Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out

I’ve heard a lot recently regarding people complaining about the teachers’ strikes last week. Most saying how there are others worse off or paid less “look at our soldiers and police, but you don’t see them on strike”.

For my first point I’d like to remind those with this argument that by law soldiers, police and many other types of workers had their rights to strike taken from them when they took their oath “for the betterment of the country”, but I’m sure if given the option they would go on strike and fight for the better working conditions that they deserve – and that brings me onto my second point.

Ever remember the old saying “we speak for those that cannot speak for themselves”? This is precisely why we should be supporting those that took strike action last Thursday. We may not be bin men or teachers or even active unionists and we may not face the same issues they face such as pay cuts, working longer hours for less money and the prospect of losing a job altogether; but as a nation, we have a duty to ourselves to fight for a better standard of living, to be given the life we deserve for the work we do.

We cannot sit on the sidelines and pray this won’t happen to us because by then it’s already too late.

If everybody stands together in solidarity, those that try to oppress wouldn’t have a choice but to listen and those that don’t have a voice will find one in the rest of us thus creating a better future together.

Its time now to stand as one and march as one, as a country and say no to austerity, say no to living in poverty and finally say no to living as second class citizens.

Today may not be our turn to fight our fight but one day they will come for our rights and livelihoods. It’s our turn to stand by those fighting now and show solidarity and teach this government that we cannot be divided and we will not be silenced.

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the ill, and I did not speak out because I was not ill or weak.

Then they came for the gypsies, muslims, ethnic minorities and homosexuals, and I did not speak out because I am none of these.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.

Why not join trade unions and activists on 18 October for the TUC March and Rally “Britain needs a pay rise”.

Stronger – together.

TUC 18 Oct March