English

“We need a general strike. History shows that nothing is given away by the ruling capitalist class.”

People’s Assembly rally participants speak on UK social crisis

WSWS reporters spoke to some of those attending the People’s Assembly march and rally in London on Saturday.

A section of the People Assembly demonstration. November 5, 2022 [Photo: WSWS]

Jez, a fostering charity worker from Wales said, “I’m here for many reasons. People are going to be in extreme hardship and poverty this winter. The inequality in this country is beyond reason and something has to be done about it. The rich have to pay more taxes, we have to try to create a more equality society. We’re going have deaths on our hands of innocent people. Yet we have a billionaire prime minister.

“When cabinet ministers get severance pay of £18,000 for being in power for two weeks, it’s wrong.

Nothing is working in this country. It’s all gone to pot. The money they wasted during the pandemic on contracts for their friends. [Former Health Secretary] Matt Hancock gave his pub landlord a contract.

“We’ve got to stand up and do something about it. In [former prime minister] Liz Truss’s budget if you were earning a million pounds you got an extra £55,00 a year. If you were earning £20,000 you got an extra £157.

Malcolm said,“I am semi-retired university lecturer and need not care about all this. I’ve enjoyed the good times, but I need to make sure that those coming after me do as well.

Malcolm [Photo: WSWS]

“All the Tories are doing is transferring wealth upwards to the rich and it’s not an accident. This is planned. There’s a book about it coming out in a couple of weeks. Austerity was devised between the wars as a way of suppressing the working classes. They are afraid of their power and they came up with this idea to try and justify keeping them down.

“We’ve got government by the bankers, for the bankers and the pillars of the establishment. It’s to keep the establishment in power by all possible means.”

Alison, Jez’s wife said, “It’s really, really urgent now that we do something about it. Something has to change. It’s really heart-breaking that families have to go to a non-cook food bank because they can’t afford to heat the food they get.” Jez interjected, “Revolution now!”

Alison at the rally. Alison's banner refers to former Conservative government health secretary Matt Hancock who left the UK temporarily last week to appear in a lucrative reality TV show. [Photo: WSWS]

Phil, an engineer said, “I’m here because there are so many things happening are against the best interests of most of the population. We have to stand up against it. They are not acting properly on climate, human rights and refugees. They’re not acting properly in terms of cost of living and helping ordinary working people pay their way. We can’t take this anymore. We’ve got to stand up and do something about it.

“There are other financial measures they could take. They could put windfall taxes on the banks, they could do wealth taxes. There are a lot of people with broad shoulders who can play. It doesn’t have to come from working people.

Phil [Photo: WSWS]

“There’s always money for war and never enough for working people.

“We need a general strike. History shows that nothing is given away by the ruling capitalist class. If we want something we have to shout for it and take it by any means. Until the capitalist class recognises that, things won’t change and we need change.

“We’re the fifth richest country in the world and a third of the children are in poverty. That’s not right, that can’t be right and the ruling class let that happen. We need to be on the streets, by striking, by taking direct action, by civil resistance, by whatever means are necessary.”

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