Freedom Riders deserve praise and recognition

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The South Yorkshire Freedom Rider campaigners deserve the praise and recognition for standing up and fighting for the rights of vulnerable people and public transport with their peaceful protests.

Not only should there be affordable and accessible public transport but it’s right it should be free and concessionary for the elderly and disabled.

Northern Rail have used the police and private security to defend their action. How much has this cost?

The Condem austerity frenzy and funding restrictions are the root cause of this odious cutback although it was a backward step by South Yorkshire councils who made or defended the decision to axe the funding.

It was casino economics and corporate greed by politicians and bankers that caused the deficit, not the fault of the public.

Yet again it’s us who pay the price while they return to business as usual!

The police have blockaded station platforms and kettled elderly people, including the blind and disabled.

The freedom riders have been supported nationwide.

Action by the train companies and police has again shamed our area across the world – in denying people the right to peacefully protest and defend their rights.

I urge people to protest to their MPs and council in supporting the South Yorkshire Freedom Riders and campaigners Tony Nuttall and George Arthur, who are appearing for trial at Crown Court next month .

They are both charged with obstructing a police officer. Mr Arthur is also charged with fare evasion.

They were arrested after a protest at Sheffield railway station on June 23.

We should have free travel for the elderly and disabled who have paid into the big pot for a lifetime.

Ged Dempsey

Print worker