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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Green MEP calls for “massive turnout” at national demonstration against cuts

Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, called for a “massive turnout” at next year’s national demonstration against cuts [1] in her keynote speech at Saturday’s founding conference of the Coalition of Resistance.

Over 1200 people packed into the Camden Centre to hear and take part in discussions on what is being seen as the beginning of a nation-wide protest against government austerity measures. The recent student action and ongoing occupations have heralded the start of a new era of demonstrations, strikes and non-violent civil disobedience in support of universal public services, social justice and a low-carbon economy.

Jean Lambert, the Green Party’s national spokesperson on social affairs, told the audience: “The Green Party opposes the cuts imposed by this Government and that is why we support the Coalition of Resistance. We believe we can tackle the deficit constructively over time without throwing people out of work [2] and breaking down the welfare state.

“Local authorities are facing huge budget cuts – 28% overall over the next four years and we will see the effect at local level. But let’s remember where responsibility for those cuts lies – in Downing Street, with the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. Let’s make sure we have a massive turnout for March 26th next year.

“There’s a lot to protest about, although we’re not just about protest. We’re about positive ideas that can make a difference.

Acting together, we can have a stronger society and a new sense of direction.

We don’t need savage cuts. We need solidarity, vision and action.”

Jean also used the platform to call for people to support the March on Parliament for a Zero Carbon Britain on Saturday 4 December, which is one of a series of demonstrations happening across the world as part of a global day of action on climate change [3].

The scale of opposition to the cuts was compared to the 1980’s poll tax revolt. A number of Green Party policies came up as solutions to the economic crisis, with the Green Party’s £1 million green jobs investment programme quoted by CND’s Kate Hudson and Right to Work’s Chris Bambery.

There were also calls to scrap Trident, close tax loopholes, keep the NHS public, invest more money in social care budgets, support alternatives to capitalism and create a society based on equality without racism.

Note to editors

[1] The TUC National Demonstration Against Cuts will take place in Hyde Park, on Saturday 26 March:

http://www.tuc.org.uk/mediacentre/tuc-18709-f0.cfm

 

[2] 140,000 local authority workers in the coming year and the thousands of others whose jobs are under threat