Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 March 2011

Socialists on the 26 March demo

The Socialist Party participated very successfully in the TUC demonstration on 26 March. There were 50 Socialist Party campaign stalls where thousands of people signed our petitions for a 24-hour public sector general strike.
Hundreds of people filled in cards to join the Socialist Party.
1,000s were raised in fighting fund donations and sales of books, pamphlets, stickers and t-shirts.
The 16-page full colour special edition of the Socialist was received enthusiastically by both members and people reading the paper for the first time.
Trade unionists and campaigners were keen to read about the next steps and the strategy that the Socialist Party is putting forward but also the ideas of socialism and the work of the Socialist Party's sister organisations across the world.
In order to produce 16 pages or have more pages in colour on a regular basis, we need more people to buy and subscribe to the Socialist. If you've not yet subscribed or you know someone who should subscribe, fill in and return the form below.
The sales quarter ends on 8 April so Socialist Party members should plan extra sales and pay in any outstanding sales money to make sure their branch beats its target.
This page shows reports from socialists from across England and Wales who took part in the demo.


I spent the day on a Socialist Party stall near Temple tube on the Embankment.

It was taking contingents two hours to get over Waterloo bridge to the start of the demo, a walk which would normally take ten minutes.

Other Socialist Party members met up with union branches and anti-cuts campaigns at local meeting points in London boroughs or in central London.

The range of people was huge - from seasoned fighters in unions such as the RMT and FBU to middle- aged women health workers on their first ever demonstration; from pre-teens with their families to a man in his 80s who said he had had links with the French Resistance in World War Two.

What they all had in common was that they were marching as trade unionists and anti-cuts campaigners, fighting for their jobs and their services.

Paula Mitchell

North West

Thousands of people made their way from the North West to London.

99% of those on the Unite train who I asked to sign the petition did so.

Two Unite members looking at the leaflet talking to each other summed it up: "A 24-hour public sector general strike - that is what this country needs!" "It needs to bloody wake up!"

"Well, that'd wake them up!"

We distributed up to 3,000 leaflets on the way to London. We sold hundreds of copies of the Socialist, with one Lancashire Socialist Party member selling 75 by the end of the day.

Hundreds of pound coins (or more) rattled into our collecting tins, with many people interested in joining our party.

A couple who were leaving Hyde Park said they'd been listening to Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary.

When asked whether Prentis had said anything about what to do next, their responses were "No, and that's what annoyed me most" and "They need to learn some tactics".

From the Socialist Party at least, a clear message has reached hundreds of thousands of people about the necessary tactics to defeat the Con-Dems and their cuts.

Hugh Caffrey


Members of Swansea Socialist Party travelled up on trade union coaches.

The mood on the Unite coach was one of keen anticipation.

At the National Shop Stewards Network rally at Speakers' Corner there were some rousing speeches from NSSN secretary Linda Taaffe and anti-cuts convenor Rob Williams, pointing the way forward for fighting the Con-Dem cuts.

The coach back was enthusiastic and determined. That over 500,000 people had marched without the TUC even pulling out all the stops shows the potential for organising opposition to the cuts.

Louise from Cardiff said it had been her first big march and had given her a boost to keep on campaigning.

"I was surprised at how many people were there. When we were leaving they were still coming in!" she said.

Owen Rogers


Taxi drivers taking Socialist Party members to Newcastle station were extremely supportive of the demo.

One had said he thought it was great that people were protesting against the government. Our taxi driver, whose wife is a civil servant and whose job is threatened, gave a discount on our taxi fare.

Elaine Brunskill

North Devon

Three coaches from North Devon - mostly new people who haven't been involved in campaigning before, who can now get involved in North Devon Anti-Cuts Alliance.

The main thing about the march that stuck in the mind was the sheer numbers of people there, and the encouragement that most seemed to get from the events.

Jim Lowe


Brilliant demo. Lots of leaflets handed out, Socialist papers sold and lots of people spoken to about the Socialist Party.

The highlight of the demo was definitely the NSSN rally at Speakers' Corner. Coventry Socialist councillor Dave Nellist's and Peter Taaffe's speeches in particular were very inspiring.

Bring on the 24-hour strike!

Tom Maestri

At Trafalgar Square

In the evening, the demonstrators in Trafalgar Square had created a positive and relaxed atmosphere.

Lots of people were sat on the floor or dancing to music played by a samba band, while children slept in prams.

Suddenly around 500 police in riot gear charged into the crowd. They created a small circle and faced outwards, slowly made the circle bigger by violently pushing people and using their shields to hit people.

