Glasgow Against Atos organised a lively contingent on today’s march against the bedroom tax from Glasgow Green to George Square. With ‘Atos Kills!’ and ‘Defend The Right To Protest’ placards, our big banner, a open megaphone for anyone to speak or chant on, chant sheets, leaflets and our supporters we were able to unite more people around the demand to ‘end the war on welfare!’.
Yesterday, 29 March, we held our last Friday of every month rolling picket in Glasgow City Centre. This started at the Atos office on Cadogan Street. While some of our campaigners stayed at the office to give support to the people going through tests others set off to picket the Royal Mail office on St. Vincent Street (who hire Atos as an occupational health provider), Royal Bank of Scotland on Gordon St and the offices of the Commonwealth Shames (which Atos are sponsoring) on Albion St. The action was successful with speeches made throughout and hundreds of leaflets distributed to the general public.
Two van loads of Strathclyde Police officers, positioned in what they thought was our intended path, were not able disrupt the protest as we simply changed the target of our picket and were gaining a lot of support from passers-by.
These two events show once again that Glasgow Against Atos is much more than a talking shop campaign. We unite words with action and have done since we came together in June 2012. We are increasing the frequency of our planning meetings and actions as we become stronger.
Our campaign has been built by people either being affected by the ‘fit for work’ tests or committed to opposing them. This same rule of people power applies to the fight against the bedroom tax. The various parties of the upper class (Tory, Labour, Liberal, SNP) are scrambling over each other to pass on the blame for the cuts while attempting to claim ownership of the fight against them (especially Labour and the SNP). It is up to working class people to separate their friends from their enemies.
The trade unions clearly cannot be relied upon; they have been promising to resist the cuts since the crisis officially began in 2007/8 but they have done no such thing and we can wait no longer! It is up to you the people to build resistance in your local communities, like the poll tax.
On account of our record of principled and consistent campaigning Glasgow Against Atos managed, with a struggle, to secure a speaker on the main platform at the end rally today. Danny spoke on behalf of our campaign; his speech will be republished in our next blog post and so will the Glasgow Against Atos chant sheet from today’s march (please use this to inspire you to think up more and better chants!).
We send solidarity to all the people who supported the march today whether they were able to make it along or not!
We shall not be moved!
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Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07734348065 for more info about getting involved.