Press release: Anti cuts activists target ‘architect of austerity’ Nick Clegg


Today, as part of a national day of action by UK Uncut[1], hundreds of activists targeted Nick Clegg’s home in South West London and his constituency office in Sheffield over his role in supporting the coalition’s cuts to public spending. Activists held street parties, mimicking the upcoming Jubilee, in celebration of public services currently under threat and “a future decided by us, not a bunch of out of touch millionaires”.

In London over 300 people took part in a anti-cuts street party directly outside the Deputy Prime Minister’s million pound Putney home.[2] The protest started just before 1pm when six activists in wheelchairs chained their wheelchairs together at each end of his road. Hundreds of protesters who had earlier assembled at four points in central London then arrived at the demonstration, the target of which had been a closely kept secret ahead of the day.

During the family-friendly street party protest, disabled campaigners, mothers with children, public service workers and activists enjoyed music, poetry, comedy, games and held a people’s assembly to discuss the alternatives to austerity.

In Sheffield, activists also targeted Nick Clegg’s local constituency office for his support of the coalition’s radical cuts programme and his parties broken election promises. The protest in London is part of a nationwide day of action, seeing anti-cuts street parties take place in ten cities across the UK.[3]

Paul Jones, 32, who attended the protest in London said:
“The blame for the vicious cuts to the NHS, to the welfare state and to our future lies at Nick Clegg’s door, so that’s where we’ve taken our protest.”

“No one voted for Cameron and Clegg’s plan to make the poorest and most marginalised in our society pay for a crisis caused by the banks, yet we are all being forced to pay now. Nick Clegg and the cabinet of out of touch millionaires can’t ignore public opposition any longer, we will not stand for their lies and we will not stand for their unfair cuts.”

Sarah Evans said:
“The government is calling on us all to celebrate the Jubilee next weekend, but most people who are feeling the pinch and seeing their vital services cut aren’t in the mood to just celebrate and ignore the fact that this government is wrecking our future. Nick Clegg made a personal choice to cut public services, he is an architect of austerity. This isn’t what he stood for at the last election, and its not what people voted for. People feel betrayed. We aren’t prepared to let Nick Clegg and his coalition allies wreck our future – so we are here today to take action. We are celebrating the public services like the NHS that we love, and celebrating a different future, decided by us – not a bunch of millionaires.”

Commenting on the UK Uncut action today, Public and Commercial Services union general secretary Mark Serwotka said:

“Our union is as one with UK Uncut activists in their fight against this government’s needless and politically-motivated cuts, and we applaud their innovative and inspirational action that takes the campaign right to the doorsteps of those responsible.

“We would like to see more of this kind of community campaigning, linking up with unions, arguing for the alternative to spending cuts, for investment to improve our public services and to protect our communities from what this arrogant government is trying to do.”[4]

ENDS

Note to editors:

[1] UK Uncut is a grassroots anti-cuts direct action network: http://www.ukuncut.org/

[2] Photos available from demotix – http://www.demotix.com/news/1238351/ukuncut-hold-street-party-nick-clegg-s-street

[3] Street parties are set to take place in the following cities: Bournemouth, Central London, Crawley – West Sussex, Derby, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Nottingham, Sheffield & York.

[4] For information on Mark Serwotka’s comments call Richard Simcox, PCS national press officer, on 07833 978216