I attended both protest meetings held in Palmerston Road and Commercial Road earlier today held in support of 900 workers whose jobs are to end at BAE’s shipyard.
It was really well supported considering the atrocious weather conditions we had. Those that did make the effort to attend listened to a variety of key speakers who spoke passionately about their sadness at the possible end of over 500 years of shipbuilding.
Each emphasising in their own way that Portsmouth people are not willing to just accept this decision to end their proud history.
There were also announcements of further job losses announced by BAE at other sites in Scotland.
The city is genuinely devastated by this decision and are desperate to send a clear message out to our governments and politicians that Portsmouth is a yard still very much open for business!
What impressed me more today though was the fact that this was a peaceful no nonsense protest attended by families and by many local businesses whose lives this will most definitely impact upon.
There is a march planned for next weekend from the Dockyard and I am hoping to be there and that the numbers attending will swell?
The family which I chose for my shot were very representative of all those gathered; and I loved the little girls hand written poster stating ‘Pompey Needs Ships’
I am assuming her Dad was a worker there? He must have been proud to have his whole family supporting him and all of the other workers represented today!
These are hard and challenging times for us all without a doubt, particularly when you are one of the unfortunate ones set to lose your job; worse still on this the run up to Christmas!
I feel for all those involved and I wish them all the luck in the world in their quest to fight for every job!
As I walked back towards the car in the rain I could hear the supporters loudly chanting in the distance “Job cuts go away, shipbuilding is here to stay”