Created: Monday, 04 February 2013 12:08
Written by Newcastle FRFI
On 2 February more than 200 people took part in a day of action against cuts to community services in the Arthur’s Hill area of Newcastle. The protests were in response to the Labour Council budget proposals which, if voted through, would see the closure of the community library, the local swimming pool and the axing of the entire play service, which currently provides open access provision for hundreds of children in the area. The event was organised by Save Our Services, a campaign focused on young people’s services, Save Moorside Library group, and local working class children with support from youth and play workers.
The day started with events in the facilities under threat. In Moorside community library people came in fancy dress as literary characters. Activities for children were organised such as mask making and face painting. Children from New Mills estate decorated t-shirts with anti-cuts slogans and made protest instruments with play and youth workers and similar activities took place in Nunsmoor centre, another local play facility. At midday protesters converged for a 150-strong march through the local high street, with chants that made clear the community’s opposition to all cuts. Children were at the forefront of the march, rapidly developing megaphone skills and distributing hundreds of leaflets to passers-by to further build the campaign.