People’s Assembly’s mass protest in Newcastle

Three generations of a North East family joined more than 1,000 demonstrators in the North East to protest against Government cuts.

John and Isabelle Baker, their daughter Abby Schoneboom, her husband John and their children Oscar aged eight and four-year-old Maisie were part of the North East People’s Assembly event in Newcastle on Saturday.

Abby, 44, said: “We’re here because we’re appalled by the cuts.

“I grew up in Fenham which had excellent libraries and there was a welfare state when you needed it. I was able to go from a council estate to study at Oxford University. I think that’s not possible now because the support systems are being ripped away from under our feet.

“Communities are being shut down in an almost vengeful manner.”

Abby returned to Newcastle five years ago after living for 15 years in the US where she met husband John, 55, from New York.

He commented: “I come from a country where the health system is broken and you don’t want that.

“I think it’s a great shame about what’s happening to the NHS – it’s one of the things that makes Britain great.”

Isabelle, 69, added: “I worked in the public sector all my working life in libraries. It’s not just about libraries, everything is being taken away from us. It’s time to stand up and be heard. That’s why we’re all here.”

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