June 21st Protests Report

Posted on June 22, 2010 by


Well-attended Rallies erupted across Southampton yesterday, as Union members showed their anger at impending cutbacks across the Cities Libraries, Universities and College.

Libraries need Librarians!

Around 150 people, including the vast majority of the City’s Librarians, attended a Rally outside Central Library at the Civic Centre, where a couple of Unison members spoke about the Coalition Government’s upcoming cuts and the situation in Southampton, and John Denham MP also spoke against the Government and the City Council.  The strikers then marched around the Civic Centre – stopping outside the outgoing Chief Executive’s office and the front door to make some noise – before dissipating.  The strikers have returned to work today, but have enacted a boycott of training or assisting with the volunteer recruitment, making the Council’s job in enacting this policy very difficult.

200 jobs to go at the University

At the same time, protesters gathered at the Day of Dissent, organised by Unison, UCU and Unite, on the University Green at the University of Southampton, where they were protesting the cut of 200 admin. staff (who were represented by 200 placards of anonymous faces surrounding the Green) and the far-below-inflation payrise of 0.4% compared with RPI inflation of 5.3%.  At its height there were an estimated 80-100 people on the Green, although over the 2 hour picnic it is likely that many more turned up than that.  The University protesters expressed solidarity with the Librarians, with some joining the Civic Centre Rally and the delivery of £100 of pizzas to the strikers.  The local MPs also visited the Day of Dissent, no doubt attempting to get some more political brownie points from pissed off Public Sector workers against the Government.

Other protests also occurred yesterday, with Union members from Solent University marching from their campus to the Civic Centre against cutbacks at Solent University, and a ‘Signatures for Heros’ petition at the City College gathering signatures from students against cuts there too.  Public Sector Workers across the city took the day before the Emergency Budget (detailing the scale of the cuts) to make their point: hasty cutbacks will threaten the quality of public services in Southampton.