With Banners Held High 2019 was an absolute blinder of a day and a massive thank you must go out to the organisers who made such a wonderful occasion possible. Events like this are needed more than ever these days, to remind us who we are and what we are fighting for, to recharge our batteries and put the wind back in our collective sails.
Well, it certainly did all that.
I made it just in time to join the march and fell in behind comrades from Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, as up for it as ever, and just as determined to get that inquiry as the first day I met them. Inspirational folk. You should follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and help spread the word.
I had been asked to write a poem for the opening ceremony and delivered ‘With Banners Held High’ to a street full of amazing people and banners as far as the eye could see. An incredible scene.
There were phenomenal performances by Lily Gaskell, Bard Company and the incredible Commoners Choir whom I borrowed to close my set with ‘Haul Away, Boys’ and ‘No Pasaran’.
And it was great to see so many amazing comrades out supporting the event. From the fab ladies of the Women’s Banner Group to a big RMT contingent, fantastic company all.
Also brilliant to see RMT Deputy General Secretary Steve Hedley take to the stage for his keynote speech wearing a Joe Solo t-shirt remembering the ten International Brigade volunteers from Hull.
So full marks to everyone involved for another superb festival, and here’s to 2020!!
Thanks to Neil Terry, Paul and Lindsay Rutland, Sean Mcgowan, James McElhoney and everyone else who snapped the above pics.