With both the Olympics on the way and Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, 2012 is undeniably the opportune year for street parties and celebrations across the country. Putting an unconventional twist on celebrations this year, UK Uncut calls on supporters to close roads and occupy public spaces for very different reasons.
The group hope to stage a series of alternative street parties before the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics to highlight opposition to the government’s austerity programme. UK Uncut states it has no plans to directly disrupt or alter the UK’s celebrations this June and July but instead asks supporters to hold their alternative street parties on 26 May before the UK’s big summer events occur.
Though the protests may seem negative on the surface, the events will in fact focus on and celebrate Great Britain in the year of 1948. Another significant year for Britain, 1948 was the year the National Health Service was founded as well as the last year the country was lucky enough to have held the Olympics in London. Starting back in October 2010, the group have previously staged a series of protests over the past two years against tax avoidance and government cuts and have this time decided upon alternative street parties as a means of protest. The street parties are designed to be a more enjoyable and appealing way for supporters to come together on the streets of their neighbourhoods to defend public services, welfare systems and rights across the country.
Rachel Woodhead, a supporter of UK Uncut, said: “We can let the government and corporations control our future. Or we can fight, taking our future out of the hands of a tiny group of millionaires to instead create a future which benefits everyone.”
Over the next few weeks, a group of volunteers will be touring the country to help deliver skill shares on direct action, communications and legal rights that will help to prepare communities wishing to hold street parties to inspire the public to resist the cuts and celebrate the future. “We want people to work with their friends, family and neighbours to pull off a massive street party that inspires everyone in your region to resist the cuts and celebrate our future,” said Walker.
To find out more about UK Uncut’s Great British Street Parties, taking place Saturday 26 May visit the website here for more information on how you can support UK Uncut.