Socialist Worker

Biggest demo in Havant since 1980s

by Siôn Reynolds in Havant
Issue No. 2237

On the march in Havant  (Pic: Smallman )

On the march in Havant (Pic: Guy Smallman)

More than 200 people joined a demonstration and lobby of universities minister David Willetts in Havant, near Portsmouth, on Friday of last week.

The town has not seen a demonstration of this size since the early 1980s when local people marched against nuclear weapons.

The march was called by 15 year old Ammaar Rahim.

It was a protest against the government’s attacks on students and the 1,200 job losses at Hampshire county council.

Crowds of young people were joined by trade unionists from the Unison, NASUWT and PCS unions.

Ammaar said, “I wanted to come here to speak to David Willetts and show him that the youth of this country do have a voice.

“These cuts and changes to schools and universities affect us the most, and it is not fair that we are paying for mistakes we didn’t make.

“Education Maintenance Allowance helps young people all over the country and we cannot stand by and do nothing while they take it away.”

Ammaar was supported by the new broad-based campaign group Portsmouth Against the Cuts Together (Pact).

The demonstration through Havant had motorists giving thumbs up and beeping horns in support. Groups of local people joined the march and rally at St Faith’s Church in West Street, where speakers railed against the cuts.

Ammaar was then part of a delegation that lobbied David Willetts in his surgery in South Street.

Unison secretary for the south east Phil Wood said, “Many people are realising now how bad these cuts are.

“We will see far more of these marches in the future.”

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Article information

Tue 1 Feb 2011, 17:11 GMT
Issue No. 2237
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