From the free online dictionary:
Militant: to be vigorously active and aggressive, especially in support of a cause: militant reformers.
Protester: an expression or declaration of an objection, disapproval, or dissent, often in opposition to something a person is powerless to prevent or avoid: a protest against increased taxation.
Or from the Oxford dictionary;
Militant: favouring confrontational or violent methods in support of a political or social cause.
Protester: a person who publicly demonstrates opposition to something; a demonstrator.
These are the words that management and the media use everyday to describe working class people who are fighting for their basic rights to a livable wage and safe working conditions. Words that are unfair in their use that serve only to alienate and separate those standing up and speaking out from the rest of the working class who may well have resigned themselves to their own fate and scare any potential fence sitters away from joining a picket line, march or rally.
To stand up for what is right does not make you militant, it makes you passionate. To be passionate about a cause is not wrong.
To know you are right gives you the right to fight and this is exactly what people such as the Essex Fire Brigades Union members are doing, the cuts being faced by Essex fire crews affect the safety of every man, woman and child living in Essex. The cuts being pushed through in Essex are not for savings, they are of an ideological nature, this in itself is a very dangerous ethos for any fire authority to operate by because, ultimately, cuts costs lives. The budget for Essex Fire Service has increased from £70m to £77m, with reserves that went up from £4m to £12m, yet the management continue to plunder the service with devastating and needless cuts. In the 36 months since the initial dispute started there have been 160 firefighters lost.
The people of Essex that are standing up rightfully against these sweeping and savage cuts are also having the very essence of their human rights eroded by a totalitarian dictatorship who have imposed restrictions on their right to freedom of expression. It is a psychological war of oppression that would not be out of place in 1930's Germany. This is a problem shared in the wider community, something I feel becoming ever more present across all our daily lives with the creep of fascism spreading through society.
It is the elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about, the George Orwell state is upon us.
|Outside Essex County Council - No more cuts|
Essex to their credit have stood together in the face of some vociferous adversity from senior management. From body cameras being employed to spy on firefighters to CCTV being installed on community owned fire stations at the tax payers expense! Even police escort off stations on strike dates and fear of discipline and reprisal for daring to use words on a fire station that you can use in everyday life outside those very walls. The strike in Essex is a local dispute but it has national importance for us all, not just in the fire service but across all workers in the UK suffering in these times of austerity. Unions need to up their game by supporting each other both visibly at rallies and picket lines to financially aiding those people taking the decisions to withdraw their labour. This is not a decision made lightly. The show of unity and strength in Essex is something we should use to launch our own fight backs and we too must support them however we can.
|Never have truer words been spoken|
Whilst it is sad that workers across the country have felt that in order to be heard and have a chance of defending their working conditions they must take the challenging steps of strike action, let us not forget that this all comes against the back drop of billions of pounds of our money being spent on buying machines that deliver nothing but death, destruction and misery to countless souls around the globe. News just this week that the new stealth bomber being delivered to the UK is to be at a cool £100m for each jet, we can afford to wage illegal wars but not ensure we can retire in comfort after a life of service.
The march and rally in Essex was a resounding success but more can be and must be done if we are to continue this fight against ill judged idealism.