Protesters In Anti-Austerity Rally

A rally will be held in Glasgow this afternoon with crowds expected to gather in protest against austerity.

The Scotland United Against Austerity event in George Square is taking place as a demonstration is staged in London, with organisers predicting the protests will be the biggest for years.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) is joining forces with organisations involved in the Peoples' Assembly, which is organising the protests.

STUC general secretary Grahame Smith will tell those gathered: "Today we send out a clear message to the governments in Westminster and Edinburgh - we refuse to accept that there is no alternative to austerity.

"We know that austerity makes no economic sense. We know that its primary purpose is ideological. It is intended to entrench the economic and political power of a self-interested, privileged elite.

"To be anti-austerity is to be pro-trade union and to build a successful anti-austerity movement is to build an effective and successful trade union movement.

"Our campaign will be political and industrial. We will campaign to change government policy - however long that takes. And at the workplace, unions will take whatever action their members believe will be most effective in defending their jobs; their conditions and their communities.''

Other speakers at the rally will include Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, and Pat Rafferty, Scottish secretary of Unite.

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