A lively 1,200-strong march from Mornington Crescent through the backstreets of Camden to the Town Hall was followed by a protest as cowardly council held their final budget meeting behind closed doors.
A thick yellow line of police prevented the protesters entering the public gallery meaning that the vote was taken in secret. Luckily, one activist from Beyond Clictivism, Tim Hardy, managed to get in with a handful of others and Tweet reports using the #camden hashtag from the meeting, exposing what a sham of democracy this was.
“over £100,000,000 in reserves but they refuse to use them to protect the vulnerable”, he tweets, and your blood runs cold at the level of cowardice in the council’s quisling complicity.
‘It was painful to witness Labour’s spineless failure to take a stand,’ writes our intrepid reporter at the blog, aghast at the empty public gallery and the even emptier hearts and minds of the robo-councillors. Apparently a Green councillor was the only one to vote against the cuts.
Harpy Marx has some thorough reportage at her website with photos and now some great videos. In her third video, hospital worker Candy Udwin reports back on the meeting to the remaining protesters, and actor Roger Lloyd Pack urges councils to refuse to sign off on the cuts. The same old tired argument is that if Labour doesn’t implement the cuts then Eric Pickles and his Tory cohort will set the cuts at an even more devastating level. But as Pack points out, “if they refused to vote this budget in they would set a ball rolling that would be impossible to stop. They’d be national heroes and would set an example for the rest of the country.”
Wisconsin and the UK students have set the bar which our elected representatives miserably fail to match.
Labour — putting the ‘u” into spine.
Afterwards, about fifty protesters blocked Marylebone Road outside St Pancras for an hour, dodging angry taxis and white van man who tried to drive through while the police watched and did nothing. The fight goes on. Watch out for the anti-cuts space.
UPDATE: “No ifs, no buts, no public sector cuts.” “London, Cairo, Wisconsin. We will fight, we will win.” Excellent short film from thegabber.com via Open Democracy.
Anna’s food blog here: