Lawyers aren’t normally the most radical of people, so it was somewhat surprising to find myself in Chambers in the morning of 22nd May 2013, sorting out T-Shirts and badges, ready to go on a demonstration outside Parliament in defence of legal aid.
I was a bit nervous beforehand. There was a lot that could go wrong – what if only 50 people turned up? What if the media managed to capture an ‘unfortunate’ image? It could easily turn us into laughing stocks. Given that the public believe the Government’s line that we are all blood-sucking parasites who make thousands of pounds an hour, it could be very very easy for this to backfire.
But it went well. The speeches struck the right note and it was good that it was not just lawyers there (speaking and in the crowd). Save UK Justice has a youtube channel where the speeches are being posted if you want to see them.
- Story from the Guardian about the protest (and a great editorial from them)
- Today, in The Times
- The Socialist Worker
- Comment piece from the Mirror (before the protest)
- and finally, the Yorkshire Post
Also, some video footage:
- BBC Coverage from youtube
- Channel 4, and
- ITV (video will follow I think)
- The Belfast Telegraph (Northern Irish lawyers know how to do it properly)
The Gazette wrote it up and had a good photo gallery which gives some of the better images of the day. Gemma Blyth also did a good piece on it. I’m not the world’s best photographer and my iPhone not the best camera. But I’ve added some of the photos below:
After the protest, if was off to the Friends Meeting House at Euston for the ‘Justice for Sale’ meeting. Northpod Law were there and were taping it. They will have full coverage of it for their show on Friday, and there will be an official write-up soon, so I won’t try and summarise it.
Given the attitude of this Government, this certainly won’t be the last demo I’m at sadly…
And please, if you haven’t signed the petition, do it now!