12/02/2014: "Save Sunderland - Stop the Cuts" Public Meeting
Sunderland Against the Cuts will be holding a public meeting on March 6th, with speakers from FBU, RMT and NUM focussing upon resistance to the cuts.
Sunderland has seen essential services disappear or be stripped down to the bare bones as a result of the savage cuts being implemented on behalf of the coalition government - the book has closed on community libraries across the city, the central fire station and firefighters will soon be scorched, leisure services are being put on a diet and sold off, care services for the most vulnerable discarded... The list goes on with more cuts to come unless we resist now!
We will be commemorating the great Miners' strike which started the same week 30 years ago. Meeting place TBC, for more info see our Facebook event page
Click Here for Event Details We will be commemorating the great Miners' strike which started the same week 30 years ago.
11/02/14: Save Sunderland Fire Station
Since October last year we have been busy campaining against plans to close Sunderland's main fire station and axe 131 fire fighter jobs across Tyne and Wear.
These cuts to our fire services are part of a £5 million budget cut by the Tory-led government - and will cost lives!
We have held meetings, stalls and demonstrations and our Facebook page has gained the support of nearly 8000 residents. (Click Here for Facebook page)
The Sunderland Echo newspaper and MP Julie Elliot have recently launched their own campaign to save the fire station. (Sunderland Echo Story)
To support our campaign, we are urging residents to sign the "Save Sunderland Fire Station" online petition (Click Here ) and to come along to
our next meeting on the 6th March. (Time and vene to be announced shortly)
Hands Off Sunderland Libraries
Back in May last year, plans were announced to close nearly half of the public libraries in Sunderland, nine in total. The libraries being targeted were in the poorest areas, where these kind of public services are needed the most.
In response to these shameful proposals, we launched our "Hands Off Sunderland Libraries" campaign. Our argument was clear: When there's enough money to save the banks (£1 trillion), pay the richest 1000 people in society ridiculous sums (£77 billion a year) and allow the corporations to avoid paying taxes (£120 billion a year) then then SURELY the government can afford the measly £850 thousand needed to keep Sunderland's libraries going.
Through large public meetings, stalls, demonstations, petitioning and lobbying the council, we gained strong support from the people of Sunderland. Our largest public meeting had over 60 residents in attendance, we collected around 2000 signatures for our petition, and our public demonstrations made the news many times. (Links below)
Despite the support for this campaign by the people of Sunderland, the proposals to close the libraries were passed by the council last september. The Council cabinet only succeeded in passing the library proposals because it resorted to the most devious, despicable and authoritarian tactics. It threatened library and other council workers with disciplinary action to stop them getting involved with our campaign; it banned our petition from libraries and all other council buildings, it ignored public opinion and a petition with thousands of names, and it altered its original plan and refused to allow a full council vote in the final council meeting before the closures.
Although we did not manage to prevent the library closures, our campaign brought the issue into the public eye and made sure the libraries did not go without a fight. We are now looking at continuing the struggle with a 'BRING BACK SUNDERLAND LIBRARIES'campaign. If the local councillors refuse to support us, then we may stand candidates against them in the local elections.
Sunderland Echo Story
Sunderland Echo Story
Spark FM Interview
Campaign Facebook Page
06/03/2012: Sunderland Council Budget Meeting
Around twenty people demonstrated today outside the Sunderland council budget meeting. We were able to pressure the council leader to come out and engage us. However, Sunderland's Labour councillors ignored our protests and voted through £100 million worth of cuts. This doesn't mean that we will stop and take these cuts lying down, these cuts will cripple our city, the working class people of Sunderland do not deserve to pay for the mistakes of the bankers and the tax avoiding rich. We still firmly believe that there is an alternative to the cuts.
If you want to read more about the cuts, click on the below links.
