Around 100 people gathered in Swindon town centre on Saturday March 5th for a local demo against the cuts. After listening to a range of speakers from various unions, community groups (and even one from the Anarchist federation), people planned to move around the corner for a mass leafletting session. A 20-30 strong contingent of radicals, predominantley anarchists moved off as a group, defying police stipulation that the demo would remain static. It was hoped that more people would join the spontaneous march, but an early, heavy handed police reaction dettered many. As soon as the group began chanting and marching, the police began pushing at the front banner, trying to confiscate banners and labelling the march ‘illegal’. After a short, slightly comical scuffle (the highpoint being an angry cop getting wrapped up in an ‘anarchists aginst the cuts’ banner), and lots of chanting, the breakaway group split into 2, congregating 10 minutes later to hand out leaflets and do tax-dodger actions at Vodafone and Topshop.
Overall, the day was a success for the local movement against the cuts, with a large, well attended rally, thousands of leaflets given out, and a large, noisy and determined breakaway group showing that when they say ‘cut back’, we really do mean ‘fight back’!
The day ended with the movement gaining much vocal support from a diverse cross section of the community, a few tax dodgers losing a bit of revenue, and the cops (who have tried their hardest to intimidate and stifle the campaign from the outset) bleating about a ‘breakdown in trust’! All in all a good day, and a launch pad for more actions in the future.
At least 5 coaches are being organised from swindon to the big TUC demo in London on March 26th. For more info, drop the local campaign an email at firstname.lastname@example.org