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People on a previous anti-Austerity protest
Dear Stroud Against the Cuts supporters,
Another packed email for you this week! Apologies for the short notice re: the protest in Gloucester - I hope we will still see some of you there. PLEASE do get in touch to book a seat on a coach to the National "End Austerity Now!" demonstration - the sooner we have numbers the easier it is for us to plan!

In this email:

  1. Anti-Austerity protest in Gloucester this Saturday 30th May.
  2. More details about the National "End Austerity Now" protest in London, June 20th - and coaches from Gloucestershire.
  3. Banner making for the "End Austerity Now" protest.
  4. New "Pissed Off Women" (POW) group locally.
  5. "This Tory win will make me more and more disabled" - powerful article.
  6. Protests after the Queen's Speech in London yesterday - videos.
  7. Social cleansing in London - and resistance!

Anti-austerity protest in Gloucester Saturday 30th May

To coincide with actions taking place around the country (responding to a call from UKUncut), activists in Gloucester have planned an anti-austerity protest in Gloucester - see the Facebook Event for more details (you should be able to even if you don't use Facebook)

The organisers say: "Meet at Shire Hall in Gloucester on the thirtieth (11am - 1pm) and inform by PA system, banners, leaflets, over megaphone and the power of voices in unison, our anger at the ideological austerity directed at those with the least. This is a policy that has flat lined the economy and seen debts spiral out of control, with three times the cumulative debt in five years than the last fifteen years of Labour governments. All because corporations are allowed to avoid billions in taxes whilst they refuse to invest in their workers through fair pay, leading to the necessity to top up wages through the benefits system. A system slowly being pulled from under the feet of those already struggling to stay standing.

A few people who are attending from Stroud will meet at Stroud Train Station at 09.30am on Saturday to travel to the protest together (catching the 9:45 train, arriving at 10:06. There is also a 10:43 train, which arrives at Gloucester Train station at 11:05).

Travel from Gloucestershire to National "End Austerity Now" Protest

Already 50 people have booked with us to travel from Gloucestershire to London for the People's Assembly Against Austerity "End Austerity Now" protest on Saturday June 20th.

Coaches will leave both Stroud and Gloucester at around 8am on the day. Pick-ups in Cheltenham and Cirencester to be confirmed based on demand. Final details will be circulated two weeks before the event, when we have a better idea of numbers.

Return coach travel will cost:
£12 waged
£5 unwaged
Free travel will be available to those who need it.

If you would a seat on a coach, please contact: Hannah (one of SATC co-ordinators) via email:

The new Stroud Against the Cuts Facebook page has an "Gloucestershire travels to the "End Austerity Now" demonstration" event where we will regularly share updates about the event, enabling you to help us publicise it ('joining' this will not guarantee you a seat - see above methods). There is also a Facebook event page for the national protest.

Make Banners for the "End Austerity Now" protest together

Banner making fun at the Prince Albert. Ready for the London Anti-Austerity Demo on 20th June.

Two Saturday afternoon sessions have been arranged - make banners and placards on the 6th June and/or make placards and banners on the 13th June (separate links to Facebook Events).

The organisers say: "Bring materials, paints, pens, people and dogs and make some great placards and banners for the March.

Everything made can be stored at the pub until the big day.

Open event. Please share far and wide. Everyone WELCOME!

Pissed Off Women - in Stroud!

As a coalition of charities says the Conservatives’ planned cuts to social security, public sector and legal aid risk austerity further disproportionately affecting women, a new group has formed, with regular meetings taking place. Get in touch with them via email:

The group say: "This is a friendly cross-party network for women in Gloucestershire, whatever our background or circumstances, to come together and find ways to fight to get our voices heard, to fight for what we believe in, to fight for our communities and for those in our communities who will become even more disenfranchised under this Conservative government. We invite anyone who self-identifies as left-thinking and feeling to get involved. It is not a place to thrash out a new unified ‘left’ or argue about what that means. We all want to MAKE THINGS BETTER and fight the bad that is coming.
We want to fight for a society based on equality, compassion and progress. On a practical level we want to be a place where left-thinking women in Gloucestershire can connect with each other, so we can make things better at a local level. We also want to share information from national protests to tactical advice to political analysis.
Why a women only group? Often in politics women find it difficult to get their voices heard as it is culturally an arena where men who are fond of their own voices dominate. This group is a safe space for female identifying people to come together and discuss how we can improve the representation of women in the political process as well as working towards positive outcomes for our communities. Contact:"

