PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY AGAINST AUSTERITY news release 29 April 2014
RUSSELL BRAND – WE WILL BRING DOWN ANY AUSTERITY GOVERNMENT
Comedian and activist Russell Brand has announced he will speak out against spending cuts and austerity at a huge march being planned against the Coalition Government on 21 June.
Brand, famous for his “don’t vote” spat with Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman, has now thrown his weight behind the People’s Assembly Against Austerity – Britain’s fastest growing movement against cuts - saying he will speak at its first national demonstration in London.
And he has laid down a marker to Ministers and MPs, warning:
“The People's Assembly will bring down any government that doesn't end austerity.”
He will join tens of thousands of demonstrators who plan to start their march from outside the BBC headquarters in London in protest at the broadcaster’s lack of coverage of anti-austerity actions, nationally and regionally.
The protest then heads for Parliament Square, where Brand will join other speakers calling for millions to join people’s assemblies across Britain, and attacking what he condemns as the “toxic swindle” of austerity.
He will demand an alternative to the Coalition Government saying the people “can organise a fairer more just society than they can”.
In a hard hitting statement announcing his plans to speak at the demonstration, he told his seven million Twitter followers, and Assembly activists:
“The People's Assembly will bring down any government that doesn't end austerity. Austerity means keeping all the money among people who have loads of it. This is the biggest problem we face today, all other problems radiate from this toxic swindle.
“We can organise a fairer, more just society than they can, these demonstrations are the start, it will be a right laugh.”
Thousands of activists from around 100 assemblies across Britain are now organising coaches and trains to get people to the protest.
Their numbers will be significantly increased by trade unions including teachers taking action to stand up for education, Britain’s biggest union UNITE, health staff, and local council workers from UNISON balloting for action over pay , the PCS civil service union, striking tube and rail workers from the RMT, fire fighters from the FBU and many more.
With them will be activists from Stop The War, concerned at the escalating situation in the Ukraine. This is the movement which brought two million onto the streets over Iraq – the biggest demonstration in recent British political history - and which paved the way for the Coalition’s defeat over plans for war in Syria.
NUT General Secretary Christine Blower, journalist and author Owen Jones, and Green MP Caroline Lucas, recently cleared of all charges after being arrested at a fracking protest, will be key speakers joining Brand and others.
Sam Fairbairn, National Secretary of the People’s Assembly said:
“Make no mistake, these cuts are killing people and destroying cherished public services which have served generations.
“Alongside May Day demonstrations in memory of the legendary Bob Crow, who helped launch the People’s Assembly, and Tony Benn, who was Assembly President when he died, we are now turning up the heat on Cameron and Clegg.
“Later this autumn, we will unite with the trade union and labour movement when it holds another monster march against austerity and the ConDems.
“Soon we will reach a size and influence where neither the BBC nor this austerity government will be able to ignore us.”
In a new move to keep the no cuts movement high on the agenda, the People’s Assembly is also holding a “Stand Up Against Austerity” comedy benefit night at the Hammersmith Apollo on July 7.
Tickets are already on sale for the gig featuring the country’s best and most influential comics including Jo Brand, Shappi Khorsandi, Francesca Martinez, Stewart Lee, Mark Steel, Jeremy Hardy, Jen Brister, Jason Manford, Marcus Brigstocke and Robin Ince.
Notes to editors
For details of the march – http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/national_demo_21_june
For the gig - http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/standup
For interviews, please call David Peel, People’s Assembly national press officer on 07738 215458.
Said the Hollywood star and multi-millionaire Russell Brand. It seems strange to be using one of the 1% as your poster boy; this combined with the comedy night makes The People’s Assembly seem more like a celebrity love-in rather than a serious protest movement. Perhaps that is the reason for the lack of media coverage. The comment by ghost whistler speaks volumes.