In light of the pitiful 1% NHS staff pay rise, the looming threat of mass unemployment and the new Police, crime, sentencing and courts bill, a protest will take to the streets of London on Saturday 26 June.
“After Covid, demand a new normal.”
This is the slogan that captures the nation’s “visceral anger” over “the multitude of government failures during the pandemic, with one of the highest Covid death rates in the world.”
And it is the slogan that has been coined by The People’s Assembly organisers of the June demonstration, which aims to galvanise people against austerity, cuts and privatisation in the workplace.
The demonstration has key demands: renationalise key industries, decent housing for all, no tory crony corruption, properly funded, fully publicly owned NHS, keep the market out of education, a green new deal, safe workplaces, save jobs, end fire and rehire, fully funded social care, and kill the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill..
“We have exposed the failure of the government and we’ve exposed that growing inequality in our society, the failures of austerity politics. But we’ve also shown that when we want to we can take the homeless off our streets, we can protect worker’s pay, we can look after our sick, we can make a difference and build a new society with new politics,” said the Assistant General Secretary of Unite, Steve Turner.
It is for this reason that he has pledged the support of his union, standing in solidarity with 49 other trade unions, political organisations and community campaigns who each support this movement.
The government have warned that the country’s finances are under a considerable amount of pressure therefore they recommended that NHS staff should receive a 1% pay increase this year. Professor Dame Donna Kinnair said: “It shows the government is completely out of touch with nursing staff, NHS workers and the public.”
The pressure of the pandemic has driven 700,000 people into poverty, according to the Legatum Institute’s 2020 winter report. The Child Poverty Action Group found that 200,000 of those individuals were children. This means 4.3 million children, in England, are currently in poverty.
Amid this strife, these marginalised groups have united through a shared growing concern that the new Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is propelling Britain towards becoming an authoritarian state.
The bill is due to reach its final reading in June, which the campaign states is “an affront to democracy, an assault on our rights to protest and an attempt to silence dissent & opposition to the government”.
The People’s Assembly against Austerity was launched in February 2013 as a fierce opposition to the austerity measures the coalition government were introducing. The campaign said: “The assembly will provide a national forum for anti-austerity views which, while increasingly popular, are barely represented in parliament.”
The “After Covid demand a New Normal” protest will take place on Saturday, 26th June 2021. They will assemble around Portland Place at 12, midday, before marching to Parliament Square. For further information, visit The People’s Assembly or email firstname.lastname@example.org