Protests among public services
AS the sun beat down on College Green, the winter of discontent seemed a long way off.
But the message was clear: the industrial disputes that heralded the Thatcher era more than 30 years ago could soon be back.
The Conservatives, led by the 'Iron Lady' Margaret Thatcher, introduced tough measures to bring the economy under control in the early 1980s, and trades unionists staged demonstrations against cuts in public services.
Yesterday saw the start of a revival of that defiance as union members, public sector workers, pressure groups and left wingers held a rally to protest against the austerity package from new Chancellor George Osborne.
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One of the protesters was retired teacher Dick North, 64, who lives in Horfield and is chairman of the city council's joint trade unions' committee.
He well remembers 1981 because he was suspended by his union, the National Union of Teachers, for helping to organise an unofficial strike.
He said: "In those days, there was still a manufacturing industry in Britain but now it is so thin, the public sector is the only target for attack."