N30 strike: live updates

N30 strike: live updates

Updates and accounts of the massive November 30 strike against cuts, particularly of public sector pensions. Please post your news and accounts of your day below.

Please post updates and accounts of the day. If you will be updating your twitter account post up the link below.

Some 58% of England's 21,700 state schools are shut with 76% affected by strike action. In Wales around 80% were believed shut and in Northern Ireland more than 50% of 1,200 schools were closed.

Industrial action by about 300,000 workers in Scotland has seen most schools close. Only 33 of the 2,700 council-run schools stayed open today as a result of action by education workers.

Civil service and local government
135,000 civil servants went on strike, representing just over a quarter of the civil service. Mark Serwotka, the leader of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), said reports from picket lines showed a huge turnout, with up to 90% of staff in some government departments on strike.

In Northern Ireland, more than 200,000 workers went on strike across the area. The Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) — representing members across the civil service — will alone have more than 45,000 workers on strike and stage 160 pickets.

7,000 routine operations across the UK have been cancelled, as well as tens of thousands of appointments.

London Ambulance Service told BBC London it was struggling and people not in a life-threatening condition might not get an ambulance.

Up to 1,000 marches and rallies were due to take place across the UK.

An estimated 7,000 striking public sector workers have marched outside the Scottish Parliament, in protest at UK government pension changes.

Posted By

Nov 30 2011 00:01


Attached files


Nov 30 2011 09:32

Early morning pickets at St. Barts and St. Thomas' hospital. Patients out to support strikers at Barts (see pics below).

Also, picket lines outside St Nicholas primary school, Birmingham.

Nov 30 2011 09:33

British council on strike in central London:

Black bloc out and about in Dalston, east London:

Nov 30 2011 09:46

Brighton Town Hall picket:

Nov 30 2011 09:48

Guardian liveblog:

8.40am: What's going on in Northern Ireland? This rundown from our Ireland correspondent, Henry McDonald:

• All buses and trains including the cross-border rail service have come
to a halt in Northern Ireland this morning as the public sector strike begins in the Province.

• As thousands of workers in the public service strike today all non-emergency operations have also been suspended due to the industrial action.

• Rallies will be held across the north of Ireland with the largest taking place in Belfast city centre later. There will also be demonstrations in Derry, Newry, Omagh, Ballymena, Portadown, Magherafelt and Cookstown.

• Most of the province's 1,200 schools will also be closed today after the majority of teachers union voted to back the national strike.

• An estimated 200,000 workers are taking part in the strike, with the
Northern Secretary of the Irish Congress, Peter Bunting, describing the
action as "putting down a marker that we will oppose the austerity
cuts that have not worked and will not work. We need a Plan B."

Nov 30 2011 09:54

Just heard that 90% of school pupils in Wales are not at school and that all non-urgent hospital appointments have been rescheduled.

Rob Ray
Nov 30 2011 10:06

Has kicked off at clr James library in dalston, cops went mental at a roving band of crusties, have kettled 20-odd people, couple of arrests and beatings

Chilli Sauce
Nov 30 2011 10:48

Can any of our American posters give us updates from any of the solidarity actions planned in the US?

Rob Ray
Nov 30 2011 11:12

Cops just brought dogs in, kids who were with picketing parents are terrified, crying.

Nov 30 2011 11:23
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Can any of our American posters give us updates from any of the solidarity actions planned in the US?

It's only about 5:30 AM here...

Chilli Sauce
Nov 30 2011 11:30


Nov 30 2011 11:35

It seems from the media like no big success?

• UK transport network suffers little disruption despite biggest strike in 30 years
• Only 58% of schools closed, despite predictions of 90%

Chilli Sauce
Nov 30 2011 11:37

Not closed for schools I'm assuming means not shut for all students. Even the schools that are "open" may only have 2 or 3 classes running.

As for transport, I think only one transport union in Northern Ireland is striking, so no big surprise there.

Chilli Sauce
Nov 30 2011 11:39

Labour MPs to cross picket surprise there.

Nov 30 2011 11:42
budulinek wrote:
It seems from the media like no big success?

• UK transport network suffers little disruption despite biggest strike in 30 years
• Only 58% of schools closed, despite predictions of 90%

Little disruption on transport as no transport unions are on strike AFAIK, also less people using public transport as they are not going to work - buses, tubes...fairly empty in some areas.

Nov 30 2011 12:14

What was that about at Dalston? Any further info?

