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Editorial: we can beat the Tories!

Along with thousands of activists, all our readers will be striving to make the 26 March demonstration as big as possible.

500,000 jobs to go in the public sector. Another 500,000 to follow in the private sector.

34 per cent cuts in council spending leading to libraries, youth services, care for the elderly all being savaged.

The Con Dem’s promise not to touch frontline services has been exposed as a lie, with 50,000 job losses planned in the NHS alone.

Youth unemployment has reached 20 per cent, while college fees have trebled and the EMA grant for young college students have been axed.

No wonder so many people are getting ready to join the march on London.

The magnificent students put in the groundwork last winter, inspiring millions and defying the government. Local rebellions against council cuts are spreading all over the country (see page 6).

Now we need hundreds of thousands filling the streets of the capital to demand an end to the cuts of this illegitimate Coalition.

A wave of rebellion around the world has shown us how to do it.

The revolutions sweeping North Africa and the Middle East have shaken the world. They show that the way to stop the rich and powerful trampling the poor is by mass action on the streets by the people ourselves.

And it’s not just in the Middle East. 2011 is turning into one of those years where millions of people show their power – a year like 1848, 1917, 1968 and 1989.

The revolt in Wisconsin (see page 13) shows how strikes, demonstrations and occupations work in the West too.

The Arab revolt

In the Middle East and North Africa the revolutionary struggles are spreading every day.

In Tunisia and Egypt the battle is on to drive the revolution forward and clear out the remnants of the old regime. The workers, peasants and poor in the cities must remain on guard and prevent the military, “councils of the wise”, remnants of the old guard or the West from robbing them of the fruits of their sacrifice.

They need to make the revolution permanent by seizing the factories and the land, convening a revolutionary constituent assembly, and taking power into the hands of democratic popular committees.

As we go to press most of Libya has fallen to the revolution, with fierce fighting in the towns around Tripoli. The revolution is also on the march in Bahrain, Yemen, Oman, Morocco.

There is no doubt that this example will give courage to people everywhere.

Resistance in Britain

In Britain we face a reactionary government hell bent on privatisation, mass unemployment and welfare and public service cuts across the board.

The TUC leaders have spent five months preparing the 26 March demonstration. For them this is a way of showing that they are doing something against the cuts. They hope that a single day’s protest will scare the government.

They are wrong. We need more radical and sustained action – both on the day and after. The proposal to occupy Hyde Park and stay there overnight – an idea directly taken from the Egyptian, Tunisian and Wisconsin struggles – is a good start. But we need more.

Across the country, people are taking direct action to stop cuts. Whether it is protests to stop nurseries from being closed or occupations of Town Halls when they are voting through the cuts packages, the resistance is growing.

University and college lecturers could – if they win their ballot – take the fight onto the national level by striking the week before the march.

The demonstration on 26 March must be the start of a campaign of protests, strikes and occupations to bring down the government.

General strike

This is why socialists are campaigning for a general strike to bring the Coalition down. This is not just a demand on the TUC and trade union leaders. It is also something that must be built from below through anticuts groups and committees of action.

Most importantly we need a new party, one that fights for the interests of working people and unites the anticuts activists across the country in a fightback that leads not just to a change of government, but a change in society itself.

If the Egyptians can bring down a military regime, then we can bring down this weak Coalition government!

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