This is the first in a special series of blogs that will be published here in the run-up to UK Uncut’s Great British Street Party on Saturday 26th May. On that day people in towns and cities around the country will be coming out onto the streets to show they are ready to be disobedient and disruptive in order to demand a future where they- not big business or a cabinet of millionaires- call the shots.
These blogs will be written by trade unionists, women’s rights groups, members of the occupy movement, NHS and environmental campaigners and other writers and thinkers. We want to open a discussion about what an alternative future, without austerity, can look like and how we can create it. We want a future that isn’t dictated to us by tax avoiders and corrupt politicians but decided by us all- together.
This is a guest post by Matthew Carter.
The battle against this government’s cuts and austerity plan involves a range of issues. Whether it’s cuts to housing benefit, disability living allowance, the privatisation and dismantling of the NHS or library and youth centre closures, the coalition is attacking a way of life people in this country have fought to build over many years.
The Great British Street Party is about bringing people together so they can assemble and discuss how to work together to create a future which many feel they’ve lost- one based on fairness, opportunity, dignity and co-operation rather than the current politics of fear and uncertainty. We have to prevent the next generation from losing out and make sure they don’t carry the burden of an economic crisis, caused by the banks and spurred on by politicians, which they had no responsibility for causing.
At this time of flag-waving, when the government hopes the upcoming Jubilee and Olympics will create a ‘feel-good-factor’ to hide the devastating impact of their unfair and unnecessary cuts programme, we must question and debate what this country is really about and what we, as a society, with progressive, democratic values, want it to be.
Let’s look at the facts. We’ve just had a budget that again took from the poor and gave to the rich. This is despite the fact that a million 16-24 year olds are out of work- the highest for ten years at a rate above the EU average- with Britain’s female unemployment rate hitting a 25 year high. Austerity may be working for bosses and the banks but it isn’t working for Britain.
Since it began, UK Uncut protests have been about challenging the government’s lies and the fiction that there is no alternative to the cuts. Almost every day we hear about a new tax-avoidance scam that shows that this country isn’t broke- it’s just that rich individuals and powerful corporations aren’t paying their fair share.
At a time when Cameron, Osborne and Clegg can only come up with more cuts as an answer to further economic decline, we must keep on highlighting the alternatives to austerity and demand that the government protects our public services, our rights and our welfare system.
Please join me and the many others on 26th May who want to take back our future and make sure it’s uncut. It’s time to show that we are ready to go further in using direct action and civil disobedience to stop the government’s ruinous cuts and lies. We will put ourselves- and our bodies- in the way of the people who are trying to dictate our future to us. Organise a street party where you live to celebrate the services that are under attack and resist their closure. Hold it in the road, the high street, or outside your local library and reclaim your future.
Get in touch to find out about actions near you: firstname.lastname@example.org