Cuts protesters bring Euston Road to a halt

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Around 150 people protesting against spending council cuts were occupying intersection of Euston Road, Midland Road and Judd Street, outside Camden Town Hall as of 7.30pm tonight. The often congested A501, or Euston Road, normally moves at a snail's pace at peak hour, but tonight traffic was at a complete standstill for several blocks in both directions.

"We've been out for about half an hour, the council are meeting tonight in there, and we're not allowed in, so that they can make decisions on the cuts behind closed doors," said a woman in her thirties, standing with her two young daughters and husband on the town hall's corner. "If they let us in we'd stop blocking the road."

The woman's husband was having a good-natured but slightly tense debate on whether it was valid to protest, with a man with a briefcase and business clothes, who said, "But we're all in this together," showing clear disapproval of the road block. The woman's husband replied, "Are we? Do you earn over £200,000?" The man replied that he didn't. "Well, people who do are paying less tax than you!"

In the next 15 minutes some protesters were starting to feel the cold starting to bite, and were leaving, but the road remained firmly blocked. Some car drivers at the intersection were trying to negotiate with the protesters to let them through on an individual basis. Passengers abandoned buses.
 
One protester said that there were a lot of local people there like herself, Unison, a number of other unions and a group of NHS staff against the cuts. Police gathered in small clusters outside the Town Hall, and at various points around the standoff area, looking fairly relaxed.

Clare Hill

About Clare Hill

Clare is a writer and editor who lived in King’s Cross for a decade. She is passionate about local history, transport and food. Contact Clare by commenting on her posts or go to http://www.clarehill.net
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One Response to Cuts protesters bring Euston Road to a halt

  1. Albert Beale says:

    From:
    Albert Beale
    5 Caledonian Road
    Kings Cross
    London N1
    (020-7278 4474)

    The complete closure of the crossroads, in all directions, was maintained for at least an hour, which apparently caused significant traffic problems miles away to east and west. The police eventually started talking to the campaigners, and said some of the people would be allowed into the council meeting after all. Once people were being let in, the road was gradually cleared.

    There were lots of discussions, some quite heated, between activists and people in the traffic queue, but plenty of passers-by were sympathetic. There were impromptu discussions on street corners after the road was cleared, about future anti-cuts actions, including more occupations of banks.

    Albert Beale

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