayor likely to get elected has adopted the all out anti-cuts, pro-‘needs budget’ position the People’s Assembly has called for; but both the Labour and Green candidates are nominally against austerity (though the former has chosen not to foreground this in his campaign) and we get two preferential votes.

Furthermore, several councillors (9 Greens, and 1 Lib Dem) have already voted against previous cuts budgets on an anti-austerity basis, and it seems likely that the more pro-Corbyn Labour candidates could be pushed to resist (though it should also be noted that so far all of Bristol’s Labour councillors have voted en masse for every cuts budget proposed during their times in office).

To help build the resistance against this intensification of austerity, we need a Mayor who will take a public stand against Tory austerity and fight for fairer funding, and councillors who are prepared to do that and also (alongside the Mayor ideally) prepared to vote against cuts budgets and prepare their own ‘needs budgets’.

Let’s use our vote this May 5th to make that possible. But even in a best case scenario, this election will not save Bristol’s public services. Only we can do that.

#Bristol Flashmob against #austerity #4demands

This Budget Day (Wednesday the 16th of March), as Tory chancellor George Osborne unveils his plans for more vicious cuts to vital public services & welfare…

We’ll hit the streets of Stokes Croft in serious numbers to make a *big noise* against this further attack on ordinary people’s lives by the Tory austerity regime and set out our #4Demands for a politics of economic fairness and social justice!

We know that’s not on Cameron & co’s agenda, that’s why want the#ToriesOut asap – and we’re building for the set-to-be-big #April16 National Demonstration for Health, Homes, Jobs & Education, with our shiny leaflets and bargain coach tickets (http://bristol2april16.eventbrite.co.uk/)

There’ll be megaphone action, a portable *Soundsystem*, impromptu *dancemoves*, knockout chants & loads of fun, so please join us.

Meet outside the Crofter’s Rights at 5:30pm, bring placards, banners, friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, and the spirit of resistance.

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Bristol Coach Tickets: #CameronMustGo NATIONAL DEMO for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education

 

CameronMustGo

Join us on these coaches from Bristol to the biggie: The People’s Assembly National Demo in London to say #CameronMustGo #ToriesOut and demand a government to stand up for Health, Homes, Jobs & Education…

COACH TICKETS (£7/13) HERE: http://bristol2april16.eventbrite.co.uk

Last summer we got 9 coaches down from Bristol for the June 20th #EndAusterityNow demo – let’s aim to match that or beat it – and push on the huge wave of resistance forming against this government.

But let’s get big, bold & vibrant Bristol Bloc down – tell your colleagues, friends, family – bring ’em all! We need to up the ante on this vicious, corrupt government and get them out of power asap – a spring of huge protest will be crucial in building the mass public opposition to this end.

If you cannot afford a ticket but would still like to come then e-mail us bristolpeoplesassemble@gmail.com and we will help to arrange that. We are seeking funding from our affiliated organisations (trade union branches and other campaigns) to subsidise these costs.

Please join, invite & share the Facebook event!

Health

  • Fully funded and publicly owned NHS – end privatisation
  • Invest in health workers – end the staffing crisis
  • No cuts or closures

Homes

  • Hands off social housing
  • Secure homes for all
  • Control rents

Jobs

  • Scrap the Trade Union Reform Bill
  • Stop insecure contracts
  • End the pay freeze, living wage for all

Education

  • Scrap Tuition Fees
  • Invest in our futures – stop cuts to education
  • End the marketisation of education

And please spread the word, lets make this massive!

Bristol PA Statement ahead of today’s Council Budget vote

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From 2pm Today Bristol Council will be voting on continuing with Mayor George Ferguson’s 3-year austerity budget plan of passing on nearly £90 million of cuts to Bristol’s residents and their public services.

Despite Ferguson’s promise not to cut front-line services we’ve seen many of these cut to the bone.

We’ve all experienced the effects of halving the number of staff policing fly tipping (with incidents of fly tipping on our streets more than doubling!). Libraries – critically important in democratising knowledge and providing vital space for our community – have been savaged with both reduced hours and staff, and a highly uncertain futures (£635,000 of planned ‘savings’ are still to be ‘found’). Most shockingly we’ve seen some of Bristol’s disabled children targeted; with the number of beds at the Bush Residential Centre halved. The Bush provides urgent respite care for some of the most vulnerable children and Bristol and there is no alternative provision.

As well as vulnerable children many adults with physical or learning disability are dependent on the support provided by the councils’ social care services. These too have seen biting cuts. The budget for adult care and support by 30.74% since 2010, with a further 11.96% cut for the elderly. The vulnerable have been further targeted, as the council has increased the cost of the community meals services by 33 per cent.

