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Southwark Labour cabinet members and anarchists join TUC march

London SE1 website team

Leading Labour politicians in Southwark joined a march through Waterloo to the Trades Union Congress's 'A Future that Works' demonstration on Saturday.

Cllr Peter John
Cllr Peter John speaking in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park
Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP
Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP
Southwark Labour cabinet members and anarchists join TUC march
Southwark Labour cabinet members and anarchists join TUC march
A dozen police vans followed the feeder march across Blackfriars Bridge

Trade union members and Labour activists from Lambeth and Southwark assembled at Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park to join the feeder march to the national gathering on Victoria Embankment.

Speakers at the local rally included representatives of Southwark and Lambeth Unison branches, the University & College Union branch at London South Bank University, Southwark and Lambeth Green Party branches and the Socialist Workers Party.

April Ashley from Southwark Unison urged on Southwark's Labour administration to defy the Government and set a 'needs budget'. The assembled crowd also heard multiple calls for a general strike.

Camberwell & Peckham Labour MP Harriet Harman was heckled and booed by some in the crowd when she gave a speech calling for solidarity between left-wing groups to defeat the coalition government parties.

The Labour Party's deputy leader accused the Conservative Party of using the financial crisis as cover for ideologically-driven cuts to public services.

"There are 10,893 reasons why we need to be marching today to persuade the Government to take a different course," said Southwark Council's Labour leader Cllr Peter John.

"There are 10,893 unemployed people in Southwark. They need work; they need jobs; they need hope; they need a future.

"That is what this march is about; telling this Government that there is an alternative route which they must follow – and we must make our voices heard loud and clear."

Participants in the march – which travelled via Kennington Road, Baylis Road, The Cut and Blackfriars Road – spanned a wide political spectrum from anarchist to New Labour.

Members of Southwark's Labour cabinet taking part in the march included Barrie Hargrove (environment and transport), Catherine McDonald (health and adult social care), Richard Livingstone (resources and community safety) and Veronica Ward (culture).

The feeder march was accompanied by a strong police presence. As the activists crossed Blackfriars Bridge they were followed by a dozen police vans, some carrying officers dressed in riot gear.

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