People from across Hackney, Lewisham, Croydon and Tower Hamlets will join the ‘March for the Alternative’ taking place tomorrow in central London. Organised by the Trade Union Council, the march is expected to be the largest TUC event for decades.
Laurie Heselden, TUC Regional Policy and Campaigns Officer, said: “We expect the ‘March for the Alternative’ to be the first national mobilisation against spending cuts that are viewed as unfair and too deep by a majority of voters. We can only guess at how many people will join the march, but there is every reason to believe that numbers will certainly exceed 100,000 and might exceed 200,000.”
The march is gathering on the Victoria Embankment at 11 am. before moving at 12pm towards a rally in Hyde Park. The rally is planned to run from 1:30pm until 4:30pm with a stage and giant screens being placed in the park as well as refreshments and toilets.
The march is forming up along the Embankment opposite Temple Underground Station. Organisers advise you not use this station as it is likely to be closed for safety reasons. They suggest that you watch out for signs fixed to lamp-posts and follow the instructions given to you by the march stewards.
The space in the assembly area is limited to 50,000 – 60,000 people. If you arrive late you may be directed elsewhere. Hackney Unites advises people to follow the instructions you are given by students. Be patient. The more people there are the longer it will take to get started.
If you march with others from your area there are a number of gathering points organised along the line.
Ray Woolford, a campaigner for Lewisham’s People Before Profit said: ‘If you thought the anti war marches filled the streets, just wait until the real impact of the savage cuts start to bite. Lots of feeder marches will be taking place across London but Lewisham People before profit supporters will be meeting by the steps at the entrance to Waterloo East. We are encouraging prople to bring home made banners and anything to make a noise.’
The Goldsmiths Lecturers union (UCU) have pledged their support and are planning to meet in front of the National Theatre at 11am and will be updating their location regularly through Twitter (GoldsmithsUCU)
Croydon Alliance for Public Services have arranged a local meet up point at East Croydon station at 10:45am.
John McLoughlin, from Tower Hamlets Unison, said: ‘“We need to turn the enthusiasm of the march into real resistance. In Tower Hamlets we’re hoping for joint action with teachers. The TUC demonstration can breathe new life into workplaces across Britain. It can give people who are against cuts the confidence that we are the majority.”
A feeder march has been planned for those wishing to attend from East London areas. It is meeting at 10:45am in the Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel Road.
According to Hackney Unites there are meeting points at the Homerton Hospital at 9.30am and at Hackney Town Hall, in Mare at 10am.
There will also be a specific ‘child friendly’ group gathering, at 10am at Finsbury Park Tube under the banner: Hackney families/kids/parents/friends against the cuts. Balloons, banners, and teddy bears against the cuts are welcome!
In Hackney the Hackney Green Party, Hackney Alliance and Hackney Downs Labour have all pledged their involvement with the march.
Hackney Green Party said: “This demonstration promises to be one of the largest in the UK’s history and it is vital that we have our voices heard. These cuts will result in Hackney having £67 million slashed.”
Hackney Alliance are planning to hold a fundraiser after the march at 8pm at Victoria Dalston, E8 3AS.
See comment for reasons why you might want to march.
ELL will also be live blogging the march tomorrow, so check back then for full coverage. You can also follow ELL on Twitter for up-to-the-second photos and reports.
Additional reporting by Andrew Sackey and Chanel Richards