By a Socialist Party Scotland reporter
Hundreds of young people, trade unionists and socialists staged a protest on Thursday on Buchanan Street, Glasgow in response to the plans of the Tory government to stay in office and to do a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
Organised on Facebook by students, the “flash demonstration” attracted several thousand likes and pledges to attend in the space of a few hours. Speakers were drawn from anti-fracking groups, trade unions, pro-choice students societies and others opposed to Tory austerity. It began with a minutes silence for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, with blame apportioned to the government’s attack on health and safety legislation and the greed of property developers.
Speakers made clear that the homophobic, anti-abortion climate change-denying agenda of the DUP must be challenged.
Socialist Party Scotland member Dave Semple challenged the claims of the DUP to represent the Protestant working class in Northern Ireland by explaining how, in coalition with Sinn Fein, they had voted through £1bn cuts to welfare and cut 20,000 NI civil service jobs. As newly elected Chair of the PCS Scotland Committee, Dave called on the TUC and the STUC to fully back the People’s Assembly call for a million people to march against austerity on 1st July.
Socialist Party Scotland members called on all the unions to go further, however, by coordinating for a 24-hr general strike, to smash the anti-Trade Union laws and finally end the nightmare of pay austerity that has seen the wages of nurses fall by 15% since the Great Recession began.
Dozens of young people approached the Socialist Party Scotland stall to discuss how we can get Theresa May out of Downing Street. The issue of Scottish independence as the immediate issue has dropped down the agenda of those people attending the protest. Conversations focused around the NHS, education and Corbyn’s pledges in his manifesto, for example on zero hour contracts and the minimum wage. There was clearly an appetite for unity across Yes-No lines.
More than thirty copies of the Socialist were sold and a public meeting has been arranged for Monday 19th June, at 7pm in the icafe on Sauchiehall St, to discuss how we can push the Tory government out.