The Put People First demo made it clear there is a mood for political and economic resistance in response to the crisis. It is also obvious by now that the union leaders, though they backed yeserday's demo, are unwilling to lead a fightback.
A small but significant local example is the failure of Northern Region TUC - or any of the unions - to put on transport from Tyneside to the demo. It was left to the North East Shop Stewards Network (NESSN) to organise a coach, which enabled over 30 people from the area to get to the march in London at short notice.
The network is one way we can develop the independent strength of the rank and file in the unions, and also initiate more resistance to job losses and other manifestations of the crisis, while continuing to demand the union leaders do more. NESSN is organising a major public meeting called Recession and Resistance: how can North East workers fight back against the employers' offensive?
This should be an interesting discussion of why the unions so far have done little to resist, but also point to the potential for something better in the future. It should bring a very wide range of union activists and others together to map out what we CAN do to defend jobs, pay and services.
Royal Station Hotel, Newcastle, Wednesday 8 April at 7.15pm. Speakers include Graham Turner (author, The Credit Crunch) and a representative of Keep Metro Public.