The national movement made local – updates for action in Cornwall

There are a few events taking place over the next coming of months which might not be worth missing. The recent Supporting People demonstration outside County Hall showed that more and more are willing to actively oppose the cuts – but there’s a lot more on its way.

Firstly, the increasing activity on the anti-cuts front in Cornwall. With the NHS consultation touring the area – and apparently hoping no one turns up – a perfect opportunity is offered for those who oppose the insidious privatisation of health-care. People will be out on the streets leafletting all over the county before March 26th to encourage as many as possible to come to the huge March for the Alternative in London this month. If you can help with leafletting, send Cornwall Anti-Cuts Alliance an email at canticall@gmx.co.uk

UK Uncut has been off the radar in Cornwall recently, but the next day of action (whenever that is) should see some interesting actions in Truro, or potentially spreading to Penzance, Camborne, Redruth. Who knows. A library in Bodmin was occupied recently in opposition to library funding cuts, so there are people in most towns willing to put on some form of light-hearted dissent. There will be more intense rebellion in other quarters of the coalition of resistance.

The student movement, for a start. Since 15,000 people took to the streets on January 29th, the movement has become more localised and has manifested itself in a revived occupation season. Glasgow was occupied, and then several others followed suit. I’m sure, with the momentum, Falmouth University compatriots will be willing to enter that exciting status – ‘occupation’ – at some point again. This time, perhaps a lecture theatre would be better than a large cafeteria. Still, tents are better than no tents.

Slightly less radical but no less important is the half-day seminar on the Equality Act at the Eden Project on the 10th May, hosted by Equality South West. Something to look out for no doubt. Also: Take Part Cornwall (where have all these groups come from?) are organising a community citizenship session on the 9th of March on how to campaign effectively and ‘get your voice heard’. There probably won’t be direct action workshops  – but the free lunch looks tempting. Anyway. Back to the important stuff.

Two pieces of new today alone show that there is more than student fees to fight though. Cornwall Council are shutting down recycling facilities at all Sainsbury’s supermarkets in Cornwall, and scrapping £200k of funding for recycling schemes. Instead, private companies will be ‘contracted’ to offer limited facilities in out-of-town areas. Progress? I’m sure this will go a long way to reducing Britain’s waste problem. So with the Unitary Council opting out of green initiatives like this, central government meanwhile are being shunned by South Western Ambulance Service, which is becoming a foundation trust. It will be given more ‘financial flexibility’, but exactly what that means is unclear. Flexibility to lay of more staff or cut wages, perhaps. Or, like the council, to pull in even more private contractors to our vital public services.

And the prospect of a double-dip recession looks ever more likely.

By the way:

Cornwall Anti-Cuts Alliance is undergoing big changes, with plans to launch into a mass, democratic body over the next few weeks. Trade unions are being linked up with as well as local community groups. Updates will be on the Canticall site as soon as possible.

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