The day the women fighting for their pensions brought Westminster to a standstill

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50s women reclaiming the street outside Parliament

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

A decade ago this would have made headline news. Hundreds of  50s women deprived of their pensions until they reach 65 or 66 blocked the road in Parliament Square for over an hour yesterday. The police – just five of them – had to divert traffic away from Parliament as they sang slogans deriding Theresa May  from ” We paid In,  U Pay Out ” to ”  Hey, Hey, Theresa May, Theresa May, how many women who have you robbed today ” in an extraordinary display of anger at successive governments decisions to raise the women’s pension age from 60 to 66.

The noise  from the vibrant  demo drowned out irritated van drivers, bus drivers and motorists tooting their horns as they were stuck on the one way system round the Square. But the women were more than a match for the motorists, the police and certainly are making an impact on MPs.

The decision to block the road was not planned  and taken spontaneously by some of the protesters and led to a traffic jams right up Whitehall. Even Fiona Bruce, the BBC newscaster had to flag down a passing police car to get to Millbank to present the six o’clock news.

The protest  began with a 1000 strong rally in Hyde Park bringing together Backto60, Waspi and the ” We Paid In, U Pay Out” groups under a #One Voice and ” shoulder to Shoulder ” banner. Groups from as far away as Aberdeen, Cornwall, Wales, Tyne and Wear and Derby came to London to voice their anger.

It has got the backing of the Fawcett Society, the Women’s Equality Party and the SOS Initiatives  who have highlighted the desperate plight of the women , some of whom have contemplated suicide or self harm.

What was  clear at Westminster is that it is attracting support from senior people in the leadership of both the Labour Party and the Scottish Nationalist Party, the two biggest opposition groups in Westminster. John McDonnell’s office sent over a senior researcher and unless I was mistaken, Laura Alvarez, wife of Jeremy Corbyn, who keeps a low profile but I would bet will be telling the Labour leader about the strength of feeling there.

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Chris Williamson examines the Derby Waspi banner

Other Labour MPs there included Chris Williamson, the Labour MP for  Derby North;Laura Smith, shadow Cabinet Office minister and MP for Crewe and Nantwich; Battersea MP Marsha de Cordova; and a number from Scotland and the Midlands. Two prominent Scottish Nationalists, the Westminster leader Ian Blackford and Mhairi Black also pledged support. Tory MPs were noticeable by their absence.

What is clear is this issue which I fully support – I did address the rally myself on the key issues- is now going places. This weekend it made the mainstream media, the next stage must be inside the courts and Parliament itself.

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The protesters arrive at Westminster 

 

35 thoughts on “The day the women fighting for their pensions brought Westminster to a standstill

  1. Thank you David for your ongoing support. This is SO UNFAIR! SO UNJUST! SO UNEQUAL! Whole families suffering! Retirement RUINED!

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  2. This is fantastic to see all these women gaining momentum I’m behind them100% well Done the women!!! Fantastic job!!! I hope this government takes heed that us 50’s women mean business!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. gr8 stuff! but does that really work though, flagging down pigyob cars for free taxi rides? or does that only apply if u work for the govt’s propaganda department? hope she didn’t have to debase herself by flashing some leg or something like that…..doubtful that would work for anybody else….but if they did get a free ride it wdn’t be to anywhere they wanted to go that’s for sure 😦

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  4. Thank you David for another objective article and for speaking at Hyde Park. It was a fabulous day. A watershed in our quest for justice. I invited Laura Alverez who has a genuine interest in the campaign. Several Mps and Ros Altmann also accepted invitations to attend.
    We will maintain momentum and capitalise on the interest shown by the media and politicians etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. As ever great to have your support David, welcomed you onto our #BATTLEBUS earlier in the year. We saw then different groups coming together with one aim to take on our ‘enemy in common’ The Government.
    This unity continues. The fight goes on!
    I can’t help feeling Theresa May will be on Desert Island Discs, ‘were now playing ‘whose sorry now by Connie Francis’ A song heard often on a 1950’s radiogram. I bought it in The Radio Respect Vinyl Shop they support 1950’s women we support them, a station dedicated to Mental Health & Wellbeing
    Angie Taylor

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  6. Thank you for all of your support David. So proud that we stopped the traffic….finally. We will indeed maintain the momentum.