"This Tory win will make me more and more disabled"

A powerful article by Rosa Davies: "I don’t think abled people understand the threat and legitimate worry that the outcome of this election means for people like me and my friends. Unless you are intimately acquainted with disability, you can’t intuit the complex ramifications the cuts have on our lives. Benefits aren’t just about money. They’re the difference between leaving the house and not. Money is access. It makes the circle labelled “Things I could do” bigger and the one tagged “Things I can’t do” smaller, and that second circle is so big to begin with." Read: the full article: "This Tory win will make me more and more disabled".

NHS updates

Three NHS updates from the larger list we have been sent courtesy of our affiliation to the national Keep Our NHS Public group:

1. "NHS: The foxes have control" (by Tamasin Cave for Spinwatch)
"It is private firms who will determine how and where the NHS budget will be spent (through a process known in NHS speak as commissioning). Everything from deciding which hospitals stay open, which services are still available on the NHS, and who provides these services, the NHS or the private sector.

As the Observer reveals this morning, the list of approved suppliers bidding for this work – the planning and buying of care – has just quietly been released. The list is dominated by management consultancies, outsourcing giant, Capita, and US health insurer, UnitedHealth, the previous employer of NHS CEO, Simon Stevens."

2. "Hospitals cancelling largest number of operations for 10 years" (by Denis Campbell in The Guardian)
"Hospitals are cancelling the largest number of operations for 10 years, according to new official figures, prompting warnings that the NHS is under “extreme pressure”. A total of 20,464 planned surgeries were cancelled at the last minute for non-clinical reasons in January, February and March in England.""

3. "Community services contract returns to the NHS from private sector"
"West Suffolk NHS Trust, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, and Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust have jointly been awarded preferred bidder status to run community health services in Suffolk from 1 October.

The services were previously provided by private firm Serco, but after announcing a £13.7 million loss on the contract last year, the firm announced it would not bid again for the services when the contract was due to end in October."

Social Cleansing in London

Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth have published "8 Key Findings into Council-Administered Social Cleansing in London".

"Since October 2013 a total of 2128 families have been forced into the private sector by the Localism Act, who previously should have been given social housing... Of the households forced into the private sector 1000 were given places out of their home borough and 500 were out of London entirely. The most common destinations were edge-of-London boroughs such as Barking & Dagenham and Enfield, with Luton and Birmingham being used the most outside of London." [but] "Both collective action and legal challenges are being made to stop the social cleansing of our communities."
Read the full article on the results of the Freedom of Information request-based research.

Municipal elections in Spain have seen victories for anti-austerity candidates, many of them activists involved in the movements arising from the "15M" occupations of public squares. Some articles of interest: "6 Reflections on the Spanish Elections" (Novara Wire), "How to Stop Gentrification in London: What We Can Learn from Spain's New Rebel Mayors" (Vice News), "How did Spain's activist-politicians first get onto the ballot paper?" (Open Democracy).
Frances O'Grady of the Trades Union Congress writes: "Conservative Strike Plans are an Aggressive Assualt on our Rights and Democracy"

"What these [vote threshold] proposals are really about is stopping in advance any opposition to the Conservatives’ plans to cut hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs over the course of this parliament."
"Judge rules single parents are entitled to Bedroom Tax rebates for rooms their children use" (The Mirror)

"Thousands of separated parents are being wrongly charged Bedroom Tax and are entitled to rebates after a shock legal ruling. A tribunal decided that a child of parents living apart is ­entitled a bedroom in each of their homes for visits. And the judge said Bedroom Tax should not apply."

Stroud Against the Cuts has been assisting someone affected by this locally and hopes Stroud District Council will amend its policies accordingly.
Thanks for reading,
James Beecher

for Stroud Against the Cuts
P.S. Please like our Facebook page and posts, share this mailing with your friends and family via email, facebook or twitter, and reply with anything you're keen to share or get involved in.

National Gallery Strike - No privatisation, no victimisation!
"National Gallery Strike - No privatisation, no victimisation!" (Reel News, London)
The PCS union is calling for people to support a picket line at the National Gallery on Saturday 30th May.

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