Tuesday, September 8, 2009
TIME FOR THE COMMUNITY SECTOR TO FIGHT BACK
I attended a protest organised by SIPTU today in Dublin to fight back against cuts in the Community Sector. I commend SIPTU for organising the march and for mobilising thousands of people nationally from across the community sector. It is vital that the sector unites against savage cuts which will devastate communities especially those worst hit by the recession. The Community Service Programme has seen its funding cut by €10m. €44million has been cut from the Community Development Programmes and partnerships. Many Family Resource Centres are under threat of closure. €2.6m has been cut from the National Drugs Strategy. As a voluntary member of a Community Development Project in Larchville and Lisduggan and a former board member of Waterford Area Partnership I know at first hand the impact these cuts will have. These are organisations working at the coalface in disadvantaged areas trying to bring about social inclusion.
It is right that people in the sector are angry that the Government are making the vulnerable pay for their mistakes. However it is not enough to be angry. We need to turn that anger into action. The best way for the sector to achieve this is to unite behind a campaign to have these savage cuts reversed. I am calling on everyone involved with or who benefited from community development type programmes to attend SIPTU’s national march organised for September 30th in Dublin. Only be working together and uniting behind a single campaign can we successfully force this Government to abandon their strategy of making the vulnerable pay for their mistakes.