A deluge of support has poured into the Coalition of Resistance office just days after the new anti-cuts campaign group launched with a public statement signed by Tony Benn and 73 fellow signatories.
A temporary website thrown up hours before the initiative went live received almost 20,000 hits in the first three days alone with thousands of people emailing to sign the initial statement and to offer support. A total of 1,330 people have already expressed support for the statement on Facebook.
The anti-cuts and privatisation campaign has been totally overwhelmed by people wanting to sign up, with seasoned campaigners involved in high profile national campaigns describing the level of interest as “unprecedented”.
Benn, a veteran Labour party member and former cabinet member, has been joined in endorsing the statement by Caroline Lucas, the Green party’s only British MP, and sitting MPs John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn.
Trade unionists backing the coalition include Mark Serwotka, general secretary Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), Bob Crow, general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT).
Public figures among the signatories include award winning filmmakers Ken Loach and Nick Broomfield, authors Iain Banks and Francis Beckett along with comedians Arthur Smith and Mark Steel.
The coalition was launched on the Comment Is Free pages of The Guardian with a statement from Tony Benn which read: “It is time to organise a broad movement of active resistance to the Con-Dem government's budget intentions.
“They plan the most savage spending cuts since the 1930s, which will wreck the lives of millions by devastating our jobs, pay, pensions, NHS, education, transport, postal and other services.”
The new coalition is unprecedented in terms of the breadth of support and involvement, with representatives from the spectrum of progressive political parties.
Paul Mackney, former Joint General Secretary of the Universities and Colleges Union, said: “This is the beginning of a mass revolt against cuts and privatisation. We want to see thousands of campaigns on the streets and in their locality challenging these cuts”.
Romayne Phoenix, of the Green Party, said today: “If I had any doubt about the necessity of this campaign it was quickly dispelled by the thousands of people who have contacted us expressing their support.”
The Coalition of Resistance: Against Cuts and Privatisation will hold its first organising conference from 10am on Saturday, November 27 at the Camden Centre in London. Due to the unprecedented level of interest a national speaking tour is also being hastily discussed.
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