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UK Uncut's Great British Street Party

May 26, 2012 12:30

Tagged as: cuts social_struggles solidarity ukuncut

Let’s go on a journey back in time to the year 1948…

Britain was emerging from a World War and had a huge national debt. Much bigger than the one we face today. Did we see painful cut backs and austerity measures?

No, quite the opposite. We saw the birth of our National Health Service and the Welfare State. The UK was the first country to make health care, social care and financial security accessible to all.

Places:

Streetparty-medium


1948 saw the launch of ground-breaking new laws designed to protect and care for everybody in our society, including universal unemployment benefits, universal child benefits, disability benefits, rights to housing and the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

1948 – a year when the Olympics were last in town and – at last – the people of Britain were looking forward to the future.

Britain back then really was ‘all in this together’. The future looked better than the past. So, we partied in the streets and dreamt of what we could achieve as people and as a country.

Fast forward to 2012 and things feel rather different. The government is not playing fair: its spending cuts are the deepest for decades and it's cheating ordinary people by forcing them to suffer for an economic crisis they didn’t cause.

The government is also lying: it actively enables big business to dodge tax and slashes tax rates for the wealthy. Right now, for us, for ordinary people in this country, the future’s not what it used to be.

So now is the time to party like it was 1948. Street parties are going to be all the rage for the Queen’s Jubilee. But let’s make ours have a twist.

On Saturday 26th May join UK Uncut’s Great British Street Party to demand that we keep our public services, our rights and our welfare system and to celebrate a new future that isn’t dictated to us by a handful of millionaires but decided by us all – together.

UK Uncut’s Great London Street Party

 

The government is slashing our public services and making the most marginalised people in our society pay for an economic crisis they did nothing to cause. It doesn’t have to be this way. In 1948 the UK’s national debt was far larger than it is today, but instead of cutting services and hitting the poorest hardest the NHS and the Welfare State were born.

So forget the Queen’s Jubilee and join the only London street party worth going to this summer – UK Uncut’s Great London Street Party. Let’s celebrate the services that are being destroyed, take the fight to the streets and party for our future, a different future, a better future, that we can build together.

The exact details of this special party aren’t being announced yet, but there are going to be four blocks to choose from, starting in different places in central London. Pick which block you want to be in, get together with your friends, start preparing and be ready to join the action in central London at 11am on Saturday 26 May. Check back nearer the time (or just keep an eye on twitter) when the starting points for the four blocks will be revealed… 

The future’s not what it used to be… for women
 
In the 1940s, women were joining the work force in their thousands. In 1948, the introduction of the NHS meant that it wasn’t only privately insured men who could access healthcare. A few years later an act was passed that stated that women teachers and civil servants should receive equal pay. This group is for everyone who wants to fight the disproportionately devastating impact of the cuts on women. Whether its the closure of women’s refuges, sure start, sexual health clinics, unemployment – particularly from cuts to the public sector, cuts in housing benefits or health in pregnancy grants- to name but a few- its time to take action! 

The future’s not what it used to be… for the National Health Service
 
In 1948 the Olympics were held in Britain and the National Health Service was born. There are few countries which provide free health care for everyone in the country. From tummy ache to tuberculosis, the NHS has people who will look after you for free. The NHS is very special and worth fighting for – yet it’s being dismantled and sold off despite massive opposition from the public and healthcare professionals. This group if for anyone who works in or cares about the NHS. 

The future’s not what it used to be… for the Welfare State
 
In 1945, it was thought that the government should care for people ‘from cradle to grave’. It was seen as important to make sure that people had food, shelter, health and education so that society was more equal. That’s what the Welfare State was set up to achieve. But today the Welfare State is under attack. The cuts to Disability Living Allowance, Education Maintenance Allowance and Job Seekers Allowance are massive and are particularly damaging for disabled people, people on low incomes, students, single parents, women, children, the unemployed and ethnic minorities. If you get angry every time a politician says the words ‘benefits scrounger’ – this is the group for you. 

The future’s not what it used to be… for real democracy
 
The government’s assault on our future is being dictated to us by a pack of rich and powerful tax dodgers, bankers and politicians who handsomely reward themselves and their friends while ruining our future. Whether you’re angry about the UK fighting unjust wars, building new nuclear weapons, refusing to tackle climate change or helping big business decide key policies, you’ll probably agree that democracy in the UK is in pretty bad shape. But it does not have to be this way. We can decide our future together, we can and must talk and work together, debate, plan and take action. This is the block for people who may want to plan a people’s assembly to talk about a future that we decide.

