Largest mayoral rally in Liverpool shows impact of TUSC campaign
Three hundred people braved torrential rain to attend a pre-election rally for Liverpool mayoral candidate Tony Mulhearn and other TUSC candidates across Merseyside.
None of the other political parties standing in the 3 May election have had a rally in Liverpool of this size.
There was a large platform of speakers but they were diverse and each made points from their own perspective on how the economic crisis is affecting them.
Transport union RMT president Alex Gordon and civil service union PCS assistant general secretary Chris Baugh talked about the reaction of rail workers and civil servants to attacks on jobs and pensions.
Both said the way forward was planned, coordinated industrial action but also agreed that workers must have a political voice which can only start to be achieved when the unions get behind TUSC and abandon the Labour Party.
The FOC Unite union representative from Mayr-Melnhof Packaging (MMP), Phil Potter, spoke about their lockout and subsequent sacking and how their employer took advantage of the anti trade union laws to attack unionised workers in the print trade.
Laura Mannion from Save SureStart said their campaign had received invaluable support from Tony Mulhearn and TUSC.
Children's author Alan Gibbons spoke about the attacks on libraries and pointed out that developing countries such as South Africa and India were expanding their libraries while the sixth richest country in the world was closing 600 of ours.
Michelle Smith from Liverpool Against the Cuts (LATC) said that local campaigns were building and LATC was able to provide them with the support and facilities they need.
Raph Parkinson talked about growing up in Toxteth and how as a young man in the 1980s he saw the benefits first hand of a socialist council fighting back; he added that we need to re-build that spirit by supporting Tony Mulhearn today.
And Morag Reid, TUSC candidate for Rock Ferry in Wirral talked about how her life experiences had shaped her socialist views and said the fight back must begin now or young people would have no future.
Raptuous applause was given to Tony Mulhearn when he condemned the greed and corruption of the bankers and prescribed that the banks be taken into public ownership.
He also condemned Liverpool Labour leader Joe Anderson for his cowardice in forcing through cuts made by the millionaire government ministers. "A militant is a moderate who has got up off their knees" he declared, to further applause.
Roger Bannister chaired this very inspiring meeting and announced that Liverpool playwright Jimmy McGovern and band member from the Farm, Peter Hooton, were there in support of Tony's campaign.
The meeting didn't finish until 10pm but everyone stayed until the end and many queued at the stalls to take bundles of leaflets to deliver in their own area. £820 was raised in a financial appeal for the TUSC candidates and 60 people stayed later still to talk to organisers.
Dave Walsh, Tony4Mayor election agent