The Sheffield pensions demo on 30 June was no place for the unemployed, according to elements of the left and trade unions.
Charles Cartwright, a brickie who has been unemployed for two years, started to heckle the crowd as it was forming in Ponds Forge. His point was that people on the demo were lucky to have a job. Unfortunately that is the sentiment of many working-class people, especially if they are feeling the sharp end of the recession.
Workers’ Liberty members were able to speak to him for a short while. Unfortunately he was soon confronted and surrounded by a SWP NUT steward and snarling SWP youth who began to taunt him and physically intimidate him. At this point the police found cause to intervene and the SWP members present helped the police to remove Mr Cartwright from the demonstration.
Charles Cartwright is, like many many others, a tragic example of what government’s agenda does to the morale of working-class people.
The left and the trade unions cannot shy away from tackling arguments and explaining alternatives. The left has to face up to this task or their will be incidents like this where members of our class are ostracised from the labour movement for life by moronic thuggery which fails to consider the unfortunate facts that most of our class are not yet Marxists.
What we need is working-class solidarity. Sheffield Workers’ Liberty is putting a motion to the Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance to set up an unemployed workers’ caucus for the city. We openly invite Mr Cartwright and the thousands of unemployed workers in the city to get involved.