The anti cuts movement in the East of England received a significant boost on Saturday when representatives of the Peoples' Charter came together with the Labour, Green and Communist Parties for a meeting held at Cambridge. 

The Labour general election candidate for Cambridge, Unison health officer Daniel Zeichner, Bill Greenshields of the Peoples' Charter and Brett Hughes Green Party Chair, agreed the need to oppose cuts which were resulting in the widespread loss of jobs and services.   


The meeting was part of a Building Day organised for activists and members of the CP in the East of England and their supporters. Union officials joined with trades councils, student and community activists, from as far afield as Peterborough and Norwich, to Cambridge, Ipswich, Chelmsford and Southend to discuss how to build anti cuts activities. Particular emphasis was given to the the need for building local activity and for the TUC demonstration on 26 March. 


New areas of opposition to the cuts have emerged, in towns such as Lowestoft, Southend, Colchester and Great Yarmouth, where large scale labour movement activity had not been seen in a generation. An entire new generation was joining this action and the CP was having to change its way of organising so as to integrate new members joining across the East.  


Decisions were taken to launch a new Marxist Education Programme, some of it delivered online. New branches are to be formed. Members will be helping to establish groups for supporters of the Country Standard in rural areas and amongst food workers. The Peoples' Charter will be translated so it can be popularised into languages spoken by many of the workforce now employed as agency workers. Support for the CP national speaking tour will see Robert Griffiths general secretary speaking at meetings along the Thames Corridor and Bill Greenshields, CP chair speaking at meetings in coastal towns.


Long service awards were given to George and Joan WIlls, a Ford worker and a textile union activist respectively. To a standing ovation, Joan recalled many struggles and how she had once worked in the CP District office where she was paid £3 per week, yet her fares were £4!  But she went on to say that there was no better cause to dedicate one's life than socialism which provided the opportunity for people to live a better and more fulfilling life than capitalism, which was based on exploitation and misery.


Bill Greenshields called for stepping up the anti cuts campaign, "All round the country the people are coming together around the People’s Charter not just to oppose the savage government cuts, but to agree a way forward to a future based on fairness and justice for ordinary working people. The meeting in Cambridge was very important in this. Now we need to prepare for the local elections where those people translate the principles in the Charter into a local people’s manifesto - by which candidates can be assessed, and where possible a united anti-cuts candidate can stand to defeat those attacking us."