So this week we have seen protests in London at Farringdon Station, Newcastle at the Tyne Tunnel and Manchester at the Media City site. All of which made the news.
Media City made the BBC News website, Tyne Tunnel made the online and paper versions of the Newcastle Journal and Chronicle papers. The Journal even mentioned this Blog. There was a protest in Edinburgh today but I am still waiting to hear from people up there about what happened.
So its Wednesday 21st September. 300 Electricians have gathered at Farringdon Station (Crown House). 150 at the Tyne Tunnel(Spie) and 100 at Media City(Baileys).
At Farringdon Station the BoomBox was going from 6:30. The mood was set for a good protest with some excellent sounds provided by Dave Smith of the Blacklist Support Group. There were Unite flags being passed around and a full line up of speakers waiting in the wings. We waited around by the side entrance to the site/station for a while whilst some speakers stepped up. Gail Cartmail(Assistant General Secretary of Unite) spoke, as well as London Regional Officer Harry Cowap and John Sheridan the Unite National Construction delegate. There were solidarity speakers from the RMT, UCU, CWU and John McDonnel MP(Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington).
We then went on a march for ten minutes, through some nearby streets and Smithfield Market. Ten to fifteen minutes later we arrived at another with the music still playing nice and loud. Nice bit of Clash thrown in. We gathered at the gate on Snow Hill. Then someone got on the mic and pointed out that due to health and safety, we should clear the pavements and all stand in the road so that no pedestrians get injured. We duly obliged and blocked off Snow Hill for forty minutes. After the speakers had all said their pieces and we collected up even more copies of the Socialist Paper some people at the front decided we should try and invade the site. All headed on mass down the incline to the site gates. Security caught off guard jumped up and tried to shut them but they were too late. Open they were flung and onward we marched. The security retreated to the rising barrier. A few got through fine but the security then got a bit nasty and grabbed an older gentleman by the throat. Someone nearby realised and the security ma was soon persuaded to let him go. Next thing the barrier snapped off completely as the crowd swelled forward and onto the site. There was Unite flags and banners, music once again booming, it was like we were at a carnival, not invading a building site. We tried to find the site offices but failed, so we settled for a vast open space in the centre of the site surrounded by diggers and other heavy plant.
The workers on the site stood in awe at what was happening in front of them and came over to listen to more speeches. After half an hour right in the middle of the site with no PPE and quite a few officers from the City Of London Police staring at us, we then marched back off site with A Message To You Rudy blasting out. We then proceeded to block off Snow Hill once again and went on our way.
Sadly not as in depth write up for the Newcastle and Manchester protests due to me being at the London protest. If you are going to a protest not in London and would like to help out. Please get in contact. A decent write up of each protest from around the country would be great.
At Newcastle there were 150 gathered at the Duke Of Wellington pub at 6:30am. They then marched down to the site entrance of The Tyne Tunnel waving their banners and placards (something London needs a lot more of). Spie Matthew Hall told their lads not to come in till 10am, so it done its job and disrupted the working of the site. The protest made it onto a couple of local radio stations and the above mentioned news papers.
The Manchester protest is the one I know least about but the fact that it made the BBC News website is quite an achievement. Just over 100 were present for the first Unite backed protest in the area. If you have any details, pictures of information. Please get in touch.
There was also a protest in Edinburgh today outside the City Chambers. The City Councillors were meeting at 10am to award the contract for the New Portobello High School to Balfour Beatty. This was also a Unite backed protest. Once again, if you were there today, please get in touch.
Protests so far next week are in London, Humberside, Glasgow.
Spread the word. Keep the Faith
Dates For Your Diary
Monday 26th September
Lyndsey and Conoco Oil Refineries, 6:30am. Expecting a big turn out for this one, Show us how its done lads
Wednesday 28th September
London, Kings Cross Station, Platforms 10 and 11 6:30am. After the success of this weeks demo. Should be another good one
Glasgow, 2014 Commonwealth Games Site, The Velodrome, 7am
Only a fraction of the pictures have been posted here. The rest are on the Flickr page and the Videos are on YouTube.
|Manchester - BBC Media City|
|Newcastle - Tyne Tunnel Site|
|Newcastle - Tyne Tunnel Site|
|London Farringdon Station - 7am at the meeting place|
|London Farringdon Station - One of the Unite Flags, marching through the streets|
|London Farringdon Station - Outside Site Entrance|
|London Farringdon Station - Occupying the site|