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St. John’s chapter supports growing mobilizations against austerity

Photo: St. John’s chapter activist Erika Steeves holds banner at the anti-austerity march on April 29.

The Council of Canadians St. John’s chapter is in the midst of massive and growing mobilizations against the provincial government’s austerity budget.

The Independent reports, “On Friday [April 29] more than a thousand people united in Corner Brook, Wabush, Forteau and St. John’s in a province-wide day of action against austerity. With more actions planned in other communities in the coming days and weeks, and with a growing number of ad hoc anti-austerity groups and coalitions forming to organize many of them, the public response to the Liberal government’s budget has morphed into a movement and shows no sign of slowing down.”

The article adds, “Friday’s demonstration in St. John’s drew as many as 1,000 people, who marched from the Avalon Mall to Confederation Building, where people representing various groups and demographics condemned the Liberal government’s budget, arguing the tax and fee hikes, along with cuts to social services, will disproportionately affect low and middle-income earners and the province’s most vulnerable people. The Corner Brook demonstration drew about 150 people and featured a march led by Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Chief Brendan Mitchell and members of the Mi’kmaq community… On Saturday more than 100 people gathered at the College of the North Atlantic campus in Bonavista, while about 50 came together in Stephenville, making their communities the latest to host anti-austerity protests.”

And the newspaper highlights, “Many are using social media platforms to form grassroots groups and organize the actions. Coordinated Approach NL recently formed to bring organizers from across the province together to share ideas and resources in planning actions, while Mutual Aid NL is keeping track of all the actions while also coordinating efforts. Meanwhile, established groups like the Social Justice Co-operative N.L. and the Council of Canadians and lending their voices and resources to the planning efforts. And labour unions are playing no small part in the fight against austerity.”

The Council of Canadians St. John’s chapter has already participated in two major protests against the provincial government’s budget on April 16 and April 21. We are also a member of the ‘We Are NL’ anti-austerity campaign launched on April 26.

CBC reports, “[The province’s finance minister] said further actions will be announced in a supplemental budget this fall.”

The Council of Canadians will be holding our annual conference in St. John’s this coming October 14-16.

Further reading
Council of Canadians in solidarity with #WeAreNL (April 27, 2016)
St. John’s chapter protests provincial austerity budget (April 22, 2016)