Socialist Alternative at the People’s Assembly protest against ‘deliberate harm to workers in north’

  • Socialist Alternative's signs read: ‘Time to resist this criminal government!’
  • Group says government 'prioritising private profit over public health'
  • Support for Andy Burnham's efforts to increase furlough budget which sits at £8 per head

Political activists from the Socialist Alternative turned out to the People’s Assembly protest at weekend to add their voice to demands for an increase in the government budget for Manchester from £22m to £90m.

The group fights for an end to austerity, environmental issues, and other forms of global oppression.

The group says it fights “to advance a working class alternative across national borders, for a socialist world”.

Mayor Andy Burnham argues that the region needs £90m to cover the cost of covid-19 during the coming winter.

The Socialist Alternative table
Socialist Alternative demand that ‘workers must not pay’

Dane Yates, representative from the Salford division of Socialist Alternative, said: “We look at what Boris Johnson’s priorities are, they’re ultimately just about private profit.

“Rishi Sunak says ‘I want to step in’ and use public money to keep the economy afloat, but when it comes to the needs of working class people, young people, and students, they don’t step in in any meaningful way.

“They’re actually doing deliberate harm to workers in the North.”

Crowds at Piccadilly Gardens
Crowds gathered at Piccadilly Gardens

Dane said Socialist Alternative are working to “unite different struggles – from the Trade Union Movement, Black Lives Matter, the climate change strikes and so on.

“This will win the funding that is needed, the £90m that Andy Burnham has been talking about, but to also challenge the system that centres around profit. That is the only thing they care about.”

On Sunday (1 November), the government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS) is due to replace furlough, which many say will leave a lot of people worse off despite beng being paid up to 80% of their wage.

Dane said: “We demanded 100%, let’s go for the full 100%, we don’t want an 80% furlough, we want 100% ideally.

“If that isn’t introduced, it really is the difference between life and death for a lot of working class people who could be out of jobs as a result of this.”

Young protestors came with handmade signs
Young protestors echoed Socialist Alternative’s messages with handmade signs

The £22m will cover £8 per head of the expected mass furloughs, with more rigorous police patrols being implemented since the move to Tier 3.