Sunderland Echo Story
Sky Tyne and Wear Story
03/03/2013: STOP THE CUTS! - Sunderland Council Budget Meeting Demonstration
The Sunderland council will be meeting on the 6th of march to discuss plans to put through budget cuts of £40 million this year- and a total of 100 million in the next three years. This is on top of the £100 million worth of cuts already made in Sunderland since the coalition government came to power. This is unacceptable. It will have a devastating effect on our public services (libraries, education, leisure and youth services to name a few) and our city as a whole. It is the most vulnerable in society who will be hit the hardest with these cuts. Say no to the cuts! Tax the rich instead; if the government collects the £120 billion lost to corporate tax evasion and avoidance every year these cuts would be completely unnecessary. It is vital we act now against this attack on our services. We will be having a demonstration to lobby the Councillors before the meeting. Join us! Time: Meet at 1pm, Main entrance to the Civic Centre. Budget meeting is at 2pm.
For additional if formation please click here!
03/04/2012: SATC: “Women and the cuts” meeting
On Tuesday 3rd of April, Sunderland Against the Cuts held a meeting to discuss the devastating impact the cuts are having on women, single parents, and families. Speaking on the issue was Emma Green, assistant administrator at the University of Sunderland and SATC activist. The talk focused on how, while the cuts are an attack on the entire working class, women and single parent families have been hit the hardest. Some shocking statistics were revealed, exposing the full severity of the situation: (For the whole speech click here)
Since the start of the coalition government, unemployment for women has risen over 19% to 1.3 million and out of the 500,000 public sector worker jobs to be cut 325,000 will be female.
Over 30’000 women have been forced to quit their jobs because of the rising cost of childcare and the closure of many child care facilities - last year alone 124 Sure Start centres were closed due to cuts to local council budgets even though before elections the Tories claimed that they would not touch the Sure Start initiative.
The introduction of Universal Credit will also affect women and single parent families enormously. Universal Credit aims to merge 6 ‘in and out of work’ benefits that councils currently provide. This will have a key impact on those employed to provide those services, the majority of which are women, this will also affect the users of these facilities- also predominantly women. 150,000 of the UK’s poorest single parents could lose up to £68 a week under the new scheme, which will push a quarter of a million families deeper into poverty.
The Tories’ attack on the public sector has had a shattering effect on all aspect of women’s lives, from the labour market to education, and services that protect them. Services for victims of rape and domestic abuse have suffered £2.5m funding cuts; an article from Women’s Aid has warned that hundreds of women every day are being turned away because there is no room in refugee centers.
The talk led to a discussion on how this will result in a step back in the struggle for equality in the workplace still being fought today (thirty years after the Equal Pay Act, women are still getting paid less than men.) After years of women’s liberation movements fighting to get women out of the kitchen and into the workplace, the Tories are taking conscious measures to reverse the gains won, forcing women back into the home.
It was agreed that the fight against these attacks on women is a fight against the cuts on the whole, that has to involve women, men, trade unions and the entire working class. It is always the poorest and most vulnerable who bear the brunt of the cutbacks in times of austerity, but only if we unite and fight as one can we hope to prevent the destruction of our jobs and services.
20/03/2012: No Health ServiceWith everyone talking about fuel and pasties over the last few weeks, it appears the passing of the NHS reform bill and what it means for our healthcare service seems to have been overlooked by the mainstream media. In case you missed it, the main consequence of the Bill is that the government is no longer legally obliged to provide people with healthcare. This opens the door for private companies to begin taking over our health services piece by piece. You may not see the effects tomorrow, or next week, but the wheels are now in motion to destroy everything we love about the NHS . If you want to glimpse how our healthcare service will look in the future, look to the private healthcare system in the US and all its failings. People in need of treatment will be turned away if they don’t have the correct insurance (which many won’t be able to afford) and vital, often life-saving medicine will become outrageously expensive. This means that, once again, it is the poorest who will suffer most despite the Tories laughable claim that “we’re all in this together”.
