by Charlie Kiss, a Camden Green Party member
After leaving my own picket line, we travelled to Camden Town Hall, Judd Street from Camden Town and we passed three other pickets. One by Bayham Street, one outside the Working Men’s college and one by St Pancras hospital. At Camden Town Hall, there was a large group gathered. Mostly Unison members like myself and also PCS union members.
I was surprised but pleased to see some Labour Councillors showing support outside the Town Hall as the Labour Leadership were saying they did not support the strike action. The Green Party Camden councillor was there, Maya De Souza, and she spoke to the crowd from the Unison open-decker bus.
She explained that no Green Party elected representative would cross the picket line today. (This was confirmed by BBC news, noted that this wasn’t just in England and Wales – Scottish Green MSPs also refused to enter Holyrood.) And that the Green Party was the only national party back the strike, with strong statements on it from Caroline Lucas MP and Jenny Jones, our London mayoral candidate.
Then we set off towards Lincoln Inn Fields, marching along Euston road and stopping off at other pickets that were still ongoing, such as one outside the UCH in Euston Road, and then the Colleges in Gower Street and Malet Street.
By the time we reached Holborn it was much larger. However there was a very long wait to get into Lincoln Inn Fields. I started to hear from other colleagues and friends who were asking where I was when they were at Trafalgar Square. Where was I?
Still at Lincoln Inn Fields at 2pm. The turnout was huge!
Later at about 3.30pm when we did finally arrive in Trafalgar Square I noticed the worrying new Police Cordon barrier.
I am quite worried about this as I think in large crowd situations people could be crushed against it. There certainly didn’t seem to be any need whatsoever for such a reaction from the police for the Union march.
Most of the marchers were women and many were on strike for the first time.
A friend tweeted that more information about it.
The Local Government Pension is one of the major obstacles to further privatisation of locally provided public services as private companies do not want to take this on.
To my mind this is yet another reason to work hard to keep the pension.
There are many reasons which brought two million people out on Strike on Wednesday, but three stand out to me:
1/ Making public sector employees pay a contribution towards reducing the deficit caused by the reckless unregulated banking sector is outrageously unfair.
2/ Making public sector workers work until they are nearly 70 is ill-though out. Many of the jobs are mentally and physically demanding. Many physiotherapists for example would not be able to physically support patients when they are nearly 70 years old.
3/ The Government has to stop demonising the public sector. Just because the private sector is not providing decent pensions does not mean it will help leaving more people pension-less. Instead the government should force private companies to provide more help to their employees.