A great day for trade unionism, a great day for ARC

ARC’s Defeat the Deficit Campaign manager, Gareth Hills, reports on ARC’s presence at the TUC March For the Alternative

I was delighted, and very proud, to witness the superb turnout from ARC at the TUC’s March for the Alternative in central London on 26th March. A great day for trade unionism, for solidarity, for collective action, and a great day for ARC.

To see an ARC contingent numbering around 50 – part of a larger FDA presence – turn up to march alongside 100s of thousands of like minded trade unionists and others against the ConDem’s spending cuts and in support of an alternative (and what better alternative than investing in HMRC professionals to cut the tax gap and not public services?), to see so many members willing to do something now, was just fantastic.

ARC members came from all parts of the UK – the North East, North West, South West, South East, Wales, Midlands.
They came from varied parts of HMRC’s businesses and professions. They came with their families, with their friends. They came to support ARC’s campaign. They wore ARC t-shirts. They carried the ARC banner. They waved ARC flags. They joined in chants against the cuts.
They were amazing.

I’d recommend you check out some more photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahluv/sets/72157626234674841/
where you’ll see how great the ARC T-shirts, ARC banner and flags and FDA balloons looked, and how the use of ARC and FDA colours really made us noticeable even in such a massive march.

So thank you again to those ARC members who attended the march – and especially those who brought along their families. And thank you to each and every one of you who’s supported ARC’s campaign. Whether you have lobbied your MP or used a Defeat the Deficit coaster to put your coffee on, you have all played a huge part in the success of the campaign.

The campaign shows that when we pull together we can make – we have made – a difference. The campaign shows that the honourable and valuable trade union traditions of collectivism, of solidarity, of promoting social justice, and supporting the vulnerable remain as relevant as ever.

This campaign and the ARC turnout at the TUC march show that those traditions are alive and well in ARC.

But we need to remember that ARC’s campaign and the successful TUC march are just the start of what will be a long and difficult fight against the spending cuts.

I believe that to succeed ARC/FDA and all other public sector unions need to work together in developing a coordinated response and coordinated action – including industrial action. The main weapon we have is our collective strength and, if we are to succeed in fighting the injustice of these fast and deep cuts, if we are to succeed in fighting these unprecedented, unwarranted and unjustified attacks on the public sector, then we need to use it.

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