On 7 April Eastbourne People's Assembly presented Protestival, an event, which explored and celebrated ways to engage new people into activism and action using creative arts but also to nourish and maintain enthusiasm amongst campaigners.
The whole day event included a variety of acts including Dave Randall, discussing The political power of music. The musician and activist introduced his debut book Sound System – The Political Power of Music (published on Pluto Press) and then led a powerful discussion on why arts and culture is so important in the struggle for a better world.
Dave Randell (ex Faithless guitarist and activist on the Political Power of Music)
Where The Trouble Starts, a local rapper on debut with hard hitting political rhymes, Charlie X, activist mime, The Four Fathers, (check out their song for Grenfell here), and many more performed and demonstrated the power of the arts as tools/weapons to evoke emotion and stir us into action.
Little Red - Fantastic Spoken Word Artist
Performers, activists and audience members also made positive connections for future creative endeavours and campaigns. Networks were strengthened and enthusiasm for protest grown.
The Protestival flyer and poster were seen all over Eastbourne
But it wasn't just hearts and minds, Eastbourne People's Assembly raised £400 for Matthew 25 Mission a local charity which provides a listening ear and sympathetic pastoral care with information and advice as well as provision of food, clothing and basic necessities. You can find out more about what they do here.
Daniel T, People's Assembly Activist and Trade Unionist gets the crowd going
One audience member in his sixties explained that as a result of the acts and talks, he'd realised he was a Socialist!
Protestival exceeded our expectations as to how the arts can connect people to the reality of the political landscape and the consequences of political decisions.
I would recommend any activist/campaigner to use the arts wherever possible to add powerful layers to their work. Eastbourne People's Assembly would love to hear from other People's Assembly groups and help set up other 'Protestival' events around the country. You can reach the EPA either via the Facebook Page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Eastbourne People's Assembly
Brian opens the day with a speech about the importance of local activism
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