Our first protest march

A father and daughter at a protest march.

With our local library under threat of closure, I’ve been helping out with the fight to keep it open lately. As a result, the whole family experienced a first at the weekend. Our first protest march!

I’m slightly ashamed that, despite coming from a family with a proud history of protesting – indeed, my Mum and Dad came along too – it’s the first one I’ve been to in adult life.

In fact, it’s only the second I’ve been on in my entire life. For the record, the first was about saving the rainforest when I was at primary school. I dressed up as a tree.

At the same time, though, I’m proud that we have already introduced the kids to the idea. It’s important to stand up for things you believe in and it was a great experience.

As a member of the group that organised it I had high hopes. In my mind’s eye, we were going to look something like this.

A clip from Kasabian's video for Empire.

We’re not rock stars though, so I was also a little concerned that we could end up looking like this.

A clip from Father Ted.

Well, thankfully, we were a lot closer to Kasabian than Father Ted! Despite the cold and wet weather, we had a turnout of over 100 people aged between one and 95.

For a relatively small town on a Saturday, that’s not bad at all. We also had local press, TV and politicians in attendance – another positive outcome.

I was particularly proud of the kids. The boys helped me make a placard and enjoyed parading it on the march to the library.

Similarly, Amelie walked the whole way – including to and from the march – carrying a poster. Taking the word to the street at not quite two years of age!

The reaction of people driving past was good – a number of them beeped their horns, waved and gave us the thumbs up.

A Save Polegate Library leaflet.

Once we reached the library, people had the opportunity to complete the consultation, borrow books and discuss the proposed closure. It was brilliant to see so many people there and several more consultations filled in.

At risk of using the word consultation a third time in quick succession, please consider completing it if you’re a local resident. Our county could lose a quarter of its libraries and, with them, essential resources that act as hubs for the community.

In addition, we’ll be staging a peaceful protest outside the council’s offices on 5 December. It would be great to see as many people as possible there, so I make no apology for sharing the leaflet above.

Come on, people – we can do this!


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