Sunderland protests cuts

Unison joined the Carnival Against the Cuts.
Unison joined the Carnival Against the Cuts.
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A PROTEST day to highlight Government spending cuts took place in a Wearside park.

Pressure group Sunderland Against the Cuts (SAtC) joined forces with union workers to host the family fun day with a serious message.

Speakers from trade unions and anti-cuts movements, including MP Sharon Hodgson, Kevin Rowen from the NTUC and Gary Duncan from SAtC, took to the podium in Mowbray Park.

In between speeches, supporters relaxed in the sunshine and enjoyed music from bands the Gangsters of Ska, 1977, No Reason Why and Rage Against ’Em.

The event was organised by SAtC and the Public Sector Alliance, which set up stands in the park.

Support also came from the regional trade union movement NTUC and Unison, the public sector trade union.

Helen Coomer, Unison regional organiser, said: “Unison is pleased to be working with the Public Sector Alliance and the NTUC to hold a family fun day to alert people to the real dangers of the Tory-lead Government’s policies of scapegoating the public sector to pay for the excesses of the banking sector.

“It was an excellent day and we’ve had a lot of interest from members of the public.”

Face painting and balloon animals kept children entertained and there was also a chance to hurl wet sponges at David Cameron and Margaret Thatcher lookalikes in the stocks.

Gary Duncan, from SAtC, said: “The aim of the day was bringing people together and to bring awareness of the cuts that are devastating our city.”

The group is holding its next public meeting on Monday, September 19, at 7.30pm, in Sunderland Civic Centre.

A debate will take place on Our City in a State – The Truth Behind Sunderland’s Decline.

Information will also be available about plans for a protest at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Monday, October 2.

Twitter: @janethejourno