May 01, 2014
"No more cuts. No more austerity. Demand the alternative."
That's the message of a growing network of individual campaigners and organizations in the UK which have come together under the banner of the People's Assembly Against Austerity and announced their promise "to take down" the ruling coalition government led by Prime Minister David Cameron and put an end to the destructive economic policies that have sacrificed the needs of the working, marginalized and middle classes of the county in order to appease the interests of the nation's wealthy and powerful elite.
"We can organise a fairer, more just society than they can. These demonstrations are the start." --Russell Brand
Well-known comedian and British activist Russell Brand came out in support of the effort on Thursday and announced that he will be among others speaking at the group's large-scale rally scheduled for June 21st in London.
"The People's Assembly will bring down any government that doesn't end austerity," said Brand in a public statement in support of the leftist coalition that includes labor unions, anti-war campaigners, environmental groups, and those from various sectors calling for a new economic paradigm.
He described the economics of austerity as a set of policies that keeps "all the money among people who have loads of it" and said it is the most urgent crisis to address because "all other problems radiate from this toxic swindle."
Organizers are calling for tens of thousands of Britons to join the People's Assembly for the June protest as they target both the BBC and Parliament for the role both institutions have played in undermining the common good.
The planned demonstration will begin outside the London headquarters of the nation's prominent public broadcaster--where it will blast the BBC for its lack of coverage of anti-austerity actions and perspectives--before marching on Parliament Square.
"Make no mistake, these [austerity] cuts are killing people and destroying cherished public services which have served generations," said Sam Fairbairn, National Secretary of the People's Assembly.
"Soon," Fairbairn promised, "we will reach a size and influence where neither the BBC nor this austerity government will be able to ignore us."
Brand, who became an international cause celebre last fall when he appeared on a prominent British news show and said, "Revolution is coming... I ain't got a flicker of doubt," as he skewered politics-as-usual in the UK and articulated the anger simmering across the world over rising inequality and the brutality of austerity.
In his comments promoting the upcoming People's Assembly rally in London, Brand said the whole idea is that alternatives to the prevailing economic systems and policies do exist, but they are continually cast off by those in powers. "We can organise a fairer, more just society than they can," he said, refering to those who currently hold power. "These demonstrations are the start."
Always the comedian, Brand concluded, "It will be a right laugh."
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.