Looking back at yesterday’s protest from the 5,000 ‘children’.... it would appear that the ITA’s suspension of the Taxi protest in and around Parliament Square was the right decision.
The so called children -mainly six form students- were captured on camera, trying to jump the roof in of a recovery truck, cars were whacked with placards and the afternoon was far from peaceful. When their demo ended, their rubbish was left speak over the square....so much for worrying about the environment.
The trolls and keyboard warriors most of whom have never been on a single protest, have been active since the news of the suspensions broke, but the ITA believe driver's safety and that of their vehicle is paramount.
The protests will continue at 1pm on Monday and will also go ahead on Wednesday. Friday 22nd Protest is again suspended as the ITA consider that the presence of two opposite factions demonstrating will put drivers and their vehicles in danger.
If you have any suggestions about the protests, timings or venues, then simply come along on Monday (join the loonies) and speak to the organisers, who will discuss the matter with you.
After the Mayor's swerve on the subject of Taxi access at question time in Bexley, it looks like the only barrier to our victory with the 'Where a Buses Go', Taxis Go campaign, is Mike ‘on side’ Brown.
Although there is supposed to be an engagement policy in place, involving the LTDA, LCDC, UCG, RMT and Unite, it didn't go unnoticed that the Mayor only thanked the LTDA and Unite for their support. Looks like the engagement policy has been replaced by the Vichy Policy.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : Blast From The Past.
Again, to all those who say Demos Don't Work!
Let's just reflect on the list of victories from rank and file driver led protests, demonstrations and Flash Mob hits have achieved.
A massive demo and coordinated rest day in the early seventies stopped us having to collect VAT for the government on Taxi fares!
Another mass protested at the old GLC HQ stopped speed bus being introduced across London in segregated bus lanes similar to the cycle lanes we see today, which would have created large no-go areas for Taxis across the capital!
We demonstrated at Westminster Council House to stop Westminster council introducing licensed Private Hire offices across the west end, it proved successful... even though the LTDA told its members to stay away!
As Chairman of the LCDC, Jim Wells led many night time protests which saw:
• Mr Ali's illegal operation finally closed down
• Rank extension at the Victoria Sporting Casino
• The PH booking desk at the Hippodrome removed
• Cab rank implemented outside Stringfellows
•The lines of touts removed from outside Hombre (rank implemented) and The Sports Cafe touts arrested
• Ranks appointed in Coventry Street.
Under Jim Wells' leadership, we also created a data base of the registration numbers of virtually every private hire vehicle in London. Idea was to have an online data base that people could check to see if secondhand cars had been used as Minicabs.
All these victories where achieved by rank and file driver protests, flash mods and demonstrations.
When TfL sublet the bus stand in Whitcomb street to a private hire operator (WestOne Cars) with Marshals (supplied by Westminster council) touting by sending potential passengers to a booking office in Leicester Square, we had a massive all trade demo and their cars were forced to moved inside the car park on the corner of Panton Street.
Once out of view, it finished them off and the Marshals (financed by Westminster) soon disappeared, after further demos.
Killer on the Knowledge fiasco :
We then heard through an insider at TfL, that there was a former Private Hire driver, (who had murdered his wife and also seriously assaulted his daughter) on the knowledge. We (RMT, LCDC) held two mass demos outside Penton Street and not only was he slung off the KoL, but the Managing Director for TfLTPH (Ed Thomson), was moved on.
The Twitter action Group (TaG hit squad) Flash demos at Tiger Tiger, Bear Street Charing Cross Road, Argyle Street, Hanover Square and Swallow Street led to new ranks being appointed. This led on to more driver led action from the Mayfair Mob and Radio Circuits (minus ComCab who at the time were strongly affiliated to the LTDA) at Nobu.
Later, action from the Mayfair Mob saw new ranks implemented at Hakassan and Novakov. Action that followed on from the UCG at Abacus/Forge saw a more sensible solution to the rank in the City
Again, with assistance from radio circuits Dial a Cab and Radio Taxis, more night time demos and flash mob protests resulted in ranks at Smiths and Fabrics.
I had a conversation over the weekend with a young driver sitting on the Shard taxi rank. I asked him if he had attended any of the protests in Parliament Square, he said "No, demos don't work".
I pointed out to him, that the only reason he was able to sit comfortably on the Shard rank, was the fact that the LCDC had organised a protest at Palestra over Peter Hendy saying it was impossible to have a rank in St Thomas street for the Shard. (The LTDA said it couldn't be done and advised members to stay away from demo).
While on the subject, let's not forget the email from Steve McNamara to Mike brown:
He said drivers protesting for the salvation of the trade that gives them a living and puts food on the family table, were 'Loonies'.
In my opinion appeasement and collaboration for an easy ride and a seat at the table, is treason towards your trade and your fellow drivers.
We are making ways with the protests outside Parliament, and we must keep up the current pressure.... Khan has now switched and lied about who is behind our exclusions, because of pressure from MPs, Peers and Assembly members who support our call for “Where Buses Go, Taxis Go”.
Parliament Square, Monday 1pm till 4pm