30 August 2002

Centenarian peer signs to back London March

From a veteran peer to rural

youngsters, and all ages in

between, support for the

Livelihood and Liberty March

is building to a crescendo.

Heres how you can show

your support for Britains

biggest ever rural protest

A 100-YEAR-OLD Labour peer and former Cabinet minister has signed up to support the Liberty and Livelihood March in London.

Lord Shawcross put his name to a register saying he will be "marching in spirit" on Sept 22, even though he is unable to attend the event. The register allows those who cannot join the March for reasons of work, responsibility or illness to add their voice to the demonstration.

Lord Shawcross, who was Attorney General in Clement Atlees post-War government, will stay on his farm at Cowbeech, Sussex, while his wife, daughters and grandchildren take part in the March. Two special trains will be leaving Sussex carrying marchers to London as well as dozens of coaches organised by local people.

Lady Shawcross said her husband believed it wasnt only fox hunters who were threatened by legislation. Farmers are suffering dreadfully and elderly people cannot access rural services. "He has always believed that a government must work for the whole country, not just those areas who voted for it."

Other people will also be marching in spirit. Robin Price, organiser of the first ever world sheepdog trials, said he was determined to support the March even though it clashes with his own event. Mr Price is vice-president of the International Sheep Dog Society, which will hold its event at Bala, Gwynedd, in Wales on Sept 19-22.

"March in Spirit is very important for people who, like me, cannot attend but want to show their support," said Mr Price, who breeds pedigree cattle and sheep. "If we brought one million people to London it would give a very strong message that people are not happy and have been pushed around for too long."

Mr Price hopes to attract between 20,000-30,000 spectators to the sheepdog trial, which was made possible after British rabies controls were recently relaxed. It is being held on the site of the very first recorded "international" sheepdog trial, which was competed by Scotland and Wales in 1873.

To register your support for the March and obtain an information pack call 0900-102 0900. Calls cost 60p/min, max cost £1.80. Hours of operation 8am-8pm daily.