The Shields Gazette got it wrong tonight, in an article covering a protest over the Gypsies Green stadium development. The article stated that:
"The campaigners planned to picket the a meeting of East Shields community area forum, held at the town's Ridgeway Family Centre in Park Avenue, but it failed to materialise."
It did materialise so I wonder how the reporters at the Gazette got it wrong. Fortunately, the Gazette's website seems to have rewritten the news and reported it as:
"Campaigners also turned up before a meeting of East Shields community area forum, held at the town's Ridgeway Family Centre in Park Avenue, last night."
Hopefully the Gazette will provide a clear correction tomorrow.
I had gone along to the picket at Ridgeway Family Centre to find out what it was all about for myself from those involved, and signed their petition. Whilst I'm opposed to the privatisation of public space, I did notice the protest itself turn ugly and very disturbing. Some of the protesters verbally abused one mother visiting the centre (with her child) who didn't agree with them, and had a running argument with one councillor. When one person suggested that a hotel could bring jobs, some of the comments about the people who would work at the hotel were xenophobic bordering on racist.
I'm all for public protest but intimidation is not the way to gain support.
Trick or treat crime
Foreseeing a trick or treat crime wave this Halloween Inspector Peter Sutton advised those present at the East Shields CAF meeting that in the run up to Halloween the police are asking retailers not to sell eggs or flour to under-sixteens. I'm not a fan of this US import of child begging with threats, but if there's anything that should be banned from sale it's the tons of plastic crap that will end up in bins on the 1st November.
Invisible protest - update 27.10.2007
The Gazette has today clarified the reason for the incorrect protest report above:
"It [the protest] took place at 4.30pm, outside Ridgeway Family Centre in Park Avenue, rather than the advertised time of 6pm."
I don't know what advertised time they were referring to, the CAF meeting time of 6pm or the pre-meeting training session at 4.30pm, or indeed a time they were advised by the protest organisers.
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