(APTN) - UK Labour unions said as many as two million public sector staff were joining A TUC strike to protest recent public spending cuts. (Nov 30, 2011)
Credits: Field produced AP’s material on the main march through central London
SKY – NO ACCESS UK/AL JAZEERA ENGLISH/BLOOMBERG
1. Various aerials of strikers in central London
2. Protester on top of building being detained
3. Helicopter passing, protesters on top of building being detained by police, one on the ground
4. Various of police forming cordon
5. Mid of police and ambulances ++MUTE++
6. Strikers marching, police next to them
7. Various of strikers marching with banners
8. Mid of man wearing Guy Fawkes mask
9. Strikers marching
10. Children marching
11. Strikers marching, carrying large “Crunch” balloon
12. SOUNDBITE: (English) Geraldine Cowan, retired teacher from southeast London:
“I’m here because I do feel that the government is grabbing the poor and the working people and they’re not going after the rich tax dodgers, and bankers are still getting very big bonuses, and I think it’s a little disgusting to say the least.”
13. Strikers shouting on megaphone
14. Low level shot of strikers marching with posters
15. Man with face framed by piece of cardboard reading (English) “This is the face of someone unhappy with pension cuts”
16. SOUNDBITE: (English) Tony Jupp, civil servant of the City of London, from Brentwood:
“I’m here because of all the cuts, cutbacks on all the local services, whereas bankers are getting away with absolute murder. There’s the poor poorly paid. Why should pensioners suffer. It’s just unfair on everyone and it’s just our way of fighting back.”
17. Strikers shouting down megaphone
18. SOUNDBITE: (English) Jill Marcus-Pooley, teacher:
“I’ve been teaching for about 24 years and I’m in my late forties. And what’s on offer at the moment means that I would be paying more from April every month to work longer and to receive less at the end of it, and that doesn’t seem right to me.”
19. Marcus-Pooley and her family walking with other strikers
20. Mid of police
21. Pan of strikers
22. Mid of strikers carrying banner
23. Pan if strikers and police
24. Mid of police
25. Two strikers walking with banners
26. Various of arrivals hall at Heathrow Airport Terminal 4
27. Woman makes phone call beside Christmas tree
28. Passengers walk past Christmas tree in arrivals hall
29.SOUNDBITE (English) Roy Goh, age 37, teacher from Singapore (flew in from Singapore):
“I was quite worried that I’d be spending three, four, even up to twelve hours (in queues), but there was no delay at all.”
30. Noticeboard listing arriving flights
31. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Ashton, 47, plastic surgeon from Melbourne, Australia (flew in from Melbourne):
“The police officers that took over did a great job. We waited virtually no time at all, so it was actually significantly quicker than any other time I’ve been here.”
32. Security officers in middle of arrivals terminal
33. SOUNDBITE (English) Darren Davies, 36, IT specialist from the UK (flew in from Bangkok):
“I was in and out within a minute. Compared with? Normally I’d be there 20 minutes or half-an-hour.”
34. Cutaway of arrivals hall
UK border staff joined teachers, hospital workers and weather forecasters on Wednesday in Britain’s largest strike in decades, but arriving airline passengers appeared to escape the chaos that had been predicted.
The one-day walkout has been called to oppose government demands that public sector staff work longer before receiving a pension and contribute more money each month – plans that are part of government austerity measures to get a grip on Britain’s high borrowing levels.
Labour unions said as many as two (m) million public sector staff were joining the strike, which would make it the largest since the infamous industrial dispute known as the Winter of Discontent in 1979, which presaged the arrival of Margaret Thatcher as prime minister.
Protesters were also denouncing sharp public spending cuts, the government extended on Tuesday.
Following a current freeze on public pay next year, pay raises will be limited to 1 percent through 2014.
“I’m here because I do feel that the government is grabbing the poor and the working people and they’re not going after the rich tax dodgers, and bankers are still getting very big bonuses, and I think it’s a little disgusting to say the least,” said retired teacher Geraldine Cowan.
One civil servant worker said pensioners were suffering “and it’s just our way of fighting back.”
Meanwhile, in an incident which police said was unrelated to the strike, officers arrested a number of protesters who stormed a central London building on Wednesday evening.
The protesters carried a large flag which they placed onto the side of the building.
Video showed some protesters entering Panton House, one holding a flare and police chasing them up the stairs.
Video also showed police handling protesters on the roof of the building and escorting several people back down.
Police said the incident was unrelated to a general walk-out where paramedics, emergency crews, teachers and even some employees from the prime minister’s office took to the streets of Britain for the country’s largest strike in decades.
London police said 52 people had been arrested in protests during the day, including 37 people detained after clashes at a rally in Hackney, east London.
London’s Heathrow Airport and scores of airlines had warned that international travellers could be held in lines for up to 12 hours at immigration halls as a result of staff shortages.
But airport managers said flights arriving early on Wednesday from the United States, Asia and Europe were largely unaffected, in part because of contingency plans to draft staff in to man border desks.
Those extra staff included members of Prime Minister David Cameron’s policy unit and his press secretary.
Britain’s government said less than a third of government civil service staff had walked out and that more staff than expected had showed at ports and airports.
But more than half of England’s 21,700 state schools were closed, and around three-quarters of schools in the UK could eventually be forced to shut early, the Cabinet Office said.
Britain’s government said less than a quarter of government civil service staff, about 135,000 people, had walked out and that more staff than expected had showed at ports and airports.