‘Enough is enough’: Cost of living crisis protest held in Dalton Square
‘You can stand up for yourselves, and change is possible’
Former shadow chancellor, John McDonell has urged students to join picket lines in support of the country’s numerous ongoing strikes, telling The Lancaster Tab: “Go along and if you are convinced by the strikers’ arguments, join the picket line.”
Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow chancellor was one of a number of speakers at a rally held on Saturday in Dalton Square to protest the cost of living crisis and support striking workers.
Other representatives included speakers from the National Education Union (NEU), Universities and Colleges Union (UCU), the Food and Poverties Commission and the Postal Workers’ Union.
The speeches were added to by chanting and cheering from the crowd, and there was a band present, wearing jackets from the Musicians’ Union.
Roger, the speaker from the Food and Poverties Commission, said in his speech: “We have a government at the moment without any genuine democratic mandate. Without any moral mandate. Who are mortified at the spiritual mandate of cities like this. This is where nepotism, coupled with the Labour movement, coupled with the union movement, has a history of caring for the overall wellbeing of everybody.”
Speaking to the Tab, MP John McDonnell explained that there are multiple ways for people to get involved: “I think the most important thing is to keep your eyes open for meetings where there are discussions about certain issues.”
John also believes students should look beyond the “mainstream media”. He said: “Look for some of the political websites towards the left wing in particular because the left doesn’t get coverage in the mainstream media so look for those arguments there.”
“The reason it’s important to go to a picket line is that the strikers will explain what the nature of their strike is, why they’re on strike, and what their solution is to this. In addition to that, just coming and engaging and beginning to understand what the strike is about does give you an understanding of how our economy operates as well. So, therefore, go along and if you are convinced by the strikers’ arguments, join the picket line, and see what you can do to support.”
Also speaking to The Tab, an unnamed Labour party member shared how they felt empowered to come to the rally today due to “the increased cost of living and the fact that the government are not only not doing anything about it, but actively trying to make it worse”.
When discussing the involvement of young people in this campaign, they spoke of the 2019 election, when “there were loads of young people feeling really engaged because it looked like change was on the horizon.
“Looking at the issues that you’re going to have to face in terms of difficulties in getting mortgages, the increased cost of living, student debt that you’re going to be carrying for possibly quite a long time, I would really encourage people to get involved because you don’t have to stand for it.”
They also urged young people to follow the enough is enough hashtag, and to join marches in the future, finishing with final words of “you can stand up for yourselves and change is possible, so do join us.”
If you would like any more information about the ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign, visit their website here.
The Lancaster Tab is looking for new writers for the upcoming academic year! You can find everything you need to know here! We hope to see you at our open meeting on October 11th, 7pm, at County Bar.