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Huge anti-cuts rally has God on side

Tony Benn, 86, to address thousands in cathedral first

Published on February 7th 2011.

Huge anti-cuts rally has God on side

TONY Benn, at the ripe old age of 86, will travel to Liverpool this Saturday to address a huge rally against cuts in public sector jobs and services.

It's believed to be the first ever TUC rally to be held at the Anglican Cathedral which has given the protest its blessing because of its “deep Biblical interest in social justice”.

Organised by Merseyside Public Sector Alliance, it will see marchers assemble at Exchange Flags by 11.45am and walk through Liverpool city centre to the cathedral for speeches.

Alex McFadden, president of Merseyside TUC, says: “This will be the first time, to my knowledge, that a TUC rally has been held in the Anglican Cathedral - and with Tony Benn as the main speaker it looks as if it could be one of the biggest rallies held in Liverpool for many years.

“Tony, although 86 years of age, still travels the country to speak at events and attracts large audiences because of his resolute socialist principles and almost legendary status in trade union and Labour movement.”

Stuart Haynes, of the Anglican Cathedral, says: "The cathedral is pleased to welcome Tony Benn and the TUC to debate this important issue. Although we are not party political the cathedral has a deep Biblical interest in social justice and the welfare of the community we serve.

"The cathedral was built by the generosity of the people of Merseyside and as such we offer ourselves as a place where local people can come to pray about and discuss the everyday and life changing issues that matter to them. The cathedral, like many in the region remains, concerned about the health of our local economy and seeks justice for the most disadvantaged in society.”

Rally organisers claim there is an alternative to the cuts planned, and highlight a £120 billion tax gap of evaded, avoided and uncollected tax.

They also say the UK holds £850 billion in banking assets from the bailout - more than the national debt.

Chris Baugh, Assistant General Secretary PCSW, added: "The Government should be investing in our public services, not putting our economy and people's jobs and lives at risk, and targeting the tax dodgers who deprive our public finances of almost £100 billion every year."

Joining Tony Benn on the platform will be Gail Cartmel, Assistant General Secretary, Unite the Union; Avis Gilmore, North West Regional Secretary, NUT; Alan Manning, North West TUC Regional Secretary; Chris Baugh, Assistant General Secretary PCS; Justin Welby, Dean of Liverpool, and “a student” as yet unnamed, presumably because they don't know which one of them will be up and about by then.

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Big BertaFebruary 3rd 2011.

Love this...

saladdazeFebruary 4th 2011.

The leaflet for the demo says it starts at 11.00am with speeches at the cathedral presumably at the end of the march, not 'first'. See www.facebook.com/…/event.php…

EditorialFebruary 4th 2011.

Hi Salad, we based our story here on official times given to us by the TUC, not a Facebook event. Not sure what you mean by speeches 'first'. Our story doesn't imply that - and obviously that would be a bit daft.

EvilEddFebruary 5th 2011.

Hi there.

I'm not sure what time I'll get into town - is there a rough start-time for the actual talks?

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