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 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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#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

Bristol at People’s Assembly National Conference 2015

National People's Assembly 5th December
“It’s time for everyone who wants to see a change to come together once more and decide how we create a movement that can stop austerity in it’s tracks. Whether you’ve been central to the organisation, or if you just want to find out how you can get more involved, join us on 5 December.”

**Speakers include, John McDonnell MP, Francesca Martinez, Dr Rory Hicks (Junior Doctors Campaign), Christine Blower, Dave Ward, Natalie Bennett and more!**

This conference is open to all and we’ll have 10 delegates from Bristol People’s Assembly (nominated at previous meetings) attending – please join us there!

Any organisations/campaigns that wish to affiliate to the People’s Assembly (£20 yearly) can also send a number of delegates. Conference is the main democratic forum for PAAA.

For more information and tickets please visit: http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/people_s_assembly_national_conference_dec_5

REGISTER YOUR PLACE HERE: https://paconference2015.eventbrite.co.uk/

Activist Meeting on Monday 7pm!

BPA Protest Pic

Following on from the massive, defiant and energised #EndAusterityNow Demo in London on Saturday – where more than 500 Bristolians joined the ~250,000 others – we are holding an Activists Meeting for those who want to be involved in organising the July 8th Protest against the Chancellor’s ‘Emergency Budget’!

More details of the event can be found on the Facebook event page (& on the Activity Diary – tab at the top of this page).

The event is open and accessible to all, so turn up and get involved!

Bristol rally: full report

Bristol People’s Assembly Report Back

By Julie McCalden and Naz Massoumi. Photos by Louise Whittle

Bristol rally photos

“Not even standing room” was one of the first tweets of the evening. Another city, another evening and another packed out rally in support of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity. This time it was in Bristol, where over 350 people crammed into the Malcolm X Centre in St Pauls. And the atmosphere was absolutely electric.

Paulette North  Paulette North, a local radio presenter on Ujima radio from Black Activists Rising Against the Cuts (BARAC) set the mood with an inspiring opening, describing how the black community were feeling the sharp end of austerity, with cutbacks to organisations being three times as large as the average, with 30 job losses at the Black Development Agency and cuts in funding for the Malcolm X Community Centre where the rally was being held. But she also stressed how this had sparked a massive campaign, and the fight back had been fantastic with the latest campaign organising to save the local adventure playground from closure.

joanne kaye

Joanne Kaye, the Regional Secretary of Unison in the South West, followed by talking about her working class background in Sheffield and how her generation had got used to the idea that their lives would be better than their parents, but that their children would be worse off than them. The key for the People’s Assembly was unity and solidarity: we would have to accept that we have our differences but that we had to unite over what we agree on in order to defeat this government.

Laura Laura WeltiWelti, from the Bristol Disability Equality Forum said there was overwhelming evidence that welfare reforms have nothing to do with saving money everything to do with political dogma.  She argued for the need to fight against the stereotyping of disabled people as scroungers or fraudsters had fuelled discrimination – in a survey of people with learning difficulties 90% of respondents had experienced abuse.

She said that life for disabled people was 25% more expensive because of the adaptations needed to live in our society, yet they are hit by multiple cuts making them some of the worst affected by the governments austerity programme. The cuts to disability living allowance were literally killing people – 32 a week. If this wasn’t bad enough, advice and legal aid cuts meant that there was no support to get what you’re actually entitled to. The situation was even worse for refugees who were disabled, with lack of access to benefits or accommodation with wheelchair facilities.

Vicki Baars, Vice President of NUS, argued how this was a new beginning for an anti austerity movement, that would turn the tide on a ‘rich, male, pale, stale government.’ She described the overwhelming response to the call for the People’s Assembly and how opinion polls showed that 30% of people rejected austerity outright. There had been some powerful demonstrations recently ignored by the media – thousands had marched to save local hospitals, community centres and swimming pools.

Comedian Mark Steel had the audience rolling with laughter and received a warm response when he said that resistinMark Steelg and complaining about the cuts – even when it didn’t feel like winning – was better than doing nothing, because it empowers us and gives us hope. He argued for fighting to shift the so-called centre ground to where we want it to be, so that the idea that the poor should pay for the crisis caused by the rich would became so abhorrent that in the future it would seem as absurd as slavery does to us now.

Owen JonesColumnist and author Owen Jones talked about the already huge meetings supporting the assembly that have taken place across the country and how it was rooted it in people’s anger against the government – they no longer wanted to just shout at the telly. He said there was plenty to be angry about – from food banks trebling in size last year to the forced choice of parents to eat or heat, from breakfast clubs and EMA being scrapped to 1701 applications for 8 jobs at Costa Coffee. What was missing was hope and to offer a coherent alternative to austerity.

Billions of pounds spent on housing benefit was lining the pockets of landlords charging extortionate rents, whilst tax credits were a lifeline for low wage earners because bosses weren’t paying their workers properly. He argued for a living wage, for tackling the ecological and job crisis together and for a war against tax avoidance, which got little media coverage in comparison to benefit fraud. These were common sense ideas ignored by the government and the People’s Assembly would give a megaphone to people who are otherwise ignored. We had all come to the realisation, he said, that it is unacceptable that we do not have a mass movement against austerity that can push an alternative. He received rapturous applause by ending with a call to stand together and fight together to win together.

There were inspiring contributions from the floor – Mike Campbell from Protect Our NHS showed how cash was leaping from NHS to private hands, around 8.7 billion pounds last year and Nigel Varley from Bristol Anti-Cuts Alliance about what had been done locally thus far against the cuts. Other contributions included a member from South Gloucestershire Unison Branch, a PCS rep and South West TUC chair and Suzannah, a local resident who had been subjected to the bedroom tax who called for everyone to join the Axe the Bedroom Tax protests on Saturday. Bobo, a local campaigner, got a fantastic response when he argued the poor had to look after each other as the rich would never know how it felt to be poor.

After the meeting many people inspired by the rally stayed in the hall to debate and discuss, whilst hundreds signed up to find out more about the assembly and financial contributions were made to help Bristol People’s Assembly to get off the ground, some of which will be donated to the Malcolm X Community Centre due to their financial strains as well as to subsidise getting people to the assembly on 22 June.

The meeting has already had a huge impact being picked up by the local press and community radio stations. These ripples have all the hallmarks of the start of a powerful and coherent anti-austerity movement.

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