Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Big Demonstration

I joined the big demonstration today in Brighton and Hove in support of more than one million public service strikers across the nation: teachers, firefighters, council staff, librarians and many, many others.

We numbered around 2,000, according to the police.

I marched three miles, carrying our National Union of Journalists branch banner, with Natasha Steel, to give our NUJ branch's backing to our brothers, sisters and comrades in more than half a dozen other trade unions.

The march was long and windy. I had turned up late and rather agitated for reasons I cannot disclose and it was great to find myself in the midst of our fraternity.

Natasha and I were at the back at first when we embarked from Hove Town Hall - motto: Floreat Hove - and I had a good chat with Jim, the very friendly policeman walking beside me.

Halfway down Western Road, the teachers from Bhasvic and Varndean tagged on the end, with their lovely banner.

Our NUJ banner is large but has the distinct disadvantage that it catches the wind like a main sail, on this occasion holding us back.

It was a bit like trying to sail without a boat! We tried to tack into the wind or even windsurf sideways, but it was heavy sailing.

Unfortunately, the NUJ banner's frame is made of plumber's spares, meaning than a gust of wind could easily dismantle the top pipe, causing us to collide with the teachers behind.

A police lady even warned us we were demonstrating too slowly - a spurious new law if ever I heard one!

By the time we got to The Level, I was exhausted.

I bought a fried egg sandwich and a large cup of tea from the cafe across the road and listened to the words.


Brighton's Green MP Caroline Lucas gave a
rousing speech in support of the strikers and my Trades' Council comrade Phil Clarke also spoke very strongly.

Once again it made me think that if you are being treated unfairly by your employer, you should fight and carry on fighting until they treat you right.



Today's strike has closed around 2,500 schools in England and Wales, and courts, council offices, libraries and museums around the country were also shut.


All Welsh Assembly business has been cancelled and there were passport control delays at Heathrow Airport.

The basket of disputes feature unions fighting poor pay deals, cuts to jobs and pensions and privatisation of services.

It was very good the trade unions in Brighton and Hove demonstrated in such force.

As Caroline Lucas said, we are stronger together.


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Mr Cheeky is back to his usual naughty self.

He is fully recovered from his latest ailment, having incurred (for me) another veterinary bill - for £130.

I simply cannot afford to let him out any more.

Facing joblessness as I do, it is just too expensive to pick up the tab for a social life which would put Prince Harry to shame.

Instead, I spend my waking hours entertaining Mr Cheeky indoors with his mouse on a stick, catnip fish and a bird whistle.

My next job today is to find suitable chords to fit the Mr Cheeky song I have penned.

Not being a song writer of any talent,  I may just crib them from The Beatles.

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1 Comments:

Blogger William Mills said...

Great article. the bit I like was that you were exhausted too, so it wasn't just me!

Friday, 11 July, 2014  

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