BUT! All is not lost, if you, like millions of others who use and rely on the NHS believe that it should be here to stay, should be free for all, should at least reach its 100th birthday and receive that prized telegram from the Queen then we all need to fight for it. We all need to shout and scream from the rooftops to make people aware of just what it is we will lose, if the Con-Dem Government gets it way. The bill can still be repealed through a committed and organized fightback led by the trade unions, and by a public who refuses to let go of the most important part of the welfare state.
05/03/2012: LIB DEM Conference - NewcastleJoin us as we take part in the march from Newcastle civic centre to the TUC rally outside the Lib Dem conference at Gatesdhead Sage on Saturday 10th March. If you would like to book a seat on the 'Sunderland Against the Cuts' bus, please contact us via e-mail, or on our face book page. We will be leaving Park Lane at 11.00am and will be returning mid afternoon.
1/12/2011: Update on the Industrial Day of ActionSunderland Against the Cuts activists visited picket sites around the city from 7.30 till 10am. Most pickets were solid and few workers betrayed the strike. The Civic Centre was the only place where workers crossed picket lines in significant numbers.
At 10am we boarded the Unison coach to Gateshead Civic Centre for the big march. Around 10,000 people gathered and marched the two mile route over the Swing Bridge, along the Quayside and on to Spillers Wharf. The sheer length of the procession and the Union banners and flags and placards carrying political messages made for a truly magnificent sight.
Sunderland Against the Cuts activists carried the Sunderland Trades Council bannner, as well as our own banner and placards. This was an honour and a privilege as we have great respect for the workers and trade unionists of the past.
The concluding rally at Spillers Wharf was an inspiring event. Speakers from a variety of trade unions voiced their anger and determination to defeat the government. They promised more action if ministers refuse to listen and reverse their plans to cut public sector pensions.
It was a fantastic day that reminded many people of the power that lies in working class solidarity. Let's hope we go forward from this and build the movement and stop the Tories and their rich business friends in their tracks!
The day in pics
15/11/2011: Industrial Action 30th NovemberOn Wednesday 30 November we will see the biggest strike in 85 years as 3 million public sector workers from 20 different unions take industrial action in defence of pensions, wages, jobs and services.
Sunderland Against the Cuts activists will be out and about on the morning of the big day supporting workers on their picket lines and building solidarity and confidence.
If you would like to join us as we travel around Sunderland forging links with defiant workers please get in touch.
If you can't make it, you can still play an important role by distributing strike-related SAtC leaflets in your workplace and community, or talking positively about the strike with your colleagues, or simply driving by a picket line and tooting your horn in solidarity; even the smallest act can bring positive change.
Whether you work in the public sector or not, this is your fight.
We are all inter-connected and reap the benefits when workers take this kind of action and win.
And this is a battle that simply must be won, because defeat will lead to lower living standards for all of us.
So please do what you can to support the strikers and spread the word on November 30 and let's show this rotten Tory government we stand united and we're ready to take them on!
26/10/2011: University Applications DownAs expected the tripling of students fees is having a direct impact on the amount of people who are applying to go to University Of Sunderland.
24/10/2011: Meals on Wheels AxedSunderland City Council have decieded to get rid of this service as it has become 'economically unviable'. How can Sunderland's Labour councillors justify this when they supposedly support the 'Hardest Hit' campaign when this is actually targetting the 'hardest hit'.
15/10/2011: Occupy NewcastleThis event coincides with a similar event in London as well as others around the world. SAtC supports any democratic campaign which unites people against the Tories and their austerity measures
Occupy Newcastle Facebook Page
12/10/2011: Unemployment in the North EastUnemployment in the region just keeps rising and rising, with more job cuts expected.
05/10/11: Manchester March for the AlternativeOn the 2nd October a minibus full of Sunderland Against the Cuts Activists went to march in solidarity with over 35000 protesters outside the Tory Party Conference in Manchester. It was a great march and rally and the number of people that turned up in protest against the cuts that the government wants to impose were over three times higher than last year.
