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Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/481/2260

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 April 2007

Waltham Forest protest - more memorable than Prince Charles!

WHEN SOCIALIST Party members discovered that an unpublicised visit was taking place in the refurbished Walthamstow Library, we decided we needed to be at this event. A small community library was due to close the next day, library and other council staff were battling over conditions, and massive service cuts have been made across the borough.

Nancy Taaffe and Claire Buddle

Our town square was swarming with police, armed officers, and sniffer dogs. We set our stall up directly opposite the library entrance and got the megaphone out. We learned the visitor was Prince Charles.

The police tried to move us away from the town square but relented when we agreed to take down the stall, but remain with our banners and megaphone.

In our four-hour protest to a captive waiting audience, all our leaflets were taken, and we were congratulated again and again for taking this action. Our speeches commented on the hypocrisy of local politicians who are closing and cutting services. As the Mayor and councillors arrived, we chanted "Shame on you for turning blue". People were nodding, laughing, and cheering us.

Just five members could make this protest at short notice. We were all wet and cold, but our Socialist Party protest will be talked about by those who were there, more than the brief glimpse they got of Prince Charles getting into his car.

PS. The next day at a union/ management meeting, union demands on library workers' job descriptions were agreed in full, after a nine-month battle. The union are not sure why these demands have been met (many members are mistrustful), but maybe Socialist Party members' dogged determination over the last few months to link the unions and the community in the fight to defend services, even when royalty comes to town, made a strong contribution to this victory for the library workers.

We hope to post a link to a short video of the lobby here soon

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In The Socialist 4 April 2007:

Children suffer in low pay Britain


Socialist Party editorial

Iran - Sailors fall victim to imperialist policies


Socialist Party news and analysis

Brown's pension robbery

Blair: No solutions to crime or crowded prisons

Waltham Forest protest - more memorable than Prince Charles!

Commemorating the abolition of the slave trade


Socialist Party reviews

One Life: Ricky Tomlinson

In The Line of Fire

Days of Glory


Education

Take national action to defend education

Labour's market policies damage education

Privilege and privation in our schools

NUS leadership abandon fees fight


PCS takes industrial action

London strikers close passport office

PCS members take industrial action

Anger on Newport picket line

Upbeat London rally


Campaign for a New Workers Party

How to stop the BNP: Build a political alternative

Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Ammanford home care workers march

Frustration at demo delay

We shall not be moved!


Asylum

Save Sadiq Abakar

Leicester protesters challenge Home Office


Workplace news and analysis

Trade union leaders heckled over inaction

Action needed as Ford bosses close Leamington plant

Celebs fail to save Burberry

Greenwich: "We've got to strike"

Burslem postal workers strike again


Northern Ireland

British government and local parties retreat on water charges

We Won't Pay Campaign


 

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Related links:

Waltham Forest:

triangleBuilding the campaign against clearances of the working class

triangle'Occupy to save the town square'

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Upheaval and struggle in Brazil

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triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Save our Square - How we can win

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triangleBradford protests against kids' service cuts

triangleProtesters denounce oppressive Sri Lankan regime

triangleLeicester NHS protest

triangleMerseyrail protest

Library:

triangleKirklees council opens consultation of library services

triangleBristol libraries safe - for now - as council caves to pressure

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