In Cambridge this was represented by many schools closing, a skeleton staff at Cambridge Jobcentre, and picket lines in front of Cambridge Regional College and Anglia Ruskin University (see pictures).
Sign outside Job Centre.
The ARU picket.
Parkside School - 11:30am and the gates are shut!
Tell Cameron this!
One of about half a dozen stalls - this one for the NUT.
There were plenty of petitions to sign...
Encouraging 'Banker Bashing'!!
Vehicle Art #1
Vehicle Art #1
ARU joining the rest of us on Parkers Piece.
The quiet before the storming of town!
A more interesting family photo..?
Some music before we set out...
Like I said, EVERYONE was there...
A slightly more militant Lollipop Man!
Yep, there was even one of these for the kids!
The true scale of the march only became obvious when we set out.
Not since the start of the Iraq War have I seen so many people take to the streets of Cambridge, with some estimates putting the number of people in attendance at 1,500, although I suspect the real figure is likely to be much higher than even this.
Everyone assembled at the Catholic Church/YMCA side of Parkers Piece in town, and a real cross-section of society it was too, with not only union reps and their members, various cuts related campaigners present, including Cambridge Uncut, the SWP, and the Anti Academies Alliance amongst many others, but many parents and children were also in attendance, and even a few pets!
One of the more remarkable of these was a dog strapped to a hand made trolley, after having its' back legs amputated. From what I saw, it could still run about with the best of 'em!
Unions had also laid on a stage and sound system, on which speakers rallied the crowd. and musicians and poets entertained and enlightened all gathered (see pictures).
There were a few vehicles which had been decorated with placards and banners (see pictures), along with several stalls, encouraging people to sign petitions in support of many causes related to Cameron's austerity measures Britian.
For the kids, there was a massive inflatable slide, and a bouncy castle (with a slightly discriminatory "under 6's only" sign next to it).
This was definitely family friendly protest!
As such, I only saw a very low key police presence throughout, despite the huge numbers in attendance, although the copper chopper buzzed us a few times during the march through town, and again later at the end of the route, over Parkers Piece, doubtless filming everything.
Thanks to the Cambridge News, we now know that each time it goes up, it costs around £500 per hour, although as was pointed out to me by someone on the day, this figure still doesn't include the other hidden costs of running such a machine. However, even the police are feeling the pinch, as there is talk that this helicopter is due for the er... chop, as they can't afford to run it any more!
After some preliminary talks and music from the stage, this huge mass of humanity set out on it's journey around town.
More in part two of this article.