20 June 2014
THE Green Party will join forces with Russell Brand, journalist Owen Jones and others tomorrow (June 21) in calling on the government to end its policies of austerity.
In a demonstration (1) organised by the campaign group the People’s Assembly (2), Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, will join thousands of campaigners taking to the streets of London to protest against what they see as the government’s damaging and needless austerity measures.
Caroline Lucas MP, said:
“The Peoples’ Assembly shows that there are alternatives to the cruel and counterproductive austerity agenda, and that the people are prepared to fight for them.”
Romayne Phoenix, the Green Party’s Welfare Spokesperson, member of Lewisham Green Party and Co-Chair of the People’s Assembly said:
“It’s galling to see how the government continues to march ahead with its austerity measures, flagrantly dismissing the destructive affects they are having on our society. Inequality is on the rise (3). The number of food-bank meals needed to feed hungry families across the UK has doubled in the past year (4). Britain needs an alternative – sheer human decency demands it.”
Dave Plummer, London Green Party activist, said:
“It is fantastic to see the incredible range of people and campaign organisations that have turned out today to support the March Against Austerity. Whilst on the one hand it shows just how badly affected so many people have been by the cuts it also demonstrates that there is now so much agreement and collaboration in the fight for change. The Green Party is immensely proud to be one of those organisations calling for an end to austerity and for investment in an economy that puts people first”.
The People’s Assembly is a coalition of campaigns, unions, writers, politicians and performers united in the goal of bringing an end to the government’s austerity programme. It was founded in February 2013 and is supported by a range of prominent political activists including Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite, the writer Owen Jones, and the comedian Francesca Martinez. The late Labour politician Tony Benn and General Secretary of the RMT Bob Crow were also amongst its founding members.
Tomorrow’s demonstration will see thousands of campaigners march from Oxford Street to Westminster, led by speakers including Lucas, Brand, and Christine Blower of the NUT.
1. For further details of the march, please see: http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/national_demo_21_june
2. For more information on the People’s Assembly visit: http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/
3. When all austerity measures are taken into account, including cuts to public services and changes to taxes and welfare, the poorest tenth of the population are by far the hardest hit, seeing a 38 per cent decrease in their net income over the period 2010-15. For more information please see Oxfam’s “The True Cost of Austerity and Inequality” report: http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/cs-true-cost-austerity-inequality-uk-120913-en.pdf
4. Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty have calculated that 20,247,042 meals were given to people in food poverty in 2013/14 by the three main food aid providers. This is a 54 percent increase on 2012/13. For further information, please see Oxfam’s report “Below the Breadline: The Relentless Rise of Food Poverty in Britain”: http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/below-the-breadline-the-relentless-rise-of-food-poverty-in-britain-317730