Telegraph View: Which protests will live on?

Nancy Fielder
Nancy Fielder

Sheffield people have consistently organised, demonstrated and petitioned for a fair city and a fairer world.

I steal those words from Museum Sheffield’s Kim Streets (Page 18) because we all know it to be true.

I wonder if seeds of discontent about pressures on health and education will grow into something remembered in museums for centuries to come

Times have changed and many fear the creeping takeover of apathy but campaigning is very much alive and well.

Yesterday there was a ceremony in the Peace Gardens to remember victims of the Westminster terror attack. Just hours later, round the corner outside the Town Hall there was placard waving against Brexit.

Earlier in the week members of the National Union of Journalists marked the Local News Matters campaign near James Montgomery’s statue at Sheffield Cathedral.

He was editor of the Sheffield Iris and was twice jailed for sedition, once for speaking up when city magistrates ordered troops to attack a political demonstration in Sheffield.

Yet so many of the big names of the past are hardly known today, thus a graveyard in Wincobank is able to be put on the market without a mention of anti-slavery campaigner Mary-Anne Rawson who is buried there.

Perhaps it is the impact of large demonstrations on hearts, minds and memories that matter more than individuals. I wonder if seeds of discontent about pressures on health and education will grow into something that is remembered in museums for centuries to come.

Even if you agree with making a small contribution to schools, everyone must accept that is a seismic step away from a free system which generations of people campaigned to create.

I went to university in the final year of grants. How radically our views of paying for higher education have changed in a relatively short time.

The NHS is no different, although it could be argued is already much further down the same path.

What do you think? Email me at nancy.fielder@jpress.co.uk with your views.