Radio Sandwell Local News

Save Birmingham protesters occupy Council House

2013-02-04 20:38:44

Birmingham's Council House was this afternoon taken over by a group of Save Birmingham protesters campaigning against the planned budget cuts and redundancies by the local authority.

As police arrived on the scene the protesters claimed they were occupying the balcony in a stand against "cruel and unfair" cuts in Birmingham.

A statement on the Save Birmingham website said: "We are taking this action because the current system cannot go on. It is undemocratic and unfair. We need alternatives and are calling on the city to join with us and to seek another path.

"We all know that austerity is not only cruel and wrong, but that it is also not working.  So to anyone who thinks we should take a stand we say to you that you will find a great many friends and supporters amongst workers, trade unionists and service users in the community.

"Tonight at 6.30pm the Birmingham Labour group are meeting.

"They have an absolute majority on the council and they are being asked by their leader Albert Bore and his Cabinet to pass massive cuts to the city's public services that have been described as "the end of local government".

"If the Labour group agrees to pass on the cuts next Monday, then Birmingham's future will have been sold by them for the benefit of the rich."

One of the protesters tweeted from the account @Brumprotestor: "Police have said we can stay until the demo arrives tonight, council security still preventing banners being displayed #savebirmingham."

A Birmingham City Council press office spokeswoman said: "We asked the protesters to leave and notified the police.

"The police have advised us that the protest is peaceful. For the moment we are allowing the protesters to remain where they are. This is on police advice."

When asked if the protesters had permission to be on the balcony the spokeswoman said that she did not know and would have to check.

In November 2010 a group of 60 students occupied Birmingham City Council's main chamber in protest against a rise in tuition fees.

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