Friday 18th February was a country wide day of action for Unison and other Trades Unions whose members will be seriously affected by the proposed change in the age of retirement. Public Servants usually earn less than those in the private sector and for their service expect better conditions. Any loss of these conditions will seriously effect our public services.
To launch this in Oxford a march from Carfax to Gloucester Green was organised for the lunch hour with a number of speakers. Around 150 people turned up only to find that the police had decided that we should not march from Carfax and therefore through Cornmarket because we would be perceived as a threat by the shoppers. We had no alternative but to assemble at County Hall as the police directed and take the march down New Inn Hall Street to Gloucester Green. None of the public who we passed showed any distress and holding up the traffic for the short bit of George Street would not have been a problem either.
There were more than usual police deployed to watch us including a police video officer and two mounted police. What were the police doing ? When were Oxford Trades Unionists anything but peaceful in recent years ? They should be able to discriminate between animal rights protesters and completely peaceful protests about pensions.
There will be questions asked of them by Green City Councillors on the Policing Board