Solidarity with the police
Over 2000 police officers today demonstrated their opposition to cuts to their pay. Their press release is below. Some don’t feel it’s appropriate to express solidarity with the police. Many of us have ended up on the rough end of their oppression. But as I see it, such oppression is another expression of alienation. And even when they do kettle us, beat us, and arrest us for no good reason, they are still humans. And they are still under attack from the banks and the Tory puppets. Some of them will stand with us. Many won’t. But even if they don’t, we should stand with them, because they are being attacked. Because they may be enforcing an unjust system, but they are also its victims. Because solidarity means nothing if it only expresses support with those with whom we already agree.
So, yes, we must hold the police to account. Yes, too much of their work is dedicated to maintaining an order which enriches the rich. Yes, in Britain and around the world they are too often the hench men and hench women of global capital. But today, let’s be clear – their struggle is our struggle.
Solidarity with them.
Police Federation press release:
The Police Federation for England and Wales has organised a ‘Day of Action’ to highlight the impact of Government cuts to policing, including an open-meeting and lobbying event in the heart of Westminster on 13 July.
Over 2,000 off duty police officers from all over England and Wales will attend the open-meeting to highlight their concerns about proposed cuts to the police service and to ask the Home Secretary to treat them fairly and to honour the police pay negotiation process.
A number of high profile speakers will show their support for police officers on the day including Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP, Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz MP, ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde and Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC.
Paul McKeever, Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales says;
“We have no doubt that a 20 per cent cut to overall police budgets will lead to more crime. It simply won’t be possible to provide the same level of service to the public that we do now if we are losing officers, support staff, vehicles and stations.
“We accept that cuts have to be made but we ask that the Government acknowledges our unique status; police officers do not have industrial rights, so it is vital that the Home Secretary honours the police pay negotiation process.
“On 13th July we will be calling for a fair negotiation process and honesty about the implications of cuts to policing. The public has a right to know what the likely impact will be if 20 per cent cuts are imposed.”
The police service currently faces a triple whammy attack on pay including; a public sector two-year pay freeze and then a proposed two-year freeze on police officers’ incremental pay and a likely increase in pension contributions of three per cent which will result in many paying 14 per cent contributions. The cumulative effect of all this is that in a recent survey of 42,000 officers by the Police Federation, 98 per cent said morale is at an all-time low.
The ‘Day of Action’ is part of an on-going campaign by the Federation to raise awareness of the likely impact of the proposed 20 per cent cuts and the risk to public safety if the most experienced officers leave or are forced out.