Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Dave Prentis: Today history has been made by millions of ordinary men and women #unisonscotN30 #N30

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis today told a rally in Birmingham that today's strike was "the biggest demonstration of determination and defiance that this country has witnessed for almost a century."

He said that the millions taking part in today's action - mostly women, many first time strikers and tens of thousands of young people newly drawn into the union movement - were "the people against the powerful" who should take courage from today's success.

He added: "Today, history has been made - not by politicians - not by bankers and business leaders, but by the millions of ordinary men and women - few of them militants or hardened activists, many thousands who have never taken industrial action before, who, with courage and quiet resolve have said: ‘enough is enough’.

“They are decent men and women, who on any other day of the year are working tirelessly for this country; dedicated – devoted – to the people, the families, the communities they serve; ensuring we are safe, healthy, our children educated, our future protected. Little noticed, rarely thanked, often maligned, taken for granted.

“But today, for one day you’ll see them: the people we rely on for so much, gathering outside every school, every hospital, every library or public office, lining the high streets and filling in town squares - making their stand, with bravery and dignity."

Dave told the striking workers that instead of putting bankers in charge of whole countries, as in Greece and Italy, we should be putting the people in charge of the banks.

He said: "The stand we are making today is part of a wider awakening as people around the world demand an alternative to more cuts, more job losses, more poverty and austerity, enforced with a blatant denial of democracy.

"It’s the people against the powerful, the 99 per cent against the one per cent, the millions against the millionaires - and we know which side we are on."

Dave's full speech is here


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