tomorrow's founding conference for Coalition of Resistance.
Over 1,000 people have registered for the national conference (as of Friday lunchtime), which is set to be one of the most significant trade union and anti-cuts movement events of the year. In an interview this week, the new Unite general secretary called for an "alliance of resistance" to smash the ConDem government's savage cuts to public services and welfare.
Tomorrow will be McCluskey's first public speech since being comfortably elected as the first sole general secretary of Unite, the country's largest trade union. He has called for unity between public and private sector workers, and stressed the need for national co-operation to build on the existing campaigning by local groups.
McCluskey has this week talked about the anti-poll tax movement and the mass demonstrations opposing war in Iraq as inspirations for building a mass anti-cuts movement. Referring to the TUC national demonstration set for 26 March 2011, he said:
“If we can build sufficient resistance and generate huge opposition not only from trade unions but from communities, church organisations and ordinary people who say they will come out on that demo, then it has to have an impact.”
Hundreds of trade unionists will attend the Coalition of Resistance conference, together with students, school students and many others. Speakers include Ken Loach, John McDonnell MP, Jean Lambert MEP (Green Party), Tony Benn, Salma Yaqoob (Respect) and leading student activist Clare Solomon.
The conference is happening just 3 days after the biggest anti-cuts day of action yet, with tens of thousands of school, college and university students walking out of classes and protesting in cities and towns across the country. Another day of action is planned for Tuesday 30 November.
The conference is a timely opportunity to discuss the student protests and other anti-cuts activities, and co-ordinate future campaigning.
Conference registration is from 10am at Camden Centre, Bidborough Street, WC1H 9AU, near King's Cross station, London.