Sunday, 13 November 2011

National Day Of Action November 9th

Remember Remember 9th November When The Sparks Fight Back Kicks Off

Well that was the twelve week of being on the streets of London at 6:30am. We arrived to a mass of accents from the North East.
The RnF coach from the North East had arrived with a lot of merry sparks who had made the journey. The first pick up was at Midnight in Newcastle. That puts any of you lot from London who didn't turn up to shame.
Around 7:15 the number had swelled to 400. The call went out to block the road so over 200 of us got in the road. The police had roughly 25 officers there so they had no chance.

The police then decided that it was easier to leave us where we were, so then everybody got in the road. The traffic went past Liverpool street all the way up to Shoreditch and beyond.
After the police had officially blocked off the road and backed up all of the traffic. We moved off. Which they were not too happy about. We were off towards Cannon Street and re-visit the Grattes job where the site manager told us he would pay us £1 an hour if he could.

So off down Fenchurch Road we went and they managed to get in front of us again.

Eventually the police gave up holding us back and entered dialog about where we wanted to go.
We then got to Cannon Street. Blocking every street as we went. Quick bit of breakfast and a toilet break in Mcdonalds outside the site was well timed. The Fat Prick of a site manager was there waiting for us to turn up. We blocked off Cannon Street for half hour and then decided to go and pay Crown House a visit at Farringdon.
Off we went, marching and blocking roads again. Taking every opportunity to confuse the police by taking sharp turns not in the direction that they were going in.
We arrived at St. Pauls and stopped to say hello to the Occupy London Protesters. A few more speeches were heard.
Off we went to Farringdon. People had been arriving bit by bit all morning. It was now 9:20 and the crowd had swelled to over 500.
At Farringdon we found alot of people hiding in the site. All the gates were locked up to avoid a repeat of when we managed to storm the site a few weeks ago.
We rallied at the main turnstile entrance and blocked off more roads outside the site. More speeches were heard and it was now just gone 10:00am. Time to head to The Shard to meet at the Unite Rally.
So off we marched, back through the City, over Blackfriars Bridge and along Southwark Street.
We approached the rally point in front of The Shard at 11:00am with 500 people waiting for us. Unite set up the PA system and the speeches started. Details of the ballot of Balfour Beatty operatives were announced and Untie officials all had a go on the mic including the General Secretary and the Assistant General Secretary. Throughout the 90 mins in the shadow of Europe's tallest building, people were continuing to arrive. By the time it came to moving on there were 1500-2000 present.
Off we marched to Blackfriars to say hello to Balfour Beatty again and to deliver the good news of the ballot. We marched back along Southwark Street and crossed at Blackfriars Bridge again. As we gathered outside the Unite van was backed up again and the PA system was set up again. Steve Kelly and a few others jumped up and said their piece.
We were there for around 40 minutes when it was time to move off. As we starting making our way from Blackfriars the official march went to the left and down to Embankment to march on to parliament. Around 300 of us went to the right to join up with the students march. As we started walking up the road the police suddenly appeared from no where and formed a cordon across the road. They stretched themselves to far and we pushed our way through. Batons were then drawn and swung at heads and legs. A totally over the top reaction to what had up until that point been a good day with no trouble at all.
As people were talking with the police about letting them through reinforcements arrived and blocked off the other direction and then kettled 150 people outside Costa Coffee. Quick thinking meant that around 25 people went through Costa and came out of the fire exit our back before police realised blocked that off too.
Unfortunately all of the peaceful protesters were held under section 60 and searched for weapons. Very strange.
As we were then unable to make it to the student protest due to the ring of steal surrounding it we all disappeared in the local pubs and topped off a very successful day with a few well earned beers.

Wednesday 16th November , Crown House, Farringdon

A couple of videos of the days events:

Union News

A report of the day in Edinburgh by RnF

A cold morning in Edinburgh didn't put M&E operatives off making a statement in Scotlands capital. The gathering place was the City Chambers and gradually the crowd had swelled to around 150 guys, most of who entered the City Chambers to be addressed by a number of speakers. After half an hour, we left the Chamber to be greeted outside by even more guys! By this time, in total there were over 300 blocking the road and pavement. Initially the Police had said they wouldn't be closing the Royal Mile, but they obviously didn't expect so many! It was now time to march on to the Scottish Parliament led by a piper, and leaving the locals frustrated as the traffic had been stopped!

As we marched down, a spark was spotted up some stepladders outside a shop, you can imagine the reaction he got? Boo's echoed out, directed at him as well as "Take a day aff yer work ya cunt!" and "Have ye got a fuckin permit for those ladders?" We continued to march down the Mile until we reached the Parliament and we gathered out front, where more speakers were heard including MSP's from Labour. The delegation that went inside the Parliament spoke with 10-12 Labour MSP's who are very much behind us.

It had also been arranged to meet with SNP(Government), however the delegates were left disappointed as they did not turn up. A fairly successful day, not quite as exciting as the Big Smoke, but a big improvement on the attendances at previous protests! Very pleased to see so many young guys with a bit of fight in them, putting a lot of people to shame! We will fight on!

For the lads who could not get down to London they did their bit outside their own sites. All the Balfour and Spie lads at Corus Steel in the North East walked off the job and protested.
On the East Coast, Electricians and Fitters walked off of the Conoco Phillips site and in the North West, Balfour Beatty workers walked off of Sellafield Power station yet again.

There are loads of protests and meetings taking place this week. FULL details to follow

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