March For The Alternative - Saturday, 26th March 2011

22 Mar 2011

GMB members from Yorkshire & North Derbyshire region will be part of a massive demonstration in London this Saturday to protest against government cuts.  There has never been a time in living history when people needed to come together more; forecasts state that the situation will be on a par with the 1920s. Unemployment has just moved to record levels and 500,000 job losses are expected in public services and the situation is set to get worse.

We want to make history on Saturday and we will march together for an alternative!

Anyone needing travel to London should contact Rachel Dix on 0845 337 7777 as coach places are still available – pick up from Leeds City Train Station at 6.00am.

March Details & Guidance

Whichever mode of organised transport you will be travelling by, travel stewards wearing orange TUC hi-viz jackets will be on hand to give advice.

Marchers will need to gather at Victoria Embankment and will line up between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridge from 11.00am.  It is anticipated that the march will move off around noon.  The GMB contingent will be found on the Embankment at zone 4. If this is full on arrival, please follow the stewards’ advice and gather at the rear of the march and look for others wearing GMB hi-viz jackets and carrying banners and/or GMB flags to march with and share the experience. There will be some waiting around so please come prepared, dressed appropriately with food and drink, toilets will be available on the Embankment.

NB: the police have asked the TUC to ensure marchers bring flags and banners only and that placards are not used on the march.
GMB flags and vuvezelas will be available from the GMB assembly point on the Embankment and can be dropped off again in Hyde Park.

For those travelling by train, the Embankment is five stops on the Northern line (southbound) from Kings Cross and a single fare for an adult is around £4.00 (cheaper fares available for children). Please be aware that all public transport is expected to be very busy and some tube stations may be closed on safety grounds. Those travelling by coach should access public transport at the nearest point depending on where the coach is parked - it will not be close to either the Embankment or Hyde Park apart from those with disabilities and a TUC permit.

At all times please follow any advice given by the TUC route stewards who will be wearing orange TUC jackets. They have been briefed to deal with general enquiries like lost children and first aid and the senior stewards wearing pink TUC hi-viz jackets will be in touch with event control in Hyde Park by radio. The stewards’ primary role is to ensure the safety of those on the march and to keep it moving wherever possible, not to deal with any disorder which is the responsibility of the Police. Everyone is expecting a family friendly fun event.

The TUC by working closely with the police want to try and ensure that the march and rally goes off peacefully and is well ordered.  The police are advising the marchers to stay with the march along the preordained route which will be well stewarded and to avoid breaking away from the march in order to take a short cut to Hyde Park. There will be a heavy media presence at the start, during the march and in Hyde Park, if you are asked for an interview please step away and ensure you aren’t obstructing anyone on the route.

We are advised that extra toilet facilities will be available on the route, e.g. at Trafalger Square and some shops and stores but please ask first. All roads will be closed so if this is a new experience for you, take the time to look around on the march and enjoy the sights of central London! Don’t be too concerned if the march stops and starts as there are two or three bottlenecks which may be congested at times but extra TUC route and senior stewards will be there on hand to give advice and/or reassurance as they will know of any problems.

The TUC estimates that the front of the march will arrive at Hyde Park shortly after 1.15 pm and that the rally will start around 1.30pm however, because we expect a large number it is estimated people will still be arriving in Hyde Park on the march up to 4.00 pm.  The rally will therefore keep running until around 4.30 pm with speeches and music.  There will, in addition to the stage, be two large screens around Hyde Park, refreshment facilities and extra toilet facilities. Hyde Park will be stewarded with a professional events company, SFM,  assisted by the TUC route and senior stewards.

Please be aware that the sheer numbers of people in London for the rally on the day together with the normal tourist presence will mean that all methods of transport; tube/buses/taxis will be extremely busy. You should also ensure that you check the departure time and location of your coach so that you aren’t left behind and enough time is allowed to get back from Hyde Park to Kings Cross/St Pancras stations for pre-booked trains.

We hope that the event is a huge success, blessed with good weather, and we look forward to seeing you in London on the day - enjoy!

Pratical advice from the TUC for first time marchers: http://marchforthealternative.org.uk/2011/03/21/tuc-top-tips-for-new-marchers/

Weather Forecast: http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/forecast/2574?