Please click on the link below for more information about the demonstration in Manchester.
BBC Manchester March for the Alternative
The March in Pictures
03/09/11: Roll Up! Roll Up! Its Carnival Against the CutsSunderland Against the Cuts and the PUBLIC SERVICES ALLIANCE joined forces to bring organise Sunderland's first 'Carnival Against the Cuts'. The event that took place in the marquee in Mowbray Park on Saturday 10 September was a great success.
See story in Echo
The day in Pictures
15/08/11: I Predict a RIOT!
England was rocked by riots this week as David Cameron and his cronies enjoyed lavish holidays in the sun. The trouble started when 29 year old Mark Duggan was shot dead by police in Tottenham, North London, and the police failed to inform the man's family. Two days after the killing there was a demonstration for justice led by relatives of the deceased. Over 300 people marched to the police station on Tottenham High Road. Police still refused to answer questions, which infuriated the demonstrators. There was a stand-off outside the station and a 16 year old girl was assaulted by police officers. The crowd reacted angrily and the police station was trashed. The trouble escalated and riots occurred in other parts of London as well as Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. There was even an attack on a police station in Washington, Sunderland!
What is more shocking than the riots themselves, however, is the mass hatred that has followed in its wake. The media has fuelled the most outrageous condemnation of the rioters, which has resulted in many people ignoring the original act of police murder and the economic inequality which inevitably leads to anger exploding on our streets.
Sunderland Against The Cuts will neither condone nor condemn the rioters. We realise there is a bigger picture and that other factors are involved which the right wing media conveniently overlooks.
Some points need to be made clear:
1) The worst rioters are in power. The Tories and their friends in big business have done more damage to people and communities than any rioting crowd has ever done. The destruction of jobs and services and young people's futures may not be as visibly spectacular as a burning building, but the carnage and cost is far greater.
2) The worst looters are in power. The Tories and their friends in big business are committed to stealing not only the profits made by their own working class, but the profits made by working classes abroad. They invade countries by military force and use the most barbaric weaponry to secure their swag. The crimes of the looters and rioters here in England are nothing compared to the crimes of these rich imperialist villains.
3) Inequality and deprivation in a rich country will always lead to riots. It's not pleasant and we shouldn't encourage it, but it is inevitable if we do not address the root cause.
Please watch the videos below and pass them on to your friends and email contacts.
London Riots 1
London Riots 2
London Riots 3
30/6/11: SAtC Join The Picket LinesSunderland Against The Cuts joined striking public sector workers on the picket lines at work places across the city today. Some three-quarters of a million public sector workers from four unions were on strike in protest against cuts to their pensions.
See story in Echo
The day in Pictures
16/6/11: Solidarity With Public Sector Worker's Strike On June 30thOn June 30th, some 800,000 public sector workers will be out on strike in defence of pensions. Four unions - PCS, NUT, ATL and UCU - have co-ordinated the industrial action to maximise the impact. Sunderland Against The Cuts urges all workers to respect picket lines and asks members of the public to support the strike. The media has been busy trying to pit the public sector against the private sector, spreading the absurd argument that public sector workers must accept the same rip-off conditions as the private sector. This is rubbish and we say instead of allowing conditions to be undermined in the public sector, private sector workers should organise to improve their own conditions. The public sector has better pensions, etc, because it is more strongly unionised. Surely it makes more sense to achieve parity by building up the private sector instead of tearing down the public sector? To fall for this nonsense about public sector workers having cushy conditions is to engage in a race to the bottom which will result in worsening conditions for ALL workers. We say, resist these attempts to divide us and stand together in solidarity. Unite for victory!
