London: National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts & Alternative Nativity at Trafalgar Sq
December 16, 2010
It actually started appropriately outside Downing St where DPAC was with disabled people protesting with the Housing Emergency Coalition against the Housing Benefit Cap and social cleansing. Like the biblical story where the Romans called for a census and people have to moved – Joseph had to go to Bethlehem with Mary from Nazareth.
People were gathered there with cardboard boxes and sleeping bags. Inspite of the spitting rain, there was a respectable turnout.
Disabled and non disabled protestors and Richard Downes, organiser of the BIG CHIEF Campaign for Housing, Independence, Equality & Freedom and Linda Burnip, Maz, Adam Lotun were all there.
When all to be said was said and done, there was concern by the news that we might be not be able to move over to Trafalgar Square because the ‘donkey’ will be a health and safety issue. And we had not asked for clearance. Heritage Wardens were most vociferous we could not have our gathering there. (read Adam’s comments at here)
The ‘donkey’ was duly introduced and there was some hilarity and we ignored the warning and those of us who were disabled continued on to Trafalgar Sq. for well deserved hot drink before the nativity scene planned.
Many more people joined us under the Christmas tree including a lone photographer from the BBC, and some other media folks.
Jan Pollock agreed to be the hard hearted inn keeper who refused us – “no room for the inn” which is inaccessible anyhow and the different boroughs which would be affected by the housing changes.
We exchanged stories, networked and ate mince pies in the rain.
(no to homeless cripples)
(The Heritage Warden tries to explain that one can’t protest there.)
More stories can be found at London: Disabled People Against Cuts, “Nativity Play”, Trafalgar Square
And a couple more reports in the other cities –
Glasgow: Citizens United
Oxford: Uninvisible Rally