Amongst the crowd of thousands, York People’s Assembly were represented by a full coach – and a mobile sound system. Along with friends in Scarborough and Thirsk, we headed to London for the Health, Homes, Jobs and Education march. Estimates on total numbers vary wildly from 50 to 150 thousand. Whilst the rally took place in 18Trafalgar Square, hundreds of protesters made their way to Downing Street.
Numbers were boosted by the revelations in the Panama Papers, as well as government plans to force through academisation of schools and the Junior doctors dispute. Pig jokes and digs at bankers were also invoked. People from York joined various parts of the demonstration, such as joining their union sections.
In a first for York’s contributions to national demonstrations, we started the day by lifting a trolley laden with sound equipment into the coach’s storage compartment. Arriving in London in plenty of time, we switched on and started entertaining the waiting crowd with some familiar protest songs and less familiar political tunes. We kept the music diverse but political throughout the march. By the time the sound system arrived in Trafalgar Square, a large crowd had gathered around. It turns out that you are allowed to dance in this ‘revolution’!