Photos: “Britain Needs A Pay Rise,” The TUC-Led Protest in London, October 18, 2014 (1/2)

18.10.14

See my photos of “Britain Needs A Pay Rise” on Flickr.

On Saturday October 18, 2014, I was one of around 90,000 people who took part in “Britain Needs A Pay Rise,” a march and rally in London organised by the TUC (Trades Union Congress) to highlight the growing inequality in the UK, and to call for an increase in pay for those who are not in the top 10% of earners, who, it was recently revealed, now control 54.1% of the country’s wealth. The London march began on Victoria Embankment and proceeded to Hyde Park, where there was a rally. Other protests took place in Glasgow and Belfast.

I was pleased that 90,000 people turned up, from all over the country, and there was a great atmosphere on the march, which was reassuring, as it is often easy to be despondent, so successful are the efforts by the Tories and the right-wing media to discredit unions and the solidarity of the people. I had many pleasant exchanges with people from Yorkshire, Lancashire and across London, and I hope another event takes place in spring, before the general election.

As I explained in an article before the protest, I was “extremely glad to see the TUC putting together a major protest, as it is exactly two years since the last major TUC-organised protest, ‘A Future That Works’ (see here and here for my photo sets on Flickr) Prior to that, there was the ‘March for the Alternative’ in March 2011,” which I wrote about here.

As I also explained, “I must admit to being extremely disappointed that the unions have not organised massive anti-austerity protests every six months against the butchers of the Tory-led coalition government, who continue with their efforts to destroy almost every aspect of the British state, privatising almost everything that was not privatised by Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and to hand it all over to unaccountable profiteers — with the exception of their own jobs, and their lavish expenses, and, presumably, parts of the judiciary, the military and the intelligence services.”

As Frances O’Grady, the General Secretary of the TUC, told the rally in Hyde Park:

After the longest and deepest pay squeeze in recorded history, it’s time to end the lock-out that has kept the vast majority from sharing in the economic recovery. The average worker is £50 a week worse off than in 2007 and five million earn less than the living wage. Meanwhile, top directors now earn 175 times more than the average worker.

If politicians wonder why so many feel excluded from the democratic process, they should start with bread and butter living standards. An economy that finds money for tax cuts for the rich and boardroom greed, while the rest face a pay squeeze and big cuts to the welfare system — that any of us might need — is no longer working for the many.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a second set of photos from the march and rally, but for now I hope you like these photos, and will share them if you do.

A link to the photos is also below:

The TUC-led "Britain Needs A Pay Rise" protest in London, October 18, 2014

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer and film-maker. He is the co-founder of the “Close Guantánamo” campaign, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

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9 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, linking to my first set of photos from the TUC-led march and rally in London, “Britain Needs A Pay Rise,” which was attended by 90,000 people from across the country. I had some great exchanges with people from Yorkshire and Lancashire, and I greatly enjoyed the sense of solidarity, something we’re not supposed to feel in the atomised, self-obsessed, materialistic world that has been mercilessly pushed for the last 30 years.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Richard Stark wrote:

    Britain needs a revolution. REVCOM.US

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, Richard, revolution is needed everywhere that those who claim to lead us are interested only in leading us back to feudal times.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Dejanka Bryant wrote:

    Bravo, Andy! Xx

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Dejanka. Good to hear from you!

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Jan Strain wrote:

    Good job! All those standing and marching for the people need to be applauded for their humanity and soul. Now on with the revolution.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Good to hear from you, Jan. Yes, it was a good feeling of solidarity with so many unionised workers who understand solidarity. But for the revolution, of course, we need much, much more. The unions need to do more organising for events that are designed to appeal to everyone – those who are not working, those who are retired, and non-union workers, as well as those in unions. We are, to appropriate one of David Cameron’s great lies and to reapply it accurately, all in this together.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Sanchez In-Montebello wrote:

    90,000 people?
    Amazing!!!

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, 90,000 was good, Sanchez. I’m glad the numbers are impressive. But, you know, three and a half years ago, half a million marched against our vile government – and they’re still in power, and no less horrible, so it really should have been many, many more people. That said, it was a great day, and I’m thankful that so many people bothered to do something more important than shopping!

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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