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London Protest Against Arts Cuts 26 March - ArtLyst Article image

London Protest Against Arts Cuts 26 March

25-03-2011
 
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Royal festival Hall Is Meet Up Point For Artists 10am

Groups of artists protesting on the 26th March are meeting outside the Royal festival Hall on the other side of the embankment before marching across to join the much larger march.  This will give everyone a chance to meet up with likeminded protesters. As many as 200,000 people are expected to descend on the capital this weekend for a unity display of peaceful action against the coalition spending cuts. It will take the form of a march starting at the Victoria Embankment at 11am and finish at a mass rally in Hyde Park where a line up of speakers and music will extend throughout the day. Labour politicians including leader Ed Miliband will take part, as well as officials from scores of trade unions, community groups, student and pensioner organisations, and a number of activists planning to take direct action.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) organizers of the march have carefully planned the demonstration and assure us it will be a non-violent and family friendly day out for all. The official view of the union is, “The cuts are too deep and too quick”, therefore a program of pro-active action needs to be initiated to get the message across to the Government. It is hoped that the figures will be much higher Saturday and in the months ahead up to a million will come forward and march. Arts Against Cuts are hosting a collaborative action and discussion focusing on the 26th March demo. The collective exercise in creative resistance against all public sector cuts is encouraged to meet up at RFH meeting point. The weekend is going to be beautiful and we want to make sure that this is a child friendly space.

The Metropolitan Police have appointed a “containment manager” to work alongside 1800 official TUC marshals in order to avoid a repeat of last year’s chaotic and violent protests. ‘Kettling’ which led to widespread criticism of the police and the death of Ian Tomlinson will only be used as a final measure, if the day’s events get out of hand. The police have assured the TUC that it will only use the measure to contain troublemakers and not vulnerable members of the public. The use of containment officers has recently been trailed successfully at smaller scale protests. This march is going to be the first full scale use of newly instated recommendations for demonstration policing.

The protest is important on many different levels and will affect a cross spectrum of interest groups. It is important for Artists and everyone working in the arts industries to show their support and march!!! - ArtLyst


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