This intrusion had an instant effect on people's behaviour, who started to panic. Some people reacted by pushing back against the violent behaviour while others pleaded with the police to stop.

Police pushed a group of people, who were standing on railings to the floor and kicked people who where sat down. The picture of a violent group of protesters painted by the media was a complete lie and proof that their reporting can never be trusted.

Helen Pattison Nottingham

Marching with the RMT

The RMT transport workers' union had a contingent of around 2,000 members from all over Britain.

Members from nearby stations came over to our RMT delegation and offered their support.

'The cuts kill, kill the cuts' t-shirts were handed out, along with special flags and sticks of rock.

The RMT delegation marched off with its own brass band at the front. It was a lively delegation and its huge turnout was in a buoyant mood.

We sold around 25 papers and hundreds of the Red Line newsletter were taken by the delegation. Many signed up to become members or find out more about the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (see page 11).

Reg Johnstone

Lewisham teachers' union (NUT)

It took Lewisham NUT five and a half hours to finally reach Hyde Park. We saw Birmingham NUT finally make it at 5pm - six hours after the start.

The last march of this size was the mass demonstration against the Iraq war - but this demo was different. It was a trade union called event packed with thousands of trade union banners and flags.

Now the urgent task is to harness the power of the movement - into coordinated strike action against the cuts to pensions, jobs and services!

Martin Powell Davies Lewisham Socialist Party

The journey from Newport

7.05 Outside Newport train station.

Unison members arriving with a smattering from other unions. A feeling of expectancy and excitement.

7.55 On the motorway. One old worker at the back of a West Country bus gives us a clenched fist salute. Demo coaches form an informal convoy gathering strength as we chug through the Wiltshire countryside.

8.50 Dozens of coaches stacked up at Membury services. The Socialist is selling faster than the overpriced hotcakes! One woman caught her bus from Ceredigion at 4am.

10.40 As our bus comes into London there are more coaches with placards.

"Banksters to blame," declares a handwritten Unison placard. Socialist Party leaflets calling for a 24-hour general strike are spread over the windows of a bus from Bristol.

11.10 At last we arrive at the New Covent Garden market coach park.

There are no stewards or directions so we guess the way towards the demo.

Along the way cars are tooting their support. It's becoming a march in itself as we merge with other demonstrators.

12noon We get to Westminster Bridge as Big Ben strikes twelve, but we can hardly hear it as thousands cram onto the bridge waiting to get onto the demo. There is a growing sense of excitement as people realise just how big the demo is.

Dave Reid

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 30 March 2011:

Anti-cuts campaign

We said: NO CUTS!

Hands off our NHS!

Save Sure Start Services

On the move in London to fight the cuts

Socialist Party editorial

Defend the Libyan revolution

Socialist Party feature

TUC demo biggest in decades

Socialists on the 26 March demo

Socialist Party news

Gove's EMA concession not enough

MPs back the Jarrow March for Jobs

Budget fuels determination to fight back!

Socialist receives 12% of the vote in Bellingham, Lewisham

Against cuts? Support the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Fast news

Socialist Party workplace news

Saltend workers stand firm

PCS wins ballot in Jobcentre Plus contact centres

Unison health conference: Time for action to defend our jobs, pensions and the NHS!

Vote for a fighting democratic Unison leadership

In brief

International socialist news and analysis

Portugal Government falls amidst mass protests

The consequences of the earthquake disaster in Japan

Socialist Party review

Review: Blue Labour


Home   |   The Socialist 30 March 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: 120 years since the death of Eleanor Marx

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: The Refugee Rights Campaign

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Fighting for women's rights around the world

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: 10 years after the financial crisis - is another on its way?

triangleLambeth Socialist Party: Role of a Marxist in the workplace


trianglePortsmouth Socialist Party: How can the NHS be defended from the Tories?

triangleYork Socialist Party: Perspectives from the National Commitee

triangleAfter 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: The campaign for a 10 an hour minimum wage

The Socialist:

triangleMay Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!

triangleDonate to the Socialist Party

triangleCorbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war

Socialist Party:

triangleLively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference

triangleTremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference

General strike:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: We're all under attack - TUC call a general strike


triangleLecturers strike around country in defence of pensions


triangleBradford protests against kids' service cuts


triangleBuilding support for Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the local elections

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions



German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more



Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success



Nottingham hospital black alert


East Midlands

Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference


West Midlands

Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference



Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead



Bradford protests against kids' service cuts


May Day

May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!



Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget



Save Salford nurseries!



Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved



Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation



Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!



Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

February 2018

January 2018