PCS/ UCU / ATL / NUT
The day in Pictures
6/6/11: Is This How We Want Our Society To Be Run?The crisis at Southern Cross, Britain's biggest private provider of care for the elderly, highlights the dangers of expecting profit-driven private business to deliver public services. The company, which is responsible for some 31,000 elderly residents, is laying off 3000 of its workforce and still stands on the brink of bankruptcy. Yet this is the model the Tory-led Coalition government wants to roll out and apply to ALL of the public sector. Businesses exist to make money and any duty of social responsibility they may also have inevitably comes second to that. Human need should never come second to considerations of profit. Unless we stop the Tories and their plans to privatise the public sector, we can expect many more sickening stories like this in future.
Story in Sunderland Echo
Cable Refuses To Bail Out Southern Cross
24/5/11: SAtC's 1st BirthdayYes, Sunderland Against The Cuts has been up and running for a year now, and to mark the occasion, we had a beer + BBQ blowout. Fear not though - far from blowing our all the kitty on booze, our raffle and whip-round ended up raising more than £80 for us to continue the campaign.
19/5/11: Is the NHS facing abolition?It has widely been suggested that the Coalition government's reforms of the NHS effectively amount to it's abolition. Here's an article in the BMJ which looks in detail at the most important clauses of the bill and what it will mean. It's a little dry but it's crucial reading to understand what is going to happen unless we stop them. "...the bill as drafted amounts to the abolition of the English NHS as a universal, comprehensive, publicly accountable, tax funded service, free at the point of delivery."
Read the full article in the British Medical Journal
13/5/11: Don't Mess With The NHS!SAtC activists have blitzed all the city's hospitals with leaflets in the build up to our "Don't Mess With The NHS" public meeting. "We in Sunderland Against the Cuts wish to encourage a fight back from NHS staff and work with them in defending a great institution and cornerstone of society."
See story in Echo
See story in Echo
30/4/11: May Day March and CelebrationOn Saturday, SAtC travelled to Newcastle to join the annual May Day march. We marched alongside trade unions, parties and campaign groups in a celebration of international solidarity, through the middle of Newcastle to Exhibition Park, where we were met with beer and a fantastic ska band. Fine weather and a good turnout made for an enjoyable day all-round.
The day in Pictures
Video of the march
28/4/11: Worker's Memorial DaySAtC attended the ceremony at the Civic Centre and at the Minster to mark Worker's Memorial Day. The annual event is held to remember all those killed in the workplace or by industrial diseases. "Workers' Memorial Day, when we commemorate the dead and focus on protecting the living, has become a major day in the calendar of many workplaces... This year the TUC is aware of more events than ever before, due partly to increasing awareness of the day... but also due to growing concern of the impact that cuts in inspection and enforcement activity will have on the number of deaths caused through work."
Story in the Echo
The day in Pictures
22/4/11: Spark FM Radio InterviewOne of our activists gave a 10 minute interview on Spark FM last night, talking at length about who we are and what we're all about. Click on the player to hear it in full.
13/4/11: Up To 90 Jobs Cuts At Sunderland City College"Bosses at the college say Government spending cuts have forced them into making the redundancies."
Full story in Echo.
13/4/11: Nurses Pass Vote Of No Confidence In LansleyDelegates at the Royal College of Nurses have passed a motion of No Confidence in Health Minister Andrew Lansley by 99% of the vote. Despite Lansley's claims that "most" NHS staff support his reforms, the RCN has joined the British Medical Association and the trade unions in condemning the plans. "Rallying calls echoed throughout the auditorium with speakers saying we have to "fight for what we believe in" and "the NHS will be finished when we stop fighting for it…we're not stopping!"
Report of the debate and vote at RCN website.
8/4/11: Jobcentre Call Centres To Strike On Monday April 18th"With unemployment rising and welfare recipients being blamed for an economic crisis they did not cause, it is outrageous that standards are being driven down in Jobcentre Plus. Instead of punishing people who are claiming benefits through no fault of their own, the government should be investing in our public services to help get people back to work quicker and to help our economy to grow."
