Protest at the People's Town Hall
John Owen gives his take on the protest at the ‘People’s’ Town Hall on Wednesday 2nd March 2011.
The Lobby of Liverpool Town Hall called by Liverpool Trades Council against the cuts was supported by hundreds of people, from groups who provide vital services throughout Merseyside, all vocal in their opposition to the 91m cuts budget being pushed through by the majority labour council, headed by Uncle Joe Andersen.
Approx 300 people had gathered to oppose the draconian slashing of services, with widespread support from motorist and onlookers as the crucial budget decision loomed the council leader, who had recently headed the “Fair Cuts” protest march and rally to St Georges Hall, which saw some 6,000 people gather to oppose the plans, despite the slippery words of all the politicians.
Banners from Whitechapel Homeless Centre, Knotty Ash Nursery Park, and trade unions like the NUT, Unison, Unite and the Liverpool Trades Council were proudly displayed. Workers from Croxteth Hall dressed in their black and white livery, workers and clients from Park View Centre joined in blocking the pavement and stalling traffic, which was later rerouted by the police; who themselves face a 20% pay cut.
Chants of “we say fight back they say cutback” could be heard echoing throughout the streets, although this time, some real rage and anger was exploding, as the meaning was intensified at this crucial hour. Attempts to storm the town hall and block the cuts being voted through were made, such was the anger felt against those sitting calmly inside, the supine, serene, tranquillity. Outside volatile revolutionary tempers, in the theme of the real celebration of 1911, and continuation of that tradition, was being played out on the streets.
Voting obediently in the town hall, the collected riff raff, known as the council, decided life or death of people and services, without a squeak of opposition. As trades council member addressed them, they shied away, unlike last year when there was some wavering in the ranks of labour.
Outside a cardboard army of youngsters as soldiers dressed to represent the silent army of opposition, and others gathered to listen to old time socialist speakers reiterate the thoughts and feeling of the many 100s and 1,000s throughout the land that aren’t on the protest, but will be in London on 26 March; that it is “better to serve the poor and break the law than to serve the rich”. Centuries of rules and regulations, clockwork automaton like since the dawn of capitalism, enshrined in the grey town hall building and its ghostlike ritualistic clones, carrying out their duty. On the streets people’s faces alive with passion, love, hate, anger, betrayal, fight and hope blazed with indignation illuminated by a strong sun of early spring sunlight, a harbinger of things to come when the voices will be many thousand strong and the song sung to a different tune.
Enough is enough people are saying, although the numbers were not of the same strength as the Sunday rally. No real opposition has been mounted by official leader of the trade unions or labour party since the Con/Dem coalition government sneaked past the post last May. They have prepared to sit it out, arms folded, distancing themselves nationally from the cuts by saying as little as possible.
Latest figure show the TUC rally on 26 March could be the mother of all protests. A reflection of the gathering storm, as waves of revolt across the world giving strength and inspiring the oppressed layers to rise up and strike back at the rich and powerful.
Read other report from the People's Town Hall Protest here
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