It's about 25 years since I last went on a protest march - but I felt strongly enough about the Anti-Austerity march that I felt I had to go. The idea behind the marches is that Austerity, and all the cuts to government services, are not necessary, but are motivated by a government desire to reduce public services and sell off anything that isn't nailed down. And, of course, the cuts that have already happened are causing a great deal of suffering for the poorest people in society.
There were marches planned all over the country, and the nearest one was in Brecon, which I can get to on the bus.
Of course, the times of the buses and the time of the march didn't match up very well, so I had a couple of hours in Brecon before I went down to the meeting point outside Theatr Brycheiniog.
So I did a foolish thing. I went into Tenovus - and came out with eleven hardback Terry Pratchett Discworld novels!!
One of the things I wanted to do the next time I was in Brecon was to check out the new Brecon Tap, opened by the Brecon Brewing company, which faces the Wellington statue in the middle of town. It was a somewhat incongruous thing to do when I was about to march in support of people who could not possibly afford to have lunch there, even for £9.50. However, I had been wanting to visit since it opened, and this was the first opportunity I'd had - and the carrier bags of books were getting very heavy!
They serve the most wonderful pies. For £9.50 you get an individual pie, in flaky pastry - I had the lamb - with two side dishes of your choice. I had the mashed potato with black pudding and the beans in white wine, washed down with a half of Lytham Stout, which was chosen purely because of the pump clip, which had a picture of the Lytham windmill on it. When I was a kid, going on the coach to holidays in Blackpool, we knew we were nearly there when we passed that windmill!
So that took me until just before 1pm, when I arrived at the start point of the march.
A wide range of people had turned up - the local supporters of refugees, the Green Party, a Labour councillor, a member of the Women's Equality Party, a couple of people walking with crutches and sticks, and people protesting about the cutting of grants to the arts, people concerned about threats to local libraries, and even one placard protesting about the 3 weekly rubbish collection!
I saw a few people I knew, one of whom kindly offered to put my books in the back of his car for the march. We made a circuit around Brecon, with a cheerful policeman managing the traffic for us on the way, making a lot of noise and chanting "No More Cuts". It wasn't very busy around Brecon, but people did come out of shops to watch us walk by. We gathered around the statue of Wellington to finish - and then it was off to the Muse for tea and biscuits! Another lady from Hay kindly gave me a lift home, so I didn't have to hang around for the next bus.
One of the chaps from the Brecon & Radnor was on the march, taking photos, so I'm pretty sure the march will feature in this week's edition.