Monday, 31 January 2011
You're only as good as your next campaign
The Barnet march against cuts and privatisation passed off peacefully on Sunday. (Honest, the broken window at the HQ of Finchley and Golders Green Conservatives was nothing to do with us.)
Estimates for the number of people on the march from Finchley Central tube to the Arts Depot in north Finchley range from 600 to 2,000. I don't know how many people were on it, but even the lower end of the range would please me.
It's been hard work, and the Barnet Alliance, the anti-cuts group that organised the march, will get together on Tuesday evening to analyse our achievement. I think the effort was worth it; it is clear, however, that at this stage, people mobilise who are most directly affected by the cuts.
It doesn't mean that there is not a wide belief that the cuts are bad, privatisation is bad. Because there is. It just means that people need persuading of the value of coming out on a cold morning to what for many will be an unfamiliar part of the borough - unless, that is, they are already at the very sharp end of the cuts. (Don't think I'm being negative, I'm not; I'm trying to be clear-headed.)
I am uploading a lot of photos to my Flickr site. More tomorrow, but here's a sample.
I hope that everyone who has worked on the march enjoyed the experience. I know you didn't do it to please me! But thanks anyway to: everyone who marched today; everyone who distributed Our Barnet or leaflets in the last few weeks, and Tweeted, Facebooked, and otherwise told other people about it; and Barnet Alliance stalwarts (have we existed long enough to have stalwarts?). Thanks to Helen who was the MC all day long, John and Kevin for pushing those bloomin' coffins, Maggi whose car boot is perpetually full of campaign paraphernalia, and all the young people involved who prove that political activism will be alive and well in Barnet for many years to come.
Thanks to Roger for putting together and putting on a great programme of music, and to the wonderful musicians who played for us. (Thanks, also, to Mike Gee for his own unique personal musical contribution to the day.)