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Resistance to Nottingham City Cuts (Nottingham Indymedia) | 09.03.2011 19:23

On Monday March 7th, Nottingham City Council met to set its budget, slashing millions of pounds from vital services. Local anti-cuts campaigners rallied against this, holding protests on the previous Saturday and the day itself. They occupied the viewing galleries, holding up the meeting for an hour and later disrupted a BBC interview with council leader Jon Collins.

On the newswire: More photos from Council budget protest | Nottingham City Council ‘cuts budget’ day protests | Banner Drop – ‘Fight the Cuts’ | Nottingham City budget protest: Photos | Direct Action Against Nottingham City Cuts Budget | Council house occupied | Vodafone & Philip Green stores visited by anti-cut | Rally & protests against City Council cuts | Protest against city council cuts: March 5th | Unison anti-cuts public protest

Videos: Inside the Council House (YouTube) | Inside the Council House 2 (YouTube)

Previous feature: No Cuts in Nottingham!

Saturday 5th March

The Saturday before the budget was set, campaigners held a demonstration in the Market Square. Despite persistent rain, organisers claimed a turnout of around 150.

Demonstrators were addressed by speakers including campaigners, trade unionists, service users and community activists.

After the demo finished, protesters returned to Vodafone, which has been targeted on numerous occasions for its attempt to avoid billions in tax.

Monday 7th March

On the day of the budget a banner was dropped from the multi-storey car park on Maid Marian Way which read ‘Fight the Cuts: We Won’t Pay For Their Crisis’.

Campaigners rallied outside the Council House from 1pm, for the meeting to start at 2pm. A petition was presented to deputy leader Graham Chapman (once it was impressed upon him that not accepting the petition would look bad in front of the assembled press) and a number of councillors went around glad-handing the assembled protesters.

The meeting was disrupted for around an hour by hecklers, before the viewing galleries were closed. Those protesting eventually had to be removed by the police.

Musician Billy Bragg, who previously visited the occupation at the University of Nottingham, sent a message of support to protesters in their demand that the council set a needs based budget. Hesaid, "The big society that I want to live in should to be driven by compassion, not market forces."

A second demonstration from 5pm for those leaving work, coincided with the BBC’s East Midlands Today bulletin. When the BBC refused to interview anti-cuts campaigners they proceeded to disrupt an interview with council leader Jon Collins.

After once returning to the Council House, Jon Collins came out again and was harangued at length by protesters who blocked the doors, preventing him getting back in.

Inevitably, the council demonstrated its spinelessness and passed its cuts budget, but anti-cuts activists are clear that this is the beginning of the campaign, not the end. (Nottingham Indymedia)