It's another day of strikes and protests in London and the rest of the country. Up to 2 million public sector workers, members of 30 different unions, are taking action against changes to their pension plans. More on the background here, but here's the latest in London.
Facts and figures
- More than 2,000 London schools are closed today, as teachers strike.
- Reduced services for refuse collection, in day-care services and libraries.
- London Ambulance Service is 'struggling' as 27% of control room staff and 42% of crews strike. 6,000 operations have been cancelled across the country.
- A walk-out by immigration officials has not affected passengers at London's airports or St Pancras International, reports suggest.
- 135,000 civil servants, about a quarter of the total, are on strike.
Strike action and protests
- Reports vary, but between 20,000 and 50,000 people are on the main London march today, which is currently winding through the West End.
- Occupy London are organising a protest in Piccadilly Circus at 3pm.
- Picket lines have been drawn outside the Old Bailey, the Royal Courts of Justice, Westminster Magistrates' Court and West London Magistrates' Court.
- The Guardian reports four arrests in London this morning, 'two for assaulting an officer and two for possession of a weapon'. Later, 30 people were detained in Dalston Lane to 'prevent a breach of the peace'.
- "I think the strike is regrettable and wrong, it wont make a bean of difference to the outcome of the argument." - Boris Johnson
- "Despite the disappointment of the party opposite, who support irresponsible and damaging strikes, it looks like something of a damp squib." - David Cameron
- "[Working people are] being asked to pay for the economic mess caused by the greedy City elite whose behaviour this spineless government has repeatedly failed to tackle" - Unite general secretary Len McCluskey
- "I'd like a crowd. I thrive on the applause so trying to find an audience today has been more difficult than I thought it would be. People are getting their bags and moving straight on." - Magician Danny Hall, disgruntled by the lack of trouble at Gatwick Airport, where he's been drafted in to entertain the inconvenienced masses.
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