Thousands of cheering activists and supporters voted in favour of general strike action in London at the weekend in a symbolic warning shot to the cuts-crazed Tory government.
Around 150,000 joined the TUC march and rally For A Future That Works in the English capital, as did thousands more in Glasgow and Belfast.
London greeted a string of trade union general secretaries with shouts of support, claps and cheering which echoed round the mass rally in Hyde Park as they hammered home their message of action.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey set the pace by saying the crowd was "marching for our future" and adding: "The tinpot Tories are trying to rip our nation apart."
"Save the Children is for the first time having to help our children, where thousands are having to rely on food banks to survive in one of the richest countries in the world - what a disgrace and a shame.
"When the horrific welfare cuts bite in April the situation will be even worse, but we should take heart from this demonstration because we represent millions and millions of people of ordinary people who want an alternative - let's go for growth.
"We won't get what we want simply by asking.
"That's why last month a motion was passed at the TUC conference calling on the TUC to consult on a general strike.
"Let's start that consultation here tomorrow. Are you prepared to take strike action to save our communities?" he asked to loud cheering. "Are you prepared for a general strike?"
McCluskey then led the crowd in an impromptu show of hands - and the "motion" was carried unanimously.
"Well, that's carried. Sisters and brothers have the courage so that we can rise like lions and fight, fight, fight for a better world."
His sentiments were echoed by transport union RMT general secretary Bob Crow and his PCS counterpart Mark Serwotka.
Referring to Ed Milband's speech earlier, Mr Crow declared: "It's about time we started laying down our demands.
"It's no good Ed Miliband coming here and saying that he's 'with' us - we don't want someone who is just 'with' us, we want him to say he's on the side of working men and women.
"We must not just walk up and down but we must reaffirm our faith and beliefs - if we are all under attack then we must defend ourselves together.
"It's about time we looked at the practicalities of a 24-hour general strike."
And Mr Serwotka said: "We are in a worst place than we were a year ago.
"If winning the argument and marching does not stop them then what we've got to do is what they've done in France, Greece, Portugal and Spain - we need strike action right across the economy.
"It's not enough to whisper it, or hope for it - we have got to make it happen.
"Get back to your workplaces and say to the leaders of our movement the time has come to strike."
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.
Stephen Twigg has won some initial support from teaching unions NUT and NASUWT for aspects of his plans for education in England.
How high-quality primary schooling could help solve global poverty
Unison leader asks what kind of society we want our children to grow up in