Tuesday, 19 June 2012

We've tasted victory, let's do it again

#undc12 Conference committed the union to building on the ‘Million Voices’ campaign for public services, further developing the community campaigning agenda.

It will build a network of supporters through social media, provide materials for branch use and use the Fighting Fund to help them. Crucially, it also calls for research into alternatives to cuts.

Supporting the motion, Edinburgh’s John Stevenson outlined how the strategy would help support campaigns like the anti-privatisation fight in Edinburgh: “Last year and the year before Edinburgh cane here saying Our City’s Not For Sale. Then it was an aspiration, now it’s a reality. We won”, he told delegates.

“But it wasn’t just us. It was Aberdeen. It was branches across the UK”, he added as he paid tribute to the fight in Barnet.

“It is the type of strategies in this motion that will help us in those fights”, said John.

“Our successes will rely on organising, educating, campaigning and action when needed, alongside strong support for bargaining and representation. No one part of it will deliver by itself”.

“The engagement with communities was essential to our victory but so was the research, analysis and legal information”, said John highlighting the importance of the ‘high level’ strategy in the motion. But it was also needed at local level as branches face more and more complex privatisation attempts.

The motion stressed the need to make the link between our jobs and the services they provide - and what that means for people. That was how communities became engaged in Edinburgh

John urged the union to get the message out to the public that “recession is not an accident. It is not unavoidable. It is created by the politics of greed.

“We told them austerity wouldn’t work and we were right and we need to tell people that.

“We told them there would be a double dip recession and we were right and we should tell then that.

“We told them cutting public services would not just slash essential services, it would cut private sector jobs too and we were proven right.

John said that people were waking up to the fact that there is an alternative. He warned that the fight would be hard, but urged delegates to remind themselves:

“We won in Edinburgh. We won in Aberdeen. We’ve turned the tide in Southampton. We’re fighting on in Barnet and councils across the country. We’ve got a taste of victory and it tastes good. Let’s go out and do it again!”

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