A Future That Works 2012
Austerity isn't working. Fight for a future that does.
Organisers estimated 150,000 people gathered on the streets of London, with a further 50,000 at 'A Future that Works' events in Glasgow and Belfast demonstrating their rejection of the Government's attacks on working people's living standards and vital public services.
With a spectacularly strong showing around 1,000 CWU members are estimated to have taken part giving the union an unmissable presence at the demonstration - rivalling even the turnout of unions with far higher memberships.
Read what some of them had to say about why they were marching:
Jason Llewellyn, Brighton: "Everybody is getting behind the argument that you can't carry on with the austerity measures as they stand at the minute. It's no good to anyone."
James Samuels, Liverpool Clerical branch: "The cuts the Government is making are hurting our members in the private sector and our fellow workers in the public sector. To be honest the sooner we get these Tories out of government the better. I'm just hoping this will be another nail in their coffin."
Rob Richards, postal worker, Suffolk: "It's time for working people to stand up and tell this Government we're not going to put up with the way they are treating us. Rather than attacking the poor they should be attacking the rich - people like the bankers, who can afford it, and have made piles and piles of money at the expense of the working people. The kind of society I want to live in is one where the people with the biggest shoulders bear the biggest burden."
John Woodhouse, Newcastle: "We're marching against the cuts, marching against the Government, marching against the austerity measures. Let's kick them out!"
Kate Hudson, South Midlands Postal branch: "I'm here because of government cuts in general. The schools and all the services that are normally provided are being slashed. I'm here to protect my son's future. That's what's at stake with all the cuts coming in."
Thomas Armstrong, Runcorn: "I'm here to protest against the cuts - against what they're doing to the country. Marching with everyone is important because we've got to fight this together."
Mark Batterham, South Midlands postal branch: "It's important we protest for sake of the future of the whole British public - not just the postal service and the union we are part of, but the public in general. I've got young children and I'm here for their future and the future of all of the youth of this country."
Mick Whiting, postal worker, Hull: "We need to start standing up for our union rights, our rights at work and obviously to protect public services. In the current climate people can't afford to live, never mind work."
Kirsty Brookes, Virgin Media employee, Swansea: "People my age don't really have a future at the moment. I don't have a chance of owning my own house and there's not much in the way of opportunities. I'd like to go back to university to better myself but I can't because it's too expensive."
Hayden Newsam, South Midlands Postal branch youth officer, Rugby: "We need to make sure that children and young people have something to look forward to. They need their education and then they're going to need jobs. They are the ones who'll be looking after us when we get old - so we need to look after them now. I hope the Government will listen to what we're saying, but I won't hold my breath. It's quite clear they aren't 'in this with the rest of us' like they say they are!"
Carl Harper, postal worker, Peterborough: "The Tories' attack on working people is disgraceful and it can't carry on. I'm against the cuts to the welfare system and the attacks on working people's rights - especially the attacks on union rights, trying to cut union release time and so on. They're going after anything to do with working people's rights and I think it's disgraceful."
Tom Oakey, postal worker, Milton Keynes: "I'm not just marching for my own future but for my children's future as well. The cost of education now with university fees and the cost of housing is terrible. It's bad enough for the present generation but obviously the biggest fear is for the next generation that is coming. "
Rosebery Taiwo, South Central Postal branch: "I'm out here because these cut's are affecting every single working class family. We want these cuts to stop because it is not helping the country. A happy workforce is a productive workforce, if everyone is happy then we can move this economy forwards."
Brian Lee, 69, retired member, East London postal branch, Essex: "I feel really sorry for young people - for all those who are leaving school, college or university and not being able to find a job. Retired people need to show solidarity with all those who are suffering from these cuts. Even pensioners are now beginning to feel the bite - for many it's becoming a choice between heating and eating. We have to stand up and fight what's happening together."
Alan Bebbington, Cheshire postal branch: "I'm here to stand up and be counted and to show that we're not going to stand for all these cuts that the Tory government is making."
Gavin Pearce, Virgin Media employee,
Swansea: "I'm fed up of seeing young people not able to
get a job and fed up that those of us in work can't keep up
with the rising cost of living. It's a daily struggle to
survive, and something needs to be done. That's why we need to
show strength in numbers. Our voice needs to be heard."
