08/05/2011

Ceredigion Against the Cuts Rally


Ceredigion Against the Cuts staged a highly successful rally in Aberystwyth yesterday when 250 people marched through the town centre led by the local samba band before holding a rally at the Castle.

Newly elected Assembly Member Elin Jones was one of the speakers, alongside members of the PCS and Unison Trade Unions who had organised the rally together. Other speakers included Huw Diprose from Aber Students Against the Cuts, Bethan Williams from Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, Jill Evans the Plaid Cymru MEP, Mark Ferguson from Unison Scotland and Sian Wiblin, Wales TUC President. A group of campaigners for the retention of Coastguard services in Wales travelled up from Milford Haven.

40% of the Ceredigion workforce are employed in the public sector. More photos of the event can be seen here

8 comments:

  1. AnonymousMay 08, 2011

    Can't get excited about this Alun. The most effective way of fighting the cuts was to amend the Barnett formula and for Wales to have the power to vary taxes and control Crown property.

    These are two thing our friends in the Labour party and unions campaigned against.

    So, basically - it's a total waste of time for Plaid to be supporting a Labour front. Scotland's showing the way. Plaid needs to stop being the union's lap-dog. Labour-run Rhondda Cynon Taff Council sacked council workers and the unions did nothing. If Plaid would have done the same they'd be marching and slagging us off but instead they campaigned for Labour.

    Total waste of time. They're no friends of Plaid - they're just using Plaid's good will.

    'NotaUsefulIdiot'

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  2. AnonymousMay 08, 2011

    I agree. This is where the left of Plaid has led everyone. Years wasted fighting the "war" and now fighting the "cuts". What about Plaid actually sat down, and thought about becoming a "national movement", similar to the SNP.

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  3. I hear what you're both saying but, in Ceredigion, 40% of the workforce is employed in the public sector and they can't be ignored. Labour only scored 2,500 votes here in total and there are over 10,000 public sector workers. Since, as a group, they tend to turnout for elections more than most, no-one can realistically get elected here without them.

    Ceredigion Plaid gave them strong support at this election and it bore fruit. I personally know three Ceredigion Labour Party actual members who voted for Elin Jones to keep the Lib Dems out and then Labour on the list. A substantial number of those at yesterday's rally were Plaid-supporting Union members. Ceredigion's politics are somewhat different to most places.

    Obviously I completely agree with Anon 1 about Barnett.

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  4. Doug JonesMay 09, 2011

    @Anon 1.

    As one of the organisers of the march and the campaign I would just like to note that your judgements regarding Ceredigion Against The Cuts are remarkably ill-informed. Incredibly, we've now been accused of been both a Labour front and a Plaid front!

    In reality, Ceredigion Against The Cuts is a community-based campaign group, built from scratch on our own initiative, with no affiliation to any political party. We represent a broad cross-section of Ceredigion public sector workers (and yes, shock, horror, that includes trade unionists and the support of their unions!!), students and community activists. We have also had, and welcome, the support of Plaid, the Green Party and Labour. Amongst our campaign pledges is a call for a better funding formula for Wales.

    You may think it's a 'total waste of time' but what we as a community-based, grass-roots campaign group are trying to do is to build the broadest coalition possible to take practical action to defend our public services and the broader community from the impact of these cuts - which will have a particularly detrimental effect on a rural Welsh-speaking community such as Ceredigion as young people are forced to move away to find work. The impact the cuts will have on Ceredigion is the most important issue facing the county at the moment and practical action has to be taken now. Its easy enough to put forward ill-informed judgements and to disparage the hard work put in by local activists. We, on the other hand, are committed to defending the local community and economy against the Westminster government's cuts.

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  5. Thanks Doug. As you say, the rally contained members of Plaid, Labour and the Greens plus, of course, many non-affiliated. The two Anons sound as if they may live in a part of Wales where politics is somewhat more polarised than in Ceredigion. I personally strongly believe in cross-partty working.

    Ceredigion Against the Cuts has done an excellent job of bringing together public sector workers in the county at a time of great insecurity. I understand Saturday's rally, which was superbly organised, had more people than similar rallies in Swansea and Llanelli. All the best for future campaigning.

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  6. Doug JonesMay 09, 2011

    Thanks Alun, and thanks also for your continuing support for the campaign - it's greatly appreciated.

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  7. AnonymousMay 09, 2011

    Be positive - where's the "Ceredigion For Debts" march?!

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  8. thanks Doug for saying what i felt compelled to say to Anon, as another organizer i was understandably delighted with the turnout we had in town on Saturday ...how about being positive about Saturday's March? We are trying to achieve something here, however it is hard work when there is much negativity flying around. Instead of moaning and calling it a waste of time, stand up with us eh?! where you there on Saturday by the way? I for one am grateful for the support the various parties have given us, is that such a bad thing? Ed

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