The Morning Star editorial greets the 150,000 who marched through London on Saturday 16th April. VISIT CP Facebook page for photos.
MAXIMUM respect is due to the tens of thousands of people marching through London today to demand an end to capitalist austerity and to the government that imposes it.
Circumstances have conspired to make this weekend uniquely appropriate for a protest proclaiming that austerity is not born of economic necessity but of political choice.
David Cameron’s embarrassment over personal involvement in his family firm’s tax-dodging business in offshore tax havens not only exposes his hypocrisy but highlights the reality that payment of taxes is largely voluntary for the corporate sector and beneficiaries of inherited wealth.
Tory government efforts to pass itself off as a scourge of tax evasion are doomed to failure given its representatives’ determination to weaken or body-swerve any real clampdown.
Equally doomed is its claim that the NHS is safe in Tory hands.
The courage and unity of our junior doctors, who have demonstrated genuine principled commitment to defending our NHS against the privatisation zealots, have put their hollow propaganda to shame.
Every aspect of life from essential public services, defence of our steel industry, the fight for decent jobs and mobilisations against overseas wars to recognition of the need for all to pay their fair share of taxation reveals a huge gap in society.
The rich and powerful sneer at collective efforts to improve life for all and pay as little tax as they can.
The People’s Assembly encapsulates the popular yearning for a better future, which will be expressed in the size of today’s action.
However, as large as this demonstration of people power is bound to be, how will it be represented in the print and electronic media?
Will it be a major item on BBC, ITV and Sky news bulletins this evening, featuring video coverage, speeches and marchers’ comments?
Can we expect the Sunday papers to deploy reporters and photographers so that tomorrow’s readers can be fully informed about the People’s Assembly and the coverage can be highlighted subsequently by the Andrew Marr show team of newspaper reviewers?
Or once again will a massive outpouring of public anger against a them-and-us society, exemplified by a millionaire-dominated Tory government, be downplayed or trivialised by reporters doing their masters’ bidding?
Many people protesting in London today will be doing so for the first time.
They will expect that their exercise of this fundamental and hard-won democratic right to public protest will be noticed by those in authority and perhaps even listened to.
Hope springs eternal. It could happen, but history can be a harsh teacher.
Many of the London marchers will have received complimentary copies of the Morning Star, courtesy of our trade union supporters, and will have noticed a different selection and treatment of news and features from the rest of the print media.
Only the Morning Star can be relied upon to have extensive and sympathetic coverage of today’s event in Monday’s edition.
Just as the People’s Assembly Against Austerity was organised to present a unifying, progressive alternative to the orthodoxy of socio-economic policies shared by the political Establishment, the Morning Star was founded to provide an equally trenchant challenge to the capitalist media.
People’s Assembly marchers will notice the veil drawn over their activity by the pro-austerity papers, radio and TV.
But how many other campaigns take place and are blanked in the same way by the people with power?
You will only know by buying the Morning Star on a daily basis and building up the alternative media to provide a yet stronger challenge to the complacent partisans of wealth and corporate power.