Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Picketting the Supreme Court

It was stifling hot when we set out to be Legal Aid Super Heroes on June 3rd, Heron and Wendy and I.

Me in my blue jeans, denim jacket 20 years old covered with pagan symbols , Heron the smart scouser carries our banner furled up. Wendy, 30 years in the movement no longer has to use a walking stick for her injury.

Full of good intentions we arrive before the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand. Then the crack team of litigators that we are, we realise we need to be in front of the Supreme Court in Parliament Square. Duh!

Hop a Taxi then realise that my Mum who doesn't have a mobile phone and has come up specially from Dorset will also be going to the wrong place.

Parliament square is seething with humanity. Hordes of rubberneckers choke the pavements. We arrive on a small island in front of a Very Important Building.

In a sea of honking traffic we hear a shadow minister, a peer of the realm, the leader of a venerable legal charity. They have bull horns but you can only hear every second word. We set up our 18 foot banner in blue plastic with “I Love Hackney Community Law Centre” and “Save Legal Aid.”

Suddenly everybody starts chanting . “Save, save, save Legal Aid!” We get moved up to the front. An acapella band comes on, four piece with Sound off for Justice tee shirts. They sing I Fought the Law and the Law Won, they sing about human rights. A client's little girl starts to do the Twist, and we are all amazed.

The band leaves, We should leave too. No. We stand our ground. People come up we haven't seen in ages. Photos are taken. We catch up on old news. More and more people come up.

A very tired woman who has been working at Basildon Court turns up. We sing the Internationale very badly indeed. We go home.

Heron lost his wallet then found it again. And incidentally, I found my Mum. In June they will tell us about Legal Aid cuts. At least we've said our piece.

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