A Proud Day

A magnificent day.

Just back home from a busy day on the picket line and down in the Peoples’ Republic of South Yorkshire, where our comrades at the Sheffield Star and Rotherham Advertiser have shown us superb solidarity.

Apologies to the Advertiser crew, as a packed train and my misguided faith in a pasty-looking bloke who told me I was at Swinton station proved, well, misguided, as I ended up in the middle of Rotherham, meaning I missed the meeting.

FoC Phil was very understanding about it, and an instant whip round there raised £40 for the strikers. Another collection in Sheffield raised £100. Many thanks to all who donated, a big help to the 120 who have given up their wages.

Before I left for the Peoples’ Republic, it had been an honour to stand on that picket line. To see our union comrades so energised, so committed, so determined to make their stand and push home their point, was wonderful to see. Big love and respect to all those who were there. This is OUR strike, we, as an organised, collectivised workforce, are making it the success it is, and the point we are all making cannot be ignored.

Big thanks to Shakinouts for coming down and playing for us, sorry I couldn’t be there lads but I had that job to do in south yorks. Everyone I’ve spoken to since getting back to Leeds said you were brilliant, they loved the songs.

Debating with Chris Green out there was interesting. As ever, Chris was smiley and polite, and didn’t say a great deal of substance beyond restating the company’s position that the redundancy terms won’t be improved. We shall see.
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His tone, though, did seem more concilitatory, he agreed we all believe the future of local papers is important and said the red and white police style tape will come down for Friday, given that we didn’t bring “other people” along whoever those other people might have been. I’ve no idea, I’ll ask Chris the next time I see him.

The energy and vibrancy from the picket line was transported to The Old Steps, where I sat, tired but happy, chewing the fat with Red Ron, from about 7.30.

See you outside the building Friday morning – and I’ll have the boy on board this time.

Love and solidarity, Rich.

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