Inspired by the recent student protests and angry about proposed local cuts, people in Lewisham stormed the town hall where a vote on the cuts was taking place. Around 100 people tried to force their way into the building in an attempt to stop the vote going ahead. Some protestors got to the council chamber whilst others faced police brutality in the lobby, where batons and fists rained down on the protest. After half an hour, the protestors were ejected from the building. The meeting was subsequently held in private where the first wave of cuts were passed by the Labour-run council.
The lobby at the town hall continued outside where several hundred people faced riot police, horses and dogs. There were so many officers that the south circular road outside the town hall was closed due to the number of police cars and vans.
The anger displayed at Lewisham and the willingness to take direct action may be an indication of things to come. As cuts are passed and implemented across the country, it looks increasingly likely that they will be faced by serious opposition. As a participant at Lewisham put it, “the cuts must be unworkable, we must be ungovernable.”