Beverly Greenwood, postwoman, Leeds:
"They're cutting jobs, funding, pensions and everything
and it's not right. We've got to march against it and show
Trish Vollans, West Yorkshire
branch: "I think it's important we support the
anti-austerity campaign. It's not so much affecting myself and
my colleagues in BT, but the young people I know and people on
benefits are really suffering."
Rob McCracken, Openreach engineer,
Capital branch: "This Government is making way to many cuts -
too far and too deep - and what they are cutting is so
indiscriminate. We've just got to get out there to show our
commitment and support for all those affected."
Sean Harrison, Capita employee, West
Yorkshire branch: "We've got to show solidarity - this is
not just about public sector cuts but about all workers'
rights. The cuts that are happening now will devastate the whole
economy and public and private sector workers should be united in
the face of the attacks we're sustaining."
Steve Philips, Central & Thames
Valley branch officer, Northampton: "We've got to stand up
and show the Government that we're not going to accept any more
of these cuts and that we want a future for young people. I really
hope they'll listen but I don't think they will...but we
have to show our strength of feeling on this regardless."
Paul Rath, Central London Combined
branch, Wembley: " The cuts have to be stopped because
they're not working. The numbers here today should show the
Government the strength of feeling on the issue. I don't
honestly think they'll listen - but hopefully we'll get
enough media coverage to show that there's still fight out
Sue Lewis - Central Counties and
Thames Valley branch secretary: "We need to show this
Government that we're not going to tolerate any more. We need
to get that message across - for the sake of the future of our
children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We have to keep on
pressing this message home - and I think there will need to be many
more of these marches."
Rich Milton, postal worker,
Kidderminster delivery office: "The Tory Government has done
absolutely nothing for us and the threat of post office
privatisation is too much to bear really. We have to start making a
stand and getting our voices heard."
Gareth Webster, 24, Kidderminster
delivery office: "It's time the people stood up and showed
their support to trade unions everywhere because this government
has just been an outright attack on the working class of our
country. Unless we stand up and fight they will take our rights
away one by one."
Chris Ferguson, 67, BT pensioner,
Sheffield: "I feel passionately about the cuts, the situation
in the NHS and the fact our pensions are under attack as well. We
need to fight against austerity. I don't think the Government
will listen but our voice needs to be heard anyway. It's all
Kirsty Lenham, Lincolnshire &
South Yorks branch: "Yet again at the Tory party conference
they announced another £10 billion of cuts to benefits that
will affect the weakest and the most vulnerable in society. What
they're not doing is targeting their own - they're not
touching the bankers or the people who got us into this mess."
Andy Connelly & family, Leicestershire branch: ""I felt it was so important to come today for the sake of my children - Ella who's 6 and Ryan who's 9. The cuts that the Government is imposing are going to impact on all our children and the younger generation ahead."
Andy's partner, Sarah, who used to work in the Leicestershire branch office, added: "People with young children are rightly fearful for their future. You hear that this will be the first generation who will have a worse life than their parents and that's quite horrifying."
Mitchell Morris, 48, Acton delivery
office: "Things can't go on as they are. The amount of
money they want to take out the public sector is just killing
people. Lives are being wrecked by all these cuts, and they also
have an effect on families and extended families as well. They have
to come up with some sort of alternative, and if they don't
we'll have to get them out of office."
Tom Astle, 47, unit rep, Chester
deliveries: "We're fed up with seeing what the cuts are
doing to vulnerable people while large corporations and rich
individuals are getting away without paying their taxes. The way
the burden is falling on working people is all wrong. If the
Government collected the £123 billion that it doesn't
currently bother to collect from large companies and the rich it
wouldn't need to be making these cuts. That's what we want
Christine Lee, South East Wales branch, Cardiff: "I just think the Government is ripping us all off - making the rich richer and the poor poorer. We have to try to stop what's happening it before it goes any further and we end up in a situation like Greece. We have to make our voices heard, and I personally believe we need a general strike."
Read our reports of the day:
200,000 march for a future that works (Belfast & Glasgow reports included)