Strike update: 39 arrests in Hackney

The 37 protesters who were detained by police earlier have now all been arrested for breach of the peace – bringing the total number of Hackney arrests during the strike to 39.

Officers and a dog unit had held the campaigners in Dalston Lane, Dalston, after they gathered there to participate in the pubic sector workers’ strike over proposed government cuts to their pensions.

In a separate incident earlier this morning, officers covering the strike action arrested two people after a female PCSO was assaulted at Hackney Bus Garage, in Mare Street, at 7.45am. The PCSO did not require hospital treatment, and two people remain in custody.

Elsewhere, the day of action continues to hit Hackney hard.

Civilian police staff, such as PCSOs and control room workers, joined the strike and gathered outside Stoke Newington Police Station, and some medical staff are on strike outside Homerton Hospital.

Teachers and teaching assistants are among those at picket lines across the borough, and only a handful of Hackney’s schools are open or partially open.

The action is “the biggest public sector strike in a generation” according to Mark Lushington, the Hackney representative of the National Union of Teachers.

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“Teachers are furious,” he added. “They have been in a pay freeze and are faced with having to pay more per month into their pensions. That money is going straight into the Treasury to fill the deficit caused by the banks – but there’s no special tax on the banks. No way, we are not going to do it.”

Matthew Waterfall, branch secretary for Hackney Unison, the public sector trade union, said about 75 per cent - or 1,875 - of his 2,500 members are taking part.

“We do not want to inconvenience people but at the same time we need them to see the work we do is really important,” he said.

How is the strike affecting you in Hackney? Contact reporter Chloe Mayer with your pictures or stories at