Last Saturday’s rally against government economic policies was very well attended.
They came in their hundreds, from across the area to march, chant and clap. The old, the young, students, disabled and people of different ethnic backgrounds. They came united in despair at the state of our economy. They left united in hope that together we can build a better society. It was that kind of day.
The aim of rally organiser Sue McMahon from the NUT was to send a clear message to the Government that enough is enough. To tell them, loud and clear, about the damage being done to our town in the name of cuts and austerity.
We are fighting for the future, for our communities; for the town’s way of life.
We did the same two years ago; back then we spoke about the cuts too.
Little has changed in the last 24 months. If anything it has got worse. They still don’t get it.
The squeeze on the poor and hard working families continues; no sign of any growth. No sign of unemployment falling in our town. It’s hurting, but it isn’t working.
Speaker after speaker, from trade unions, businesses, organisations and the voluntary sector outlined the effects of government policy on Halifax and Calderdale people.
Yes, we attacked the policies. But there were also alternatives put forward. How we need to get people back to work; to start investing in house building and in the construction industry. To utilise the strengths of Halifax and Calderdale people.
Yet, we are faced with attacks on our communities with the Welfare bill, bedroom tax and credit cuts.
The journey to begin recovering the effects of the cuts will be a long one.
But it can be done, and the march on Saturday underlined that there is a sense, beneath the despair, of some self-confidence and hope.
The future can be won, but first we need to win the present and that means continue to campaign, to speak up and protect our towns and our communities from these devastating economic and social policies.