March with a message

SCORES of placard-waving protesters took to the streets to rally against Government spending cuts in a historic parade.

Marchers weaved through Chesterfield town centre on Monday in the 35th annual Bank Holiday procession to celebrate International Workers’ Day.

Chesterfield TUC Parade 2012 - Toby Perkins MP joins the parade

Chesterfield TUC Parade 2012 - Toby Perkins MP joins the parade

The popular march culminated at Rykneld Square where crowds were addressed by speakers including Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, and Toby Perkins, Labour MP for Chesterfield.

Mr Perkins said: “In the two years since this Conservative-led Government was elected there has been a lot of protesting, from the young men and women marching for jobs to the public sector workers fighting for their pensions.

“People are taking to the streets and speaking up because they’re worried and angry, they’re speaking up because they know it doesn’t have to be like this and they’re speaking up because they can see it’s hurting and isn’t working.”

Mr Perkins went on to criticise “cruel, stupid and disgraceful” Government plans to axe scores of Remploy factories which provide support for disabled jobseekers.

However, the Government insisted it was “straining every effort” to tackle the economic crisis.

After the speeches, bands provided live music and crowds flocked to a range of stalls and exhibitions.

The traditional May Day gala – organised by Chesterfield and District Trades Union Council – is one of the biggest in the country.

Event organiser Colin Hampton, co-ordinater of Derbyshire Unemployed Workers’ Centre, said: “Everyone had a great time.

“Despite the poor weather forecast there was a fantastic turnout and the speeches really inspired people which is what we need in these difficult times.”

l To see a slideshow of pictures from the march, keep checking our website.

michael.broomhead@

derbyshiretimes.co.uk