Socialist Worker

Freedom riders’ week of action turns up the pressure on Northern Rail bosses

by Dave Gibson
Issue No. 2418

A freedom riders protest

A freedom riders' protest (Pic: Fran Postlethwaite)

South Yorkshire freedom riders held another lively week of protest last week. 

We are a group of older and disabled people fighting to win back free train travel cut by local councils. 

Barnsley station has continued to be our focus since Northern Rail decided to block access on every freedom ride. 

Campaigners travel there from Barnsley and the rest of South Yorkshire.

There were two freedom ride protests with over 70 people on each on Tuesday and Thursday of last week. 

We also held a noisy march through the bus station onto the bridge across to the rail station. 

Every time we protest it costs the Northern Rail operating company £5,000 to blockade the station. 

Freedom rides were planned for every day of last week to keep the pressure up on Northern Rail

The transport police would not let Ian Wallace, a disabled campaigner from Sheffield, onto the train home despite having a valid pass. 

Ian said, “They demanded that I give them my name before they would let me travel despite seeing my pass quite clearly. 

“This has never happened to me before. 

“I think they are picking on me because I have made an official complaint. It was about the violence dished out to me at Sheffield station when they were arresting freedom riders George Arthur and Tony Nuttall.”

We are holding a rally and march through Barnsley on the day of our last planned freedom ride, Friday 29 August.  

The rally will begin at 11.30am at Barnsley Bus Station Plaza. 

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Article information

Tue 26 Aug 2014, 17:22 BST
Issue No. 2418
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