Lambeth Town Hall anticuts protest in Brixton

Tagged as: anitcuts cuts cuts_budget demo2011 lambeth lambeth_cuts lambeth_save_our_services social_struggles solidarity ukuncut workers_struggles
Neighbourhoods: brixton lambeth

Up to 200 people gathered on Monday evening outside Lambeth Town Hall following a call by Lambeth Save Our Services, to protest against the cuts that Lambeth Council is planning to impose to the local community as part of their 'austerity budget' consisting of a package of £37 million of cuts. The protest started at 6pm right at the doorsteps of the council's building. Several people representing the different services that face the axe spoke to the crowd about how the cuts and job loses will affect Lambeth residents, the crowd chanted slogans against the cuts, and eventually around 100 people were allowed into the buiding to attend the cabinet meeting where the cuts were being debated [see pics and video of the protest]

But the story didn't end up here. Keep reading to see what happened next, and see more pics and videos of the protest.

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People starting to move onto the street.

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The crowd blocking the end of Brixton Hill ...

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... whilst others blocking Brixton Road.

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Blocking the road at the Brixton Oval.

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More people turns up to block Brixton Road ...

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... but then the cops start moving people out of the road ...

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... but people moves quickly up the road to block Brixton Hill again ...

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... and a few drivers get a bit aggressive.

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Kids wanting their playgrounds to remain open.

Those that didn't go into the building stood outside the town hall for a while longer. At some point a backpack sound system arrived playing a mixture of hip hop and roots tunes, and around 80 people quickly moved onto the street and blocked both Brixton Rd and Brixton Hill amidst loud chanting of "they say cut back, we say fight back!". The traffic was paralised for about 15 minutes until the police moved people back onto the pavement. People then stood in Brixton Oval for a while, but suddenly the crowd quickly moved up the road, crossed into Brixton Hill and blocked it once again. Some drivers become quite agitated at this point, but the crowd stood their ground until the police moved people back onto the pavement. The crowd then went back to the Council building doorsteps, stood there for a while longer listening to reggae tunes ... and slowly dispersed [See Tumbles 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8]

For information of further protests at Lambeth Council's cuts budget keep and eye to IMC London's calendar of events and check Lambeth Save Our Services website.

(Disclaimer: apologies for the images low quality but the camera used was crap under low light conditions)

Additions

great report - here's some links

Around 15 cops were inside at the start of the meeting - which was adjourned at one point as people inside shouted at councillors (and police) - later the councillors passed the cuts to chants of "shame!".

Big set of further photos:
http://www.urban75.org/photos/protest/brixton-anti-cuts-protest-february-7-2011.html

Another set:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnstuttle/sets/72157626000014632/

Video clip: Lambeth anticuts protesters blockade roads, police try to move them on #solidarity #demo2011
posted by @GuyAitchison
http://yfrog.com/0pp4jz

video clip: Road block brixton council meeting by aaronpeters69
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmALbgR4XSw

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http://lambethsaveourservices.org/2011/02/08/hundreds-rally-against-the-labour-cabinets-cuts/

250 people crowded around the entrance to Lambeth Town Hall, last night for the Save Our Services lobby and demonstration against cuts in Lambeth. The rally was lively and inspiring with a range of speakers including local trade unionists, the Labour Councillor fighting the cuts, service users and young anti-cuts campaigner Yasmin (6 years old).

A march from 336 Brixton Road, the base of many of Lambeth’s disability organisations which are facing enormous funding cuts, joined the lobby.

Protesters chanted Save Our Services! and No Ifs! No Buts! No Public Service Cuts! as passing cars tooted their horns in support. The Cabinet, too afraid to face the people whose services they were cutting, limited access to the meeting by issuing only 100 tickets and refusing to allow an empty overspill room to be opened. The remaining protestors left out in the cold, whilst the council made cuts, marched behind the Save Our Services into the traffic intersection and blocked the traffic outside the Town Hall.

Whilst the traffic stopped outside, inside the meeting Labour councillors heard from local activists who argued against cuts which will destroy our community.

Kingsley Abrams, Labour councillor for Vassal ward spoke against the cuts and of the need for the Labour councillors to join the anti-cuts movement. Other Labour councillors voted through the cuts saying there is nothing they can do, to cries of “shame!” from the crowd. So at SOS we’ve produced a list of some of the things they should try – Bring the ALMO back in house (money saved, no reduction in service), use some of the council reserves (money saved, no reduction in service), pay back the pension deficit over a longer period (money saved, no reduction in service), cut senior management pay (money saved, no reduction in service), cut astronomical councillors allowances (money saved, no reduction in service), terminate over-paid and under-worked consultants (money saved, no reduction in service), stop letting cowboy contractors rip the council off (money saved, no reduction in service). But most of all stop hiding behind police lines and passing on cuts and join the people, you are supposed to serve, in fighting them.