February 26th was surely going to be the day that the Birmingham people stood up against the draconian spending cuts heralded by the Birmingham City Council. Inspired by the revolutionaries in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya – pens were poised in solidarity with our brothers overseas, ready to pounce, to be vocal, and to attack the ruinous banks.
Gathering by the iconic central building of the Birmingham Cathedral, rain-sodden – shades of the Somme, or Glastonbury…the damp weather was not going to rattle these hardened West Midlanders. What their brothers around the world started – they would continue.
The local branch of UK Uncut had plans to storm branches of Barclays, Vodafone, Boots, BHS….and the final coup would be the attack on the combined buildings of the RBS and the Nat West, opposite the Cathedral – the very anti-christ of the economic mess. The “theatre” would be the establishment of a community filling in the Big Society Job Seekers Allowance forms – a real two fingers up to the government, as these institutions would be occupied and ground to a halt.
At one point I was concerned that I had not brought my protective headgear, and reinforced, bullet-proof goggles – there was no sign of the mobile paramedic tents to deal with the inevitable casualties following the clashes with government forces. The imposing threat of the be-hooded teenage anarchists spelt danger to all around – fear could be smelt as far away as New Street.
The march gathered, and ready to move – distant sounds of the Jarrow Crusades – the spirit was in the air, as they marched forthrightly down towards the centre of the city. This was a defiant bunch , they were not going to accept the cuts “NO!”, they were not going to accept reduced public services “NO!”, they were not going to allow their children to suffer from no libraries “NO!”.
Anyone fancy a Bovril?!