Over 100 people marched through Lincoln against public sector and jobs cuts on Saturday, May 1st, marking International Workers Day.
Organised by the Lincoln Trade Union Council, students, workers, and the like, marched from Castle Square down to the high street, with the closure of eight Lincolnshire elderly care homes being the focal point for the event.
A display of flags and placards greeted Saturday’s public. Marching past the Cathedral and down Lindum Road, the activists stopped traffic, but received many horn hoots in support by the drivers, who apparently weren’t phased by their delay.
The sound of chanting echoed down Grantham Street, with heads popping out of windows in Danesgate House and other homes, with “elderly care is a right, and not a privilege,” and “no to cuts, stop the rot, give us what the bankers got,” being favourites.
The march continued down to the upper end of the high street, where speeches were then made by representatives from various unions, organisations, and a couple of political parties.
Dave Tompkins, the representative for Youth Fight For Jobs, told the crowded high street: “We will not go down without a fight,” while Rich Banks, the vice-president of the Lincoln TUC, told of the successes of the past year and how they will continue in that fashion throughout this year.
Robert Parker, Labour Party councillor in Lincoln, condemned the Conservative council’s decision to close Park View, a care home in Lincoln, and pledged to the crowd that the “Lincoln Labour party are completely against these closures.”
The event finished with a rendition of ‘Red Flag’, a song written in 1889 by Irishman Jim Connell. Professor Richard Keeble of the Lincoln School of Journalism said: “I enjoyed it enormously, I liked the spirit of comradeship, and the speeches were terrific.”
He said that it was “surprising and disappointing” that the SU failed to turn up in support despite being invited by the Lincoln TUC, adding: “I’m sure they’ll re-think and when this march is held next year they’ll join it.”
Nick Parker, the President of the Lincoln TUC and PCS representative said: “What I would like to see in future demonstrations is to work constructively and cooperatively with the SU, because students face massive cuts in education, increased tuition fees, and the prospect of graduate unemployment.”Tweet