The Anti-Cuts Protest In London – Part OneMarch 31, 2011
Some of you will have read about, or seen on TV, the anti-cuts protest we had in London on Saturday 26th March. I imagine you thought London was reaching Armageddon. It wasn’t quite like that. Here’s my experience.
I wanted to be at the march itself to show my disgust at the severity of the cuts and how it will affect the most vulnerable in our society, but I had booked and paid for my skate lesson in advance, so I couldn’t be there. However, because my lesson was in Hyde Park and I knew it was the venue for the end point of the march, I could be there for the speeches. And so it was that after my skate lesson, where I had a bad fall and scraped my arm while going for a manoeuvre (the other aches and pains hit me a day later), I walked to the entrance of the park where the marchers were streaming in. There were many official banners from various organisations, but I’m always impressed by the home made ones. They’re usually well designed and quite witty:
And a protest wouldn’t be a protest without people climbing statues:
Once in the belly of the park, various organisations and union representatives made speeches. An impassioned plea for saving the arts was given by Sam West, son of actors Timothy West and Prunella Scales (Sybil from ‘Fawlty Towers’). A man representing disabled workers expressed his fears about how the cuts could affect him and others like him. A representative from the American and Canadian unions was great. He said one thing that made me laugh so much, I had to write it down, and it was this: “The best way to rob a bank is to manage one!”
There was also entertainment. Some were quite good. Others not so much. But the crowd liked it nevertheless.
I then started moving off because I was starting to feel the cold. I found myself gravitating towards a sound system where techno and drum and bass were playing and a small group were dancing and smoking.
In the middle of the group, giving it everything she had like her life depended on it was this lady:
She must’ve been at least eighty. Good luck to the bird.
The event was soon at an end and people moved towards the exits. Everyone was good-natured and there was no drama. It was like the end of an outdoor festival. I felt I was a small part of history that day.
I left Hyde Park and started to make my way home. Well, I started to make my way home, but decided to take a detour. That’s when things got very tasty. All will be revealed in part two.