A number of FoGL supporters travelled to London on Saturday (26th March) for the TUC-organised ‘March for the Alternative’, to express their opposition to savage cuts to our libraries and other vital public services. Judging by the placards and banners I saw, and conversations I had, there was a lot of love for libraries amongst the some 500,000 marchers!
First-time marcher and FoGL supporter Susan went along, and has written this account of her experience;
Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries hit the streets!
We were a small, but impassioned group who took part in the ‘March For The Alternative’ on Saturday to make the views of library users in Gloucestershire known to the wider world. It was an unforgettable experience: a vibrant, noisy and good-natured occasion; the numbers (even the government now admits) about half a million strong. Ordinary people from all walks of life and of all ages who had come to show their opposition to the harsh and punitive cuts being made to services for some of the most vulnerable in our society.
Some of the stories we heard from fellow-marchers were truly heart-breaking, especially the lone mother I met in Hyde Park with her toddler who was carrying a colourful ‘Save our Libraries’ placard. She told me how much her daughter loved going to the library to read books (which they couldn’t afford to buy), and to take part in activities where she could meet other children. Now her local library might close, she is devastated by what will be a huge loss to their lives. We have to carry on fighting for people like her.
Back home in Gloucestershire, the newly cleaned Holy Apostles fountain has an inscription: ‘The public are expected to protect from injury that which is erected for the public good.’ It might be referring to a monument, but it does sort of resonate in other ways.
FoGL supporter Patrick took some fantastic photos at the march which can be viewed here, and there is also a brilliant timelapse video produced by Goldsmiths College students and the Museum of London viewable here
We’d love to hear from other FoGL supporters who marched on Saturday!