REPORT: Gloucester Anti-Cuts Demonstration

Hereford Solidarity League activists joined hundreds of others to take part in a march against the cuts in Gloucester this morning.

Police had been up to their usual mischief making prior to the march, approaching organisers and warning them of ‘Hereford anarchists’ (presumably us) who were planning to attend. It would appear that they are facing a bit of ‘post-Millbank paranoia,’ with the word ‘anarchist’ making them reach for their panic buttons.

Despite the rain and the biting cold, three to four hundred people congregated at Gloucester Park at 10am. After some short speeches the march set off through Gloucester, coming to a stop and rallying point at the Shire Hall. Here, some more speeches were heard from the Trade Unions.

Shortly after the speeches ended, a group of activists decided to pay the Vodafone store a visit. This protest wassimilar to dozens recently held across the country, and was to highlight the company’s unpaid tax bill of £billions, showing the relationship between unpaid tax of the rich and the poor paying the price through the cuts.

Before we had even arrived the police had formed a line in front of the store and shutters were pulled down behind the door and windows, leaving some customers still inside! Leaflets were handed out and demonstrators explained to passers-by the reasons for the protest, many of whom were supportive.

Following this the group headed to the Boots store around the corner. The reason for this protest was similar to that at Vodafone, highlighting the fact that Boots has recently moved it’s HQ to a Swiss P.O Box to avoid paying tax in the UK.

After a long discussion between demonstrators, staff and the police it was decided to return to Vodafone. This time a couple of police officers were stood outside and were quick to inform us that a 5 metre restriction zone had been put in place, preventing activists from getting too close to the store. A second demonstration was held before people went their separate ways.

It will take much more than marches and demonstrations to stop the attacks on our class and to bring down the Tory government, but this is a start. Local actions and grassroots campaigning is taking place all over the country, showing people’s opposition to the ideologically driven attacks by the ConDem government. Next Wednesday will see a National Students Walkout, and in Hereford we will be holding a Students and Claimants march. We have to increase the pressure and make them take notice.

See you on the streets!

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