Some morning pics:

Nov 30 2011 12:42
Rob Ray
Nov 30 2011 15:22

K back now, just editing a video of it together but in brief a bunch of kids who had been doing a solidarity walk round the pickets (see Ed's pic above) tried to do a short road block outside CLR James library in Dalston. Police then sent in about 40 cops (rising to maybe 70/80 at the height of it), big TSG type mainly, supported by a police helicopter, who beat down and arrested a couple of people before kettling everyone else.

When I got there a few people had stayed outside the kettle as they were with young children, who stayed out of solidarity until a group of four snarling attack dogs was was brought in and picketed around whoever wasn't already kettled. The kids freaked out (understandably) and had to be taken home while everyone else stayed and kept an eye on police as they marched the entire group to waiting coaches.

There were a fair few pickets went by on their way to the nearby town hall demo as it was going on, a lot of people were pretty shocked by how heavy-handed the police were being.

Joseph Kay
Nov 30 2011 14:02

Biggest march I've seen in Brighton, I'd guess 5-10,000. Couldn't see the back or the front of the march and it was overflowing the Level where it ended. Cops tried to randomly arrest a bystander and apparently some black bloc types dearrested them [edit: apparently, unsuccesfully].

There were three feeder marches from across the city, one from council offices/hove town hall, one from whitehawk/the hospital and one from the universities picking up the parks and bin workers. There were huge cheers when the cityclean workers joined the feeder march from the unis. Very tangible sense of cross-sector solidarity.

Nov 30 2011 14:37

Reports of a 5,000-strong demonstration in Birmingham today.. any more word from Brum people?

Nov 30 2011 14:44

Some bits from twitter:

libcom arrow for bullet points Lincoln's Inn Fields: police expect about 25,000 on main march this afternoon.. police outside parliament below:

libcom arrow for bullet points Devon and Cornwall Police estimate 3,900 people took part in the march through Exeter
libcom arrow for bullet points More than 130 government scientists - including particle physicists and software engineers - are on strike at Harwell Oxford
libcom arrow for bullet points Around 2,000 union members have converged on Southampton's Guildhall Square
libcom arrow for bullet points Half of Greater Manchester's road ambulance crews are on strike but no stations are closed
libcom arrow for bullet points In Sheffield, more than 3,000 people are marching through streets from Barkers Pool to Devonshire Green
libcom arrow for bullet points 1,000 people are taking part in a rally in the centre of Reading

Nov 30 2011 14:54

Interview with a firefighter:

Some more pics, first from Liverpool (with suspicious looking anarchos in the background)..

And second pic from Dalston (presumably before the arrests that Rob Ray talks about above?)..

Nov 30 2011 14:57

More from London: public sector workers at the Strand..

And Redbridge:

Nov 30 2011 15:03

Ooh, this is a nice one from central London:

Article from the Guardian which provides a run down of numbers for the strike..

Nov 30 2011 15:12
Ed wrote:
Reports of a 5,000-strong demonstration in Birmingham today.. any more word from Brum people?

Aye Brum demo was huge compared to normal stuff here apparently. Hard for me to compare as I've only been here a few months but the NUT block alone was huge.

No visible anarcho presence from what I'd seen, and I was looking the entire time and when it all finished at the NIA I hung about but still seen nowt.

Rob Ray
Nov 30 2011 15:22
Nov 30 2011 15:50

Demonstration in Swansea: Unison officials put the turn-out for their city centre rally at "between 4,000 and 5,000 workers." The rally brought the city centre and surrounding roads to a standstill for a number of hours.

Nov 30 2011 15:59

Another London occupation, this time Panton House in Piccadilly Circus!/search/occupylsx

Nov 30 2011 16:07

Unison in Cheshire says up to 50% of ambulance crews have gone on strike today, although they are maintaining a 999 service. Pickets are continuing at Warrington, Macclesfield, Huyton and Congleton Stations.

Also heard there's been some fighting with police around Panton House?

Nov 30 2011 16:16

At least 5-10,000 on the march at Edinburgh, possibly more. Unison had ten double-deckers to ferry people in to it. The area around Holyrood was completely packed with people by the time we arrived and there were quite a few folk behind us on the march.

A few people rattled the fences around the parliament when we arrived and the police tried to arrest someone. A crowd of about 100 gathered round and got him de-arrested though.

I hear that only 30 schools in the whole of Scotland were open today and those were private, or part private, ones that had no-strike deals written into staff contracts.

Also, a cafe and social centre, which recently got evicted when their owner were bust and PWC were brought in as liquidators, got occupied just around the time the march ended.

Nov 30 2011 16:50
Ed wrote:
Unison in Cheshire says up to 50% of ambulance crews have gone on strike today

I visited the picket at Selly Oak (south Brum) ambulance station - was the biggest and loudest of the individual pickets I saw today.