Saturday 1363 -21.06.2014
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I could have had a relaxing day pottering in my garden today; bathing in the midsummer sun but instead I got myself up and travelled to London to join up to 50,000 other people in a march and rally against the austerity measures in this country. The march was organised by The People’s Assembly against Austerity and I encourage you to find out more about this organisation by clicking here or on their facebook page here
I don’t need to tell many of you that the governments austerity measures are causing extreme hardship in the Uk with millions of people who are actually working living below the poverty line. It is sadly ironic that the “traditional” family, of one parent working and the other staying at home to look after children, that the Tory government purports to support! make up a huge proportion of those who are unable to earn a living wage. This should be an embarrassment to a government that espouses the idea that work is the best way out of poverty.
The number of people using foodbanks in the UK has tripled in 2013/14 with close to a million people being given 3 days emergency food supplies according to the Trussell Trust – more about this here including statistics about causes etc. This is a national disgrace for such a comparatively wealthy country. I have written about the increase in food banks before and you can see that post here
The irony of marching against Austerity was not lost on me as we marched through a part of London, Regent Street’s “mile of style”, which is dedicated to getting people to spend as much money as possible, on things they don’t really need, but which appeal to their vanity. It’s full of shops, spas etc! see the 2 in the picture left of this who were out having a break from their pleasure!
One of the appropriate chants from the marchers was “Stop shopping, Save the NHS”
How on earth do we educate our seemingly money driven , greedy, apathetic society that people are more important than things.
You will see from my photos that there were many groups represented at the march from Unions to CND to Stop the War, socialists, environmentalists, housing , disability rights and justice campaigners. This is because every part of society, except it seems the rich who have got richer, are affected by Austerity measures.
When the march entered Parliament Square for a rally and festival, which included contributions from politicians, writers, poets , musicians and comedians, we passed under a statue of Winston Churchill and I took this photo as the union Unite went by him . I wonder what he would have made of this all !!
Speakers included many representatives of Unions including the National Union of Teachers, Unite and the Fire Brigades Union, writer Owen Jones, MPs Caroline Lucas, Dianne Abbott and Jeremy Corbin, the poet Stephen Morrison Burke and musicians as well as comedians Francesca Martinez, Russell Brand and Kate Smurthwaite as well as many others.
There was some humour in the banners too, including this pink confection with Pom Poms…
..but this banner also carried very serious messages including this below..
Update Sunday morning - Sadly this march which began right under the BBC’s windows was ignored by them until a storm of complaints from myself and I’m sure hundreds or maybe thousands of others resulted in this on the BBC facebook page along with a 25 sec film with no commentary.
It was the first demonstration organised by the People’s Assembly campaign group, which included politicians, union leaders and celebrities.
Organisers say tens of thousands protested against the impact of cuts around the country.”
Finally I will leave you with a quote from the People’s Assembly -
“We face a choice that will shape our society for decades to come. It is a choice faced by ordinary people in every part of the globe.
We can defend education, health and welfare provision funded from general taxation and available to all, or we can surrender the gains that have improved the lives of millions of people for over more than 50 years.”
and my favourite banner from the march from psychologists against austerity….
Amen to that !
As ever I welcome your thoughts .
Saturday girl signing off.
You can find my photography blog Photomania here