Cat L gives her account of Saturday’s march against austerity.
What a fantastic day! 50,000 strong marched from BBC HQ on to Parliament. Unite provided a free coach from Portsmouth and it was great to see so many aboard.
I met some fantastic people from around the county and felt very honoured to be part of such a huge act of solidarity against this corrupt coalition and its blatant attack on the poor.
Outside Downing Street a large gathering of angry people happily singing “David Cameron is a Wanker”. About 6 police officers stood guard and seemed to be very relaxed, non fussed with the gathering (I expect it’s nothing new to them). They began twitching when Class War stopped by, they came in fast in perfect formation proudly holding their flags, in between the crowd singing “David Cameron is a Wanker” they shouted ‘Class war’ I was filming as they arrived and unfortunately my battery died which is a real shame because it was a beautiful moment and my words can not do it justice.
We arrived at Parliament Square and found it difficult to find a space, there were so many there. I was moved by some great speakers so here is a basic sum up of what I heard them say;
Mayor Lutfur Rahman spoke about child poverty and proudly announced that Tower Hamlets delivers the education maintenance allowance that the ConDems scrapped. He stated enough is enough; we should protect the deprived and protect our communities.
Lindsey German from Stop the War Coalition thanked everyone for coming she asked ‘13 years of war billions spent and they say there is no money for welfare’?
Doncaster Care UK declared ‘We are the 7th richest economy in the world yet 1 person in 5 is below the poverty line’.
Jeremy Corbyn MP said that there is a blame game being played to hide the real culprits. We must show solidarity against capitalists. We need care for the elderly and a future for our young and called everyone to please support the public sector strike.
Caroline Lucus‘ simple message ‘stop punishing the poor’! She spoke about a coordinated movement to stop the bedroom tax and was angry about people having to rely on food banks when we have one of the richest economies in the world. Her solutions were; a Robin hood tax, cutting tax avoidance and to scrap Trident.
Owen Jones asked who was really responsible for the mess of the country the Polish fruit pickers or the bankers who plunged us into economic disaster.
Russell Brand arrived on his bicycle, a tad late! Pointing to the Houses of Parliament he said ‘power is not there, it’s here, it’s within us’ he joked Democracy would be nice actually were people were represented!
Russell also stated that ‘when I was poor complaining about inequality I was accused of bitterness and jealousy and now I have some money I’m accused of hypocrisy. It seems the subject isn’t wanted on the agenda’!
Matt Wrack from FBU spoke about their slogan ‘We rescue people not bankers’ this was inspired by fire fighters in Spain who were told to evict an 86 year old lady and they refused.
My favourite speaker of the day Francesca Martinez. She held her brother‘s arm as she announced ‘I’m a bit wobbly’! She is happy to fund welfare and our NHS and not happy to fund war! ‘Fuck profit’, she shouted ‘we are not economic commodities; we all have a right to happiness, health and opportunity regardless of ability or economic background’.
I was very inspired by Focus E15 Mothers, speaking about being evicted from their hostel, made homeless and told they had to seek accommodation in Manchester, Hastings or Birmingham. They all got together to fight to remain in East London near their families. They were re-housed in the borough in private accommodation with only 12 month contract. The young girl who spoke said ‘We are fighting for social housing not social cleansing’
My perfect end to the day was a picnic in Parliament square with friends and family while my favourite rapper Logic Performed. I love his music and think he is a great role for the young people of our country.
I would like to add that I completely disgusted at the BBC for not reporting the march. Apparently some rich person’s baby walking is news but 50,000 people marching on Parliament isn’t. So I ask had there been violence or destruction of property would there have been more media attention?
Thousands of people, young and old, representing countless others want their voices heard. There are only 10 months until the GeneralElection, but that is still plenty of time for the ConDems to further tear apart our services, NHS, and welfare. They want to destroy our lives, communities and our children’s education. Solidarity is strength; we can fight! enough is enough!