Friday, 4 February 2011


500 Somerser Students marched through their County town today in protest against the Tory led Coalition Governments cutbacks in Education including the rise in tuition fees and the abolition of the EMA.

Marching from Vivary park to the riverside gardens, the group heard speeches from local and National student activists and from protest singer Billy Bragg,who also performed 2 songs.

Rob Thompson , a student from Richard Huish College, warned Somerset Lib Dem MPs who had broken their promises on Tuition f ees to "Hold onto their seats because they'd be losing them next time round!" .

James Leeman, a Taunton student, read out Lib Dem leader Nick Cleggs broken promise in full before ripping the paper to pieces saying "Young people aren't to blame for this situation, many of us fell for Cleggs lies but we won't be fooled again!"

Billy Bragg attacked the ConDem notion of a so-called 'Big Society', the philosophy of which was driving these cuts. "My generation came through the 'real ' big society which our parents had created after the war . One where people cared for one another and where health care and education was free. When Tories say ' why should i pay for these students education' they really mean 'why should they pay for their operations, their health care, their housing and their right to a decent life' . "

As the students marched past County Hall workers rushed to their windows to applaud them and as the procession wended it's way through the centre of Taunton motorists and shoppers cheered them on whilst some joined on.

The march was peaceful and well stewarded making the rather heavy Police
presence somewhat superflous .

1 comment:

  1. Bill Byrd and Vivian Willis were there carrying the banner of Yeovil & District Trades Union Council. They tell me this was the only trade union banner on the march and it was much appreciated by the students. They also estimated the attendance at around 500.

    I saw the event reported at lunch-time on BBC Points West and Vivian tells me that ITV cameras were there, so it should be on ITV's The West Country Tonight at 6pm.

    March Organiser Robert Thompson was interviewed on the BBC. He will be speaking at Yeovil TUC's May Day anti-cuts event on 29th April at Unity Hall. It's important to bring the trade union movement and the students together and to let the students see that are being supported by the trade union movement. The next thing is to get students to the TUC national anti-cuts march in London on 26th March.
    Ken Keable.