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.
What are you doing on 26th March?
UK Uncut groups from across the country are coming together for the march in London, the first time the local groups have come together en masse. It's important to join the march to have as many people as possible to demonstrate anger at the cuts, push for the alternatives and put pressure on the government.
UK Uncut will be marching from Victoria Embankment at 11am with banners and flags to identify us. Some local groups are predicted to head towards Oxford Street where each will 'adopt' and occupy a target from high street tax avoiders — e.g. TopShop, Boots, Vodafone — and banks — e.g. Barclays, RBS, Natwest, Lloyds — from 2pm. From 3.30pm all groups will be coming together again to occupy a secret target, announced on the day, and hold it for as long as possible.
Why protest? It doesn't change anything.
Throughout history people have protested and won change, like votes for women, civil rights and the Welfare State. Progress has been won over time and it's important to fight to prevent that progress from being rolled back.
Doesn't the UK have a massive deficit? What's the alternative to cuts?
The banks and banking system caused the crisis with their reckless gambling. The government bailed out the banking system and now ordinary people are paying for the banks' greed. Government rhetoric and cuts agenda needs to be challenged and resisted. The government is trying to make people pay for this crisis twice — first with the bailout and now with the cuts to public spending to pay for the deficit.
There needs to be regulation to prevent a banking crisis happening again, and a clamp down on bankers' bonuses. Tax avoidance by big businesses and wealthy individuals costs the British economy £25 billion a year. If the government clamped down on tax loopholes and recouped this money, there would be no need to close swimming pools and women's refuges and cut the disability living allowance and education spending. The government is lying when they say "we're all in this together". They're allowing the richest to get away scott free and are instead punishing the poorest and most vulnerable people in society who rely on these hard-fought-for provisions. Society is too big to fail, not the broken banking system.