We’re going to party for a while, so make sure you’re prepared for the day. Dress up with your vision of the past, the present or our future – bring some food to share, bring your mates, bring outdoor games and be ready for a very different kind of street party…

Links:

Link_go UK Uncut

Additions

Meeting points & flyer for the day

More details and the meeting points for the day are here: http://ukuncut.org.uk/blog/meeting-points-for-london-action

Flyer for the day here: http://www.fileconvoy.com/dfl.php?id=ge71ef5abb0f1e76811569872c95ccf9a3e53d5

full info

Meeting Points For London Action

(This is a guest post for the London UK Uncut action on May 26th, there are more actions taking place all over the country)

It’s just under two weeks until the only London street party worth going to – UK Uncut’s Great London Street Party. You’ve invited all your friends, you know what bloc you’re going to be in and you’re ready to show that we won’t line up to celebrate the Queen and the Olympics while the government is destroying the services we hold dear – we will celebrate our resistance instead.

Here are the meeting points so you know where you need to be at 11am on Saturday 26th May:

The future’s not what it used to be… for women

Meeting point – outside 1 London Bridge

“Domestic violence victims don’t go and storm the local town hall to demand more help; rape victims don’t go to the local paper to complain that there isn’t a good service for them. They are invisible.” Women are facing the heaviest burden across all of the cuts – it’s time to show this government of privileged white men that women will not be an ‘easy target’.

The future’s not what it used to be… for the NHS

Meeting point – Opposite University College Hospital, Euston Road

It was in this hospital that David Cameron unveiled the results of the ‘listening exercise’, promising that the NHS would be safe in their hands. The NHS is now being starved of cash and sold off to private firms and tax dodgers, yet as we all know “The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it”. Show this government that there are still millions of people who still have the faith to fight!

The future’s not what it used to be… for the Welfare State

Meeting point – Waterloo Station Concourse

Half a million disabled people are set to lose government support, EMA is being axed and almost every form of welfare payment is being cut – this bloc is fighting back against the demonisation of ‘benefit scroungers’.

This is the most accessible bloc for the party. In order to maintain access, disabled participants have the option of travelling via a more accessible route that is direct and reduces changing modes of transport. We have checked our travel plans with disabled activists and can provide accessible transport from Waterloo to the party. So, if you’ve got any specific needs or you’re concerned about travel on the day, please email ukuncut@gmail.com so we can make arrangements for everyone.

The future’s not what it used to be… for real democracy

Meeting point – Parliament Square

The Houses of Parliament, the ‘mother of all parliaments’- home to a rich and disconnected elite forcing through law after law that the majority of the public didn’t vote for. Economic policies dictated by bankers and financial markets, unjust wars opposed by millions, and big business calling the shots on every decision – this is not real democracy. Join the movement for real democracy to decide our future together.

Things to bring!

- A tfl zone 1-6 off peak day travel card so you can get to the secret party location (£8.50, best bought in cash)
- Food – it wouldn’t be a street party without plenty of food to share
- Water – you’re going to be out all day, so make sure you’re prepared with lots of water
- Friends! – bring all your mates to this party, the more the merrier
- Costumes – dress up for the day, your vision of the past, the future, or the services closest to your heart that are facing cuts – make it fun and spectacular!
- Games & fun – we’re going to be out in the street all day, so bring fun games, instruments and things to do while we’re there
- All the family – this should be a good day out for all ages from newborns to great grandparents. The Welfare and Women’s blocs are the most accessible for people with push chairs or wheel chairs. Please bring everything you need with you for a full day out, like a folding chair or pillow and the possibility of some standing, walking, dancing and stories of the past and of the future to share.
- Waterproofs, warm clothes, sunscreen and a hat – you just never know!
- Your rights – we never know what police reaction will be like, please come prepared with information from Green and Black Cross.
- Tons of enthusiasm and energy – needed for partying, thinking, making new friends and creating a better future

Don’t bring:
- Bikes – you may need to leave them behind for a little while (up to you)
- Dogs (except guide dogs) – not everyone is a fan
- Loads of booze – Quite apart from the possibility of limited toilets and overpriced bags of salted peanuts at the action, alcohol will dehydrate you very quickly (and may well turn you into a liability for others)
- Huge things or heavy things – make sure you’re able to move around fairly easily and get on public transport

See you at the party!