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  7. Thank you for speaking Mr Henke, and thank you to all who came to support us. Nothing on BBC news again except a mention on Radio 2 4pm news bulletin. I feel the government’s hand involved!

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  8. Some of the women at the protest are living on £40 per week. Absolute disgrace after working from the age of 15yrs. & paying their dues.

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  9. A really good piece illustrating the extent and intensity of feeling over the whole injustice of the sorry affair. They picked on the wrong ones this time!!

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  10. Well done to these ladies who were there to support all 50s born women robbed of their pensions. Cannot believe the media blackout on this. What kind of country has this become. No longer proud to be British. This government has brought this country to its knees.

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  11. Good good good. Well done all.
    But why did I not know this was happening?
    I’d have taken the day off work if I’d known.
    There may be others like me!

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  12. Me I was born in 67 they’ve added more than 8 years. When my husband and I tried to take out a pension we were told we didn’t earn enough. Before that when I asked about works pension I was told I didn’t qualify. Time out to look after children and paid in voluntarily. Now I’m on a never ending treadmill and I know due to illness I’ll never get off. I’ll never make it to 68 and if I do likely will be house bound. 😪

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    • You do know of course this mob excludes you as you were born in the 60’s. Only 50’s born women have an issue, only 50’s born women deserve compensation. Disgusting isn’t it?

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      • Actually you are wrong. I am part of the 40s generation have already got my pension at 65, but am backing this group who come after me and have been deprived of theirs.

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      • No, it is not disgusting. If you opened your eyes, and your mind, you would see that there are younger people involved in, and supporting, the WASPI Campaign. All of whom are welcomed by this Group. Put your wooden spoon back in your kitchen drawer but it’s not doing any good.

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  13. Thank you so much for all your research and support. It was a great day. Stopping the traffic was probably not on the agenda but was exactly what was needed to bring it to the attention of the Public. For many, this is not about being able to afford to go out to lunch or having your nails done, (although those things would be nice) it’s about being able to afford to put the heating on, having to watch tv in the dark to save electricity. Once again thank you for everything.

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  14. Well done showing how strongly we feel and are not to be ignored, we mean business. Thank you to all who were able to attend so proud of you all. We are stubborn we will never give up. Hopefully they now realise that we have tremendous support for this injustice in stealing our money.

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  15. At last some truth in one of your blogs. Yes it was hundreds not throusands in London, hardly a poll tax event or a rally against Brexit.
    This was a non event.

    Now perhaps people can campaign about the real issue of both men and women as they approach SPA.

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    • Who are you Geezer? A relative of TM?? If you don’t have anything positive to say, the best idea is for you to say nothing. You are just embarrassing yourself!

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  16. Roll on the day they are all brought to justice for the injustice & suffering inflicted on the 1950’s women. They can not be allowed to get away with it even though I do think we will have to go the distance. “THE DAY IS COMING TO MAKE THEM PAY”

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  17. That day was the first time in my life that I have been “civilly disobedient” by standing in the road and stopping traffic, but I was proud to be one of the men there who were supporting their wives. It’s an absolute disgrace how the women have been treated by successive governments and the DWP, The lack of coverage by mainstream media especially the BBC, was also scandalous – some things are more important than what’s going on in Strictly or which former celeb has been stopped for drink driving.

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  18. Until now, it seems that the Brussels Brainwashing Conspiracy has pretty well ignored us. Did it only become news because some overpaid celebrity was inconvenienced by a load of unglamorous tiresome whingeing old biddies like us?

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  19. Thank you David for your wonderful support. It is really appreciated by all of us. I wasn’t able to attend but was there in spirit and was so proud of our fantastic ladies.

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  20. Thank you for supporting the ladies who had the misfortune to be born during 1950s. Those who criticise should read up on the Injustice and the timetable for implementing the acceleration (2011) which surely must have been drawn up in a bar somewhere on the back of a cigarette paper.

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