30/3/11: Lecturers Vote For Strike Action Over 170 Jobs CutsUCU members at Newcastle College have voted 82% in favour of strike action and 91% in favour of action short of a strike over proposals to cuts 170 jobs, three-quarters of them teaching posts. SAtC urges everyone to show solidarity with the UCU and respect any picket lines.
More details at UCU website.
26/03/11: Report From London TUC MarchHalf a million people turned out for the TUC's "March For The Alternative" and among them were 49 Mackems with a big red Sunderland Against The Cuts banner. A fantastic and inspiring day was had by all, despite the gruelling 14-hour round trip...
See Story in Echo
See Story in Echo
Reports from activists on the march
The March in March - A Poem by an activist
29/03/11: SAtC Public MeetingSAtC will be hosting a public meeting to discuss how the anti-cuts movement should be developing following the TUC march on Saturday.
26/03/11: TUC March For The AlternativeSAtC have organised a coach with support from Unite to go to the national protest march in London on Saturday. The coach will be leaving Park Lane at 5am, so try to get there for about 4:30am.
Preview Story In Sunderland Echo
25/03/11: Welfare Reform: Private Firms To Get Up To £14,000 For Every Claimant They Get Into WorkStill think the ConDem reforms are about cutting the deficit and saving money? Guess again. Really it's all about diverting yet more money to the pockets of private businesses. Even the lowest rates of payment to these firms are more than a year's income for someone claiming basic Jobseekers Allowance. How is that value for money?
24/03/11: Support The UCU StrikeSAtC will be joining UCU members on the picketlines on Thursday morning, from 8:30am. Come along and show your support!
The day in Pictures
21/03/11: Unemployment At 17 Year HighUnemployment in the North-East increased by 4% between Nov-Jan: nationally, 2.53 million officially unemployed, 9.33 million are "economically inactive" and youth unemployment is at record levels (20.6%) - and this is before the public sector cuts take effect!
17/03/11: University Lecturers To Strike Over Pay And PensionsSAtC urge students and the general public to support strikes and industrial action as a vital tool in the fightback against the cuts.
10/03/11: SAtC Public MeetingSAtC held it's biggest public meeting yet, with some 50 people turning out at the Civic Centre to debate the way forward with our panel of speakers.
7/03/11: Sure Start Centres Hit By Spending CutsSunderland's Sure Start Centres and child care services face 26% budget cuts. "The national average of cuts is £50 per child compared to the £80 per head lost in Sunderland."
5/03/11: Job Losses At Tax Office?Strange, isn't it, that at a time when there is £120 billion in uncollected taxes every year that the government should be thinking about putting yet more tax collectors out of work.
5/03/11: SAtC "Save Sunderland!" DemoSAtC held a lively and successful protest against the cuts in the town centre.
Coverage in Sunderland Echo
Coverage at SparkFM
The day in pictures
3/03/11: Council Votes On CutsDespite vigorous arguments against the spending cuts, Sunderland City Council voted unanimously (50-0) to approve a reduced budget. We now know that the cuts to the council's budget will amount to £59million.
3/03/11: SAtC Lobby CouncillorsMembers of SAtC held a stall at the Civic Centre to encourage councillors to resist the cuts
23/02/11: 1 In 5 Shops Stand Empty In City CentreMore than 21% of shops in the town centre are empty and this situation can only get worse as mass job losses in the public sector means there'll be even fewer people with money to spend in Sunderland. This is why the cuts will affect EVERYONE - not just council staff, or trade unionists, but workers and businesses in the private sector too.
17/02/11: Police Facing 12% Budget CutsNorthumbria Police face £57million in cuts.
15/02/11: Hundreds Of Job Losses At GentooRecession in construction industry and Coalition government's cuts to spending on social housing blamed.
21/10/10: 490,000 public sector jobs to be CutSAtC were outside the Civic Centre today counting the cost of the deepest cuts the region has seen in a generation. Many public sector workers in Sunderland have been left fearing for their jobs, while massive cuts to the welfare state are set to hit those already on the city’s poverty line.