LGP News - Anti-cuts Protest March - London 26 March 2011
|Anti-cuts Protest March - London 26 March 2011|
|Sun, Mar 27, 2011|
Observations by Bob Ball who was on the march
Trade unionists and supporters of the public sector travelled across England to London for a peaceful protest to stop the Government’s fierce cuts in welfare, which could harm people with least. Parts of education and health are being privatised. With cuts in local government services also, this will destroy more than a million jobs, drives up poverty and inequality.
Members of the Leicester Green Party and other anti-cut protestors travelled by coach from Glenfield, Leicestershire, to assemble at Victorian Embankment, for a 3 mile march to Hyde Park to listen to speakers. There were estimated to be 250,000 to 500,000 protestors on the march.
There were families and older people, and the atmosphere was good-natured, but the anger on the demonstration was real over the cuts.
Among the slogans were:
Over 65 years ago our parents fought to bring in the welfare state, which is now under threat. The Tories aim to finish the work began by Margaret Thatcher in the 90s.
It was ironic that Green’s Caroline Lucas was not invited to speak to the crowd in Hyde Park, but that Labour’s Ed Miliband - who is in favour of cuts - was allowed.
Although the economic deficit needs addressing, we can have a green transition to a more fairer and sustainable society. Cracking down on tax avoidance, scrapping Trident, a windfall tax on bank profits and bankers bonuses, would help reduce the deficit. But reducing the deficit more slowly allows investment in a Green New Deal.
This is a major plan to kick-start the transformation to a post-carbon economy while creating a million new jobs and training places. New jobs would in turn bring in extra revenue to support public spending.
At the end and heading back, at Oxford Street there were protestors outside the retailer, Apple Mac and later a couple of hundred self-styled anarchists were marching, some with sticks towards Oxford Street.
Despite that, the main protest was peaceful and the police seem to handle the day well, handing out information sheets and not wearing riot-gear, was less intimidating.