Assembling in Victoria Square, Birmingham, outside the Council House with its Pre-Raphaelite frieze and classical columns from 4pm were a group of people coming together to demonstrate against public sector cuts. The idea, replicated across the country today, kicked off by the event adjacent to Downing Street, London, in the morning was to form up as a ‘dole queue’ to signify the public sector job losses already signed and sealed, and in anticipation of the continuing attack on health, fire, police, armed forces, civil service, education and local government leaked in advance of the budget of March 21.
In Birmingham, this is what we did.
We had support from the PCS union, who supplied placards and organising skills. Banners in support of Columbian trade unionists, Moseley Baths, Birmingham Against The Cuts and Birmingham Uni students were in evidence and with various chant-leaders we started to make some noise.
At 4pm we were about 50 strong. At maximum the numbers swelled to around 75. Not a torrent but ideally located to be noticed. The event drew a crowd, and provided a training ground for aspiring chant-meisters. Believe me, ranting into a loud-hailer is far more difficult than it appears. If you don’t believe me, you try it sometime!
By 5pm, our peaceful, very British demo dispersed.
As with the candlelit vigil outside the Birmingham Children’s Hospital on Monday (19/3/12) evening there was no visible police presence, no sub-machine guns, no kettling, no aggro and no arrests.
Birmingham Against The Cuts link