We cannot allow the Council to pass the government’s socially destructive austerity program onto our city and our communities. If austerity continues it won’t be long before we start to see the widespread failure of more and more of the services we rely on, and the consequent multiplying of social misery in our city.

That’s why we’re calling on all of our councillors to vote against today’s austerity budget. They have a duty to fight for our city and the residents they’re meant to represent, and they need to stand up to the government and say no to more cuts in Bristol. We want councils to fight for fairer funding, the use of reserves and prudential borrowing, and the acquisition of new funding streams (like calling on the central government to devolve the collection of business rates early) to give the people of Bristol the budget they need to support the services they rely upon.

Solidarity to all those affected by this vote – we will continue to build the movement of resistance to austerity and its many local impacts, whatever today’s result.

#ScrapTrident #StopBombingSyria #WelfareNotWarfare, 2nd Feb 7pm at the Trinity Centre

#ScrapTrident #StopBombingSyria #WelfareNotWarfare, 2nd Feb 7pm at the Trinity Centre

stop trident

On the 2nd of February the Bristol People’s Assembly is joining forces with the Bristol CND and the Bristol Stop the War Coalition to host a public meeting and rally against the renewal of the trident nuclear weapon system and the continued bombing of Syria.  Join us in calling for ‘Welfare not Warfare’.

The government is expected to force a vote on renewal of Trident in a few months time. The majority of the British people, including the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (though sadly not all of his MPs), the Greens and the Scottish and Welsh Nationalist all oppose nuclear weapons. They are deadly relics of a bygone era, weapons of mass destruction that would indiscriminately kill millions, and which are completely useless against the threats Britain faces. They don’t keep us safe and they divert resources from essential spending.

We are seeing devastating cuts to vital services, most tragically our NHS, and millions are forced to use food banks as the government no longer pays benefits adequate for many people to survive.  In such a situation it is a huge travesty that the government wants to waste over £100 billion on renewing the deadly and useless white elephant that is trident.

trident nhs

We’ll be coming together at the trinity centre to protest against the renewal of trident and the continued bombing of Syria.

We all oppose the brutal outrageous committed by Daesh/ISIS, but further Western intervention in the form of Britain joining the 12 other countries already bombing Syria is unlikely to achieve anything constructive.  Simultaneously it plays into ISISs hands by giving credence to their clash of civilisations rhetoric in which they portrays themselves as protecting Muslims against a hostile and militant west.  At the same time despite the promises of Cameron and the champions of intervention British bombs are already killing innocent civilians and further adding to the bloodshed and misery inflicted on Syria and its unfortunate people.

Furthermore, the obscene cost of this and other unnecessary interventions is a smack in the face to everyone on the sharp end of austerity Britain.  The cost of just one air strike mission is over half a million pounds, and we will likely spend many hundreds of millions over the year in this latest military entanglement.  The cost of bombing Daesh/ISIS in Iraq is already over £200 million a year and it seems this figure is sure to rise as our involvement escalates.

It tells us a lot about our elite that they would rather priorities fruitless military intervention and seeming tough on defence over looking after their own people.  We saw this link between austerity and war most clearly in the last budget when the government increased total defence spending by £12 billion, the exact same amount they simultaneously decided to cut from welfare.  As the late and great Tony Benn used to say “If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people”.

cost of bombing

That’s why we’ve organised this event and are bringing you a fantastic line up of speakers from across the movement to demand Welfare Not Warfare.

Join us to say no to Trident, no to war and no to austerity.  We deserve better!

So far speakers include:

Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
John Rees, From the Stop the War Coalition
Shahrar Ali, Deputy Leader of the Green party
Mhairi Threlfall, Eastville Councillor for the Labour Party

They’ll all be making the links between austerity and war more explicit and arming us with the arguments we need to make the case for peace and equality.

We’ll also be trying to raise awareness (and funds for coaches) for the national march against trident in London on Saturday the 27th of February.  If we are to overcome the powerful vested interested at the heart of the Conservative party (and sadly infecting some of the parliamentary Labour party too) bent on pushing through trident renewal against the wishes of the people than making this demonstration big and vibrant will be key.  Naturally we’ll be supporting Bristol CND who are organising coaches:  (if you want to buy a ticket please see www.bristolcnd.org.uk ).

To find out more about the national demo and for updates join the national CND Facebook event here  https://www.facebook.com/events/160801110932716/

So please join us the February the 2nd, and invite as many people as you can, its shaping up to be an event not to miss.

Join our facebook event and let us know you’re coming: https://www.facebook.com/events/1735525073344795/

For more information on the groups organising this event please see our facebook pages here:-

Bristol CND – https://www.facebook.com/BristolCND/

Bristol Stop the War –
https://www.facebook.com/BristolStopTheWar/

Bristol People’s Assembly –
https://www.facebook.com/BristolPeoplesAssembly/

By, Will Quick for the Bristol People’s Assembly