by Simon Chapman
The huge scale and depth of cuts in public spending planned by the Coalition Government is opposed by many trade unions and community groups. The Bristol & District Anti-Cuts Alliance (BADACA) was formed in 2010 on the initiative of some local trade unions, and is an alliance of trade union branches, voluntary and community groups and individuals who want to fight the cuts. For more information see the BADACA website.
BADACA aims to provide a unified campaign against the cuts in public sevices and privatisations, and to organise demonstrations and rallies. This includes the large regional demonstration against the cuts held in Bristol last October which had an attendance of several thousand.
Another big demonstration is planned for Saturday 19 February 2011. This will be before Bristol City Council meets to set its budget and make cuts in services on their budget day, 22 February. It is hoped that this demonstration will be bigger than the one in October. BADACA say this will be the crunch time when councils swing the axe to cut public services. The campaign will also lobby the Council budget day meeting.
BADACA have established many subgroups, including the Bristol City Council group, Civil Service group, education workers group, health group, social services group, and transport group, and there are local area groups such as the Easton and Filton groups.
This week there are meetings of the Bristol City Council Group, the Civil Service Group, the Public Transport Group, and the Easton Group. There is a lobby of the City Council’s Resources Scrutiny Commission on Tuesday 25 January. For details of times and locations, please see the BADACA Events page.
Also this week there is Black Activists Rise Against Cuts (BARAC) which is a national grouping of campaigners. They are holding a meeting on 27 January, 7pm at the Malcolm X centre in St Pauls. Speakers include Lee Jasper, race equality campaigner and Co Chair of BARAC; Nigel Costley from South West TUC; Anne Lemon from BADACA. This event is in association with African Voices Forum, The Black Development Agency, Consortium of Black Groups, and the Malcolm X centre.
National Co Chair of BARAC Lee Jasper who is speaking at the event said:
“These cuts are profoundly unfair and unjust. The Governments cuts agenda is ideologically driven and that can be demonstrated by the way in which these target poor and vulnerable communities across the country including places like Bristol.
“All Councils are duty bound under the Equalities Act 2010 to ensure that their policies do not discriminate against black communities most have ignored this legislation and as a result black communities are likely to bear the brunt of these cuts.”
The TUC have called a national demonstration against the cuts on 26 March in London, and as many people as possible are being urged to attend. Coaches and even trains are being booked to take people from the south west region to protest direct to the Government.
The TUC have published documents making the case against the cuts, including their Myth Buster leaflet exposing some of the myths about government debt and cuts. There are also documents making the case against the cuts and how the poor will be hit hardest. These key documents can be found at the TUC’s All Together campaign.
NUJ Bristol Branch is a member of the Bristol Trades Union Council, which supports the Bristol & District Anti-Cuts Alliance.