Thursday 1 December 2011

November 30 - Lewisham NUT on the March

In Lewisham, the day started early with a picket-line from 6.30 am outside Prendergast Ladywell Fields College of NUT and GMB members.

A reporter from LBC radio interviewed Fran, the school NUT rep, who explained how teachers could not work on until 68 and how education would suffer if we had to. The reporter tried to find a passer-by who was against the strikes - but couldn't find a single one! The toots from the car-horns of passing motorists made very clear the mood of the public - it's time someone stood up to this millionaire's government!

Picket lines were also mounted at several other schools - although the vast majority had been either totally or largely closed to pupils. Everyone then gathered at the Town Hall in Catford where UNISON pickets reported that the building was largely empty with very few staff reporting for work.

Then it was off to Charing Cross to meet hundreds more Lewisham staff. We walked behind the Lewisham banners - including a fantastic one from Sydenham School - up to Lincoln's Inn Fields for the start of the all-London joint union demonstration.

The square just wasn't big enough for the thousands that had gathered. It set-off at about 12.45 - and was still leaving the square two hours later. There must have been over 50,000 marching.

We marched along the Strand and down to the Embankment before listening to Christine Blower, Mark Serwotka and other speakers at the closing rally. 

One banner summed up the mood of many on the day: - "Work Till You Die - Or Strike Till You Win!"

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