Welcome back, Natalie, sorry about the weather - another downpour as Green Party leader returns to North Herts
- Credit: Archant
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett knows at least two things about North Herts – she’s always welcome as a speaker, but the weather is pretty dreadful.
When she came to address the inaugural rally organised by the People’s Assembly in Hitchin in the summer it chucked it down – and when she returned for the organisation’s second public gathering in Stevenage on Saturday morning it was very wet and windy once again.
But those who joined the gathering kept their spirits up as they made their way from their starting point at the Gordon Craig Theatre and into the town centre.
The group, part of a national movement which has been growing since the general election, is campaigning against government austerity policies which members say are dismantling or reducing public services including the NHS, schools, public housing, family and social work services, libraries and the police.
There were brief protests outside stores such as Topshop, Vodafone and Boots to highlight their avoidance of UK corporation tax and speeches outside Costa Coffee.
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Spokesman Chris Nickolay said: “This was a good day despite the pouring rain and strong winds. Around 40 people came to the demonstration - some were from a variety of political and faith groups, some were not affiliated to any organisation and came on a demonstration for the very first time.
“They needed to find a way to get together with people and express their anger and frustration with the Tory government’s policies of cuts and austerity.
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“We stopped outside Topshop, Vodafone – who locked their doors – and Boots to protest as noisily as possible at their avoidance of UK tax. One child was particularly good with a drum!
“We stopped at the bus station to protest at the cuts in services which are going to make travel so difficult for many people in work or not working.
“We ended with some music, cake, tea and speeches from Natalie Bennett, Steve Glennon from the Stevenage Socialist Party and Martin Burke of North Herts People’s Assembly..and it was still raining.
“It was particularly good because some people with very hard experiences of austerity came and spoke with us - it is one of the goals of the People’s Assembly to help people tell their stories and find ways to challenge the harm that is being done.”