South Yorkshire Freedom Riders’ campaign to win back free train travel

Please support the campaign below being organised by our comrades at Barnsley Trades Council.

Hi,

The campaign to win back free train travel for older people in South Yorkshire is now well into its 9th month. In all that time we have sustained weekly activities at a bare minimum. Older and disabled people lost their rights to free train travel when the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive axed them as aresult of Tory spending cuts.

Our campaign has been successful in winning back free train travel for disabled people and half fares for older people. We fight on to win back free travel. As Graham Kyte, chair of Barnsley Central Constituency Labour Party says, (and a former SDYPTE member), “The reason you have won some concessions is because you have campaigned.”

The last Freedom Ride we organised was on June 23rd which finished with pensioners and disabled people being kettled on Sheffield sstation and two of our number being arretsed. Since then we have concentrated on lobbying councillors.

The 2 Freedom Riders who were arrested at Sheffield Station on June 23rd appear in Sheffield Magistrates Court on Mon. Dec. 8th and Barnsley Trades Council has called a mass protest outside.from 8.45am onwards. (The trial is scheduled to last all week). UNITE the Union is paying for coaches to bring demonstrators through from Barnsley.

We hope to turn this into a large trade union solidarity demonstration which can show how popular the idea of free train travel for older people is in the wider movement, and how shocked people have been by seeing the clips of the arrests on Youtube.

We call on your union body/you as an individual to support our campaign and demonstration. Please bring your union banners.

Please forward this email as widely as possible. If you would like flyers please get in touch by email or phoning 07594857960. See you on the 8th!

Dave Gibson (Barnsley Trades Council chair)

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