AL: I think the argument is … I don’t think anybody … nobody … well they’re an idiot if they do … thinks that Marvin Rees got elected and wanted to carry out cuts. He doesn’t want to carry out cuts, but his position is that he’s got no alternative … that you either implement the cuts because you have to or you go bust …. the city goes bust … and actually I think there is an alternative and we’ve actually got a little petition today …

JO: he’s saying “I don’t want to do this but …”

AL: but what we’re saying is what we have to do is be really brave and actually say “we’ve got 4 Labour MPs in this area, we’ve got a Labour council,a Labour Mayor”

JO: it’s clearly a Labour stronghold, isn’t it?

AL: that’s right … and we say “we are not going to implement these cuts”. And we tried to do exactly the same … he’s … I think very well … meeting other councils across the country to try and get that movement going. That’s what we want to push. That’s what we want to see out of today… is the way forward … is to say “No! Enough is enough. These cuts just cannot be implemented.” We just have to say “No! We’re not going to do it”.

JO: So, I suppose, in a way, you could say this is helping him, if he does want not to do it ..

AL: … exactly. If it’s a big demonstration, it gives him the ammunition to be able to say “people in Bristol are completely against this” …

JO: … “I can’t do this. It’ll kick off.”

AL: that’s why it’s really important we get a really big turnout.

JO: … what else … what else … it is .. I was expecting 10,000 plus …

AL: that’s what I’m hoping …

JO: Do you think it’s enough in itself, demonstrations? It’s great, isn’t it?

AL: they’ve got to be followed up … They can’t just come out.

JO: Are there some specific things that the unions might do?

AL: well, unions have always got, of course, to be able to take strike action … if, for example, the library closures .. and getting local communities involved in it … and I think that’s the responsibility not just of union leaders at the top but union groups getting together and trying to push that …

JO: local branches …

AL: that’s right, yes … Certainly in the NUT, we’re faced with big cuts in schools. We can take strike action at a local level … on an individual … and we have done … and we have won quite a lot of them. They threatened to get rid of support staff and we’ve taken strike action and it has been reversed. So it is possible to win that but you have to create a mood amongst people that they can cause change. And that’s why …

the value of today is that you have so many people together that it can actually cause amazing change … and you give people confidence

JO: I think that’s one of the values of a day like today …

AL: that’s the value of today is that you have so many people together that it can actually cause amazing change … and you give people confidence …

JO: you can kind of feel a certain spirit when you come to these sorts of things …

AL: it gives people that sense of confidence, you know. … Good to see you! Brilliant. It’s my neighbour.

JO: Hi team.

AL: Fantastic. Excellent. I’ll see you.

JO: that’s really, really good. Terrific.

AL: is that alright?

JO: thanks very much for your time.

 

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