This Saturday, a lot of people will be marching through London to protest against government cuts. But that’s quite vague, so we asked a few people what exactly they’re protesting about.
Why are you protesting on 26th March?
I would have been marching anyway because I am fortunate enough to live in a country where I won't be shot at for standing up for my beliefs, so not to is a waste of that opportunity in my opinion.
The decision to form a group of artists came from Gary Horsman at this year’s Devoted and Disgruntled weekend. Protests often feel futile and we wanted to find a way to contribute that was meaningful and with pride and purpose. So ‘Puppets For Protest – No Strings Attached’ was hatched to encourage artists, writers, performers, film-makers, dancers and all creative activists to show their support, not just for their own livelihoods but for everyone affected by the impending cuts.
Primarily we are there to support the cause but also to educate people. By having a visual presence we hope to secure a photo opportunity to get our message across. We have a creative resource so we should use it. We want to represent every profession under threat to show how everyone is affected, not just complain about not getting to do the regional theatre we want. Theatre can be political but mostly isn’t. We’re asking folk to bring puppets, even the sock off their foot will do. I suspect there will be some on the hoof creativity on the day.
What's the point? Protesting doesn't change anything.
If not now then when, if not here then where, if not you then who? It’s the People’s Charter and we are the people. If we do nothing, nothing changes. My conscience won't allow me not to march. It’s also a show of solidarity and compassion for all the other professions affected. It will be interesting to see how the police respond to us, bearing in mind we are out marching for their jobs.
Doesn't the UK have a massive debt? What's the alternative to cuts?
It’s easy to point the finger of blame but we do need solutions. If this march even succeeded to get the questions raised that would be something. There are tax loopholes the government could look into and how money is currently allocated.
I’m not a politician but I believe there must be alternatives. How can we prevent another banking crisis happening? What is in place? There are still massive bonuses being handed out to bankers and we are encouraged as a culture to keep on spending and getting into debt. The country is its people and to cut where they are needed most is a false economy.
Sarah-Louise Young is a member of March Against the Cuts - Puppets for Protest.
Photo by lisaclarke under a Creative Commons licence.