If you’re feeling a little under the weather with councils announcing their cuts to schools, housing, jobs and services – this is not the time to sink back and accept it. The Tories have presented us with a storm – a cyclone – of cuts that will affect all of us, but staying at home and hiding under the bed doesn’t mean it’s going to go away.
Right now we still have the opportunity of fighting back, of getting through, of winning a concourse against gloom. And we will. Why? Because our fight is protecting the poorest, the most vulnerable and basic human rights. Because we have something we can work together for. Because our Values overwhelm our personal ambition for greed. Because we’ve done it before – the suffragettes, civil rights, poll tax – and we will do it again.
Yes, as others have pointed out, the student demonstration at the end of January ended up without purpose or direction, but the fact was that there were still thousands of people there, colourful, with numerous placards and from all across the political spectrum. And UKUncut has shown that an autonomous campaign can work. It’s not the people we’re lacking, nor is it the lack of awareness – it is the missing motivation, the lack of fuel that keeps our engines from churning and our heads from imagining.
Our next move has to look into alternative proposals, ones which are feasible and possible. Those alternatives need to take into consideration the broad concerns that will be chopped. We need to stop the “Tory Scum” shouts and “Nick Clegg blue” chants; a lesson I learnt from the anti-KKK movement – hatred will get us nowhere. We need to be intelligent, innovative and disruptive. We need to show a new face of protest – a face which is positive and will not give up.
Next Steps: Some ideas
On 26th March, when we march for the alternative: jobs, growth and justice – there are ways we can be more effective. The biggest step we can make is by stopping and sitting down in Parliament Square. If coordinated, we could stop traffic from coming through, block access to Parliament and create an image that the media will not forget. Yes, the police will threaten us, and force us up. Some of us may even get arrested. But in every fight there are casualties; no great freedom movement has been without arrests.
The end of March is also when most Bankers will be given tidy sums of large quantities of money. The predicted bonus rate this year is very small and lightly taxed sum of £6 billion – all of our cuts covered for a year. Now considering it was financial deregulation and bailing out the banks that put us in this position in the first place, this all seems a little fishy.
- Close down a branch or the main Headquarters of a bank.
- Stand outside a job centre in a suit and a Top Hat, begging for moneys for bonuses (while handing out information about cuts)…
- [comment, and I’ll add to this list]
The end of March is also when the Corporate Heist begins. Instead of bemoaning yet another win for the rich, big business needs a little shake up. While UKUncut tackles tax avoiders, with the charm and knack that they have, how about we tackle their bigger corporate brothers – the ones who are too busy looking suited in posh fancy offices Bank and the City. They were the ones that were supposed to be auditing the banks and ensuring that the banks’ finances were in order. So it’s a good question to ask why they’re getting corporate tax cuts while the rest of us are losing our schools.
- Dress up as bandits (in suits) and act out raids on corporate offices, holding delightful signs like “my paycheck is reducing my sister’s kids a chance to go to a good school” or “This suit is proudly sponsored by the newly homeless”
- Set up a booth outside your local council with a pseudo-corporate logo offering to except taxpayers money for closing medical facilities, getting rid of social housing, cutting legal aid, etc.
- Corporate Heist flash mobs? Shady looking people in suits sidling up to people and giving them mafia-esque leaflets about how their extortion works? (via Beth)
- Wanted posters? (via Beth)
- [comment, and I’ll add to this list]
Don’t give up hope all. The fight’s not over yet.