Wednesdays N30 strike was the biggest strike since the general strike of 1926 with 2 million public sector workers taking part and thousands marching on demonstrations across the country. In Birmingham 15,000 marched through the city centre with hundreds more on picket lines and rally's throughout the city.
Birmingham City council had tried to sabotage the event by demanding the organisers pay over £8,000 to cover costs despite only charging a few hundred for previous demonstrations. The march went ahead anyway with up to 15,000 public sector workers taking to the streets. They were joined by students, the unemployed and protesters from Occupy Birmingham whose camp is located near the end point of the march. The march started in Lionel Street Car Park went past St Philip's Cathedral, down Corporation Street and past New St Station and the Mailbox before ended at the NIA where there was a series of speeches.
On the newswire: Video: N30 Birmingham demonstration | Photos: Part 1 | Part 2 | Nov-30 Brum Strike and Protest | Reports: Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts N30 Report | Birmingham City Council tries to sabotage N30 demo | Wednesday's Strike Is About More Than Pensions and Cuts | N30 List of Pickets, Demonstrations and Rallies
Tony Woodley from UNITE said: "We are speaking for the victims of global capitalism. It is the bankers who got us into this, but the pigs are still feeding in the trough."
Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts did a tour of the main picket lines in their local area; Lifford Refuse Depot, Lifford House, The Blood Service and the Cotteridge Church Centre, before joining the main march in the city centre.
At the University of Birmingham there was a teach-out and speeches from lecturer's, students and local campaigners at East gate providing entertainment, education, fun and a lively series of lectures. Whilst there was another picket line and rally at South gate which later joined the main rally in the city centre. More than half of the city's 439 schools were closed with picket lines at many of them.
There were picket lines at Moseley Hall Hospital, Heartlands Hospital, Queen Elisabeth Hospital, Selly Oak Ambulance Station and the Blood Service. All routine operations were cancelled at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley.
In Handsworth there were picket lines outside the job centre and library whilst in Perry Barr there were picket lines outside the Job Centre, Refuse Depot and Perry Barr School.
In Dudley as well as the pickets at Russells Hall Hospital 500 gathered outside the council house and then marched to the Station Hotel for a rally. In Brierley Hill PCS members who have already taken industrial action this year joined the strike and as a result the HMRC offices were almost completely empty. Members of NASUWT and NUT at The Kingswinford School as well as participating in the N30 strike took further strike action last Thursday 24th over plans to turn the school into an academy. The strike was called after school governors and senior management refused to consult with staff and parents after a previous day of strike action on the 18th October. Teachers are concerned about the way the decision has been made and what that means about the way decisions are made in the future. There is also concern that an academy would have much more power but have much less accountability.
Elsewhere in the West Midlands there were rallies and demonstrations in Coventry, Nuneaton, Stoke on Trent, Stafford, Telford, Bromsgrove and Wolverhampton.