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Neil Faulkner

Tax the rich, not the poor!
Can’t pay, won’t pay!

(22 June 2010)

Published online by Counterfire, 22 June 2010.
Copied with thanks from the Counterfire Website.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

As Tory Chancellor George Osborne, speaking for the Con-Dem government of millionaires, announced mega cuts and tax-rises for working people, Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay activists marched down Whitehall and paraded outside Parliament.

Leading the protest was a gruesome trio: David Cameron with chain-saw, his Lib-Dem sidekick Nick Clegg, and a Zombie Margaret Thatcher, back from the dead. ‘Mourners’ carried a coffin representing the welfare state they plan to destroy and tombstones for the services under threat.

With chants of ‘Stop the Con-Dem cuts’ and ‘Tax the Fat-cats’, the protest had a big impact as it moved down Whitehall through crowds of Londoners and tourists. After pausing outside Downing Street and Parliament, the protestors then marched through the middle of the media scrum reporting the budget.

The campaign is launched. The slogan ‘Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay has been broadcast by the BBC. A banner of resistance has been planted.

Our message is clear. It is their system, their crisis, their problem. The rich can pay. We should fight every cutback. We should defend every worker’s job, wage, pension, and benefits. We should oppose every attack on our schools, hospitals, and welfare services.

To do it – to make a reality of today’s slogans – we have to build a mass movement. That task begins today.

Neil Faulkner is a freelance archaeologist and historian. He works as a writer, lecturer, excavator, and occasional broadcaster. His books include A Visitor’s Guide to the Ancient Olympics and A Marxist History of the World: from Neanderthals to Neoliberals.

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