Protestival: Eastbourne activists & the power of culture and protest

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

Brian Wilkes
Eastbourne People's Assembly

Brian opens the day with a speech about the importance of local activism

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  • ErJust AMinute
    commented 2018-08-27 08:14:45 +0100
    I’m really sorry Rosemary but Er, just a minute, it’s not gvmnt responsibility to feed anyone’s children, it’s the parents who should do this.

    Gvmnt policy is to help everyone to help themselves and to provide a safety net for those who can’t.

    Unemployment is dropping though still at 1.36m. Based on unemployment benefit of about £70 per week, this makes an outlay of around £100,000,000 a week. Getting just half that number back into work and off the dole gives about £2,400,000,000 a year for OUR NHS.

    I think that is helping everyone


  • Rosemary Robinson
    commented 2018-06-30 15:25:46 +0100
    The tories have underfunded OUR NHS since 2010. They have also underfunded all borough councils so there is no help for the young (children going to school hungry) there is no help for the elderly (the elderly sitting in nappies all day) because of funding cuts. The gvmnt are there to SERVE THE PEOPLE – this gvmnt are helping NO ONE just PAIN AND SUFFERING FOR THE PEOPLE. While the tories have all the money at the top. This is not a gvmnt It is NOT HELPING/DOING THE CORRECT PROTOCOL FOR THE PEOPLE. THEY SHOULD NOT BE IN GVMNT AS THEY ARE NOT SERVING THE PEOPLE???
  • Mark Hoddinott
    commented 2018-04-19 21:21:35 +0100
    I really wish you lot would actually do something with your lives. How the f**k do you have so much time and money to ‘protest’ all the time? I guess it’s a the preserve/hobby of the affluent,well off,left wing middle class elite. Can some one tell me how to join this Marxist exclusive clique? Oops….hang on…i’m British/Welsh, Christian/Catholic working class. Guess i don’t meet the criteria.

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