The ‘Bonfire of Austerity’ Protest took place on Tuesday 5th November 2013 in Market Square, against the implementation of austerity measures and the on-going privatisation of the University of Nottingham Hospital Services.
Over 30 people gathered at 5pm in front of the Brian Clough statue at Market Square, Nottingham City Centre.
The People’s Assembly, a campaign group whose ambition is to end the austerity measures imposed within the public sector, organised the protest.
“Over a thousand workers risk losing their job in the name of ‘efficiency’ whilst we are fobbed off with inferior services and higher costs”.
George Warnock, a University of Lincoln student and co-organiser of the protest, maintained that its purpose was “to strengthen the connections made between experienced campaigners, trade unionists and other members of the public that will allow the People’s Assembly to become an effective tool against austerity”.
He further commented that “over a thousand workers risk losing their job in the name of ‘efficiency’ whilst we are fobbed off with inferior services and higher costs”.
A large straw structure in the form of the pound was set alight to symbolise the growing dissatisfaction.
The anger of the ensuing austerity fees resounded across the protest as the mass cried, ‘down with the Tories!’
This was most heavily embodied in the finale, a large straw structure in the form of the pound was set alight to symbolise the growing dissatisfaction with the Government’s current economic policies and the sense of alienation felt amongst the most disadvantaged members of society.
Police officers were present to preside over the event, but no major disturbances occurred as a result of the protest.
Tom Unterraimer, a teacher, one of the organisers of the People’s Assembly and a speaker at the protest, commented on the significance of this event, affirming that their objective was to create ‘a united campaign’.
He added, “We’re opposed to austerity, we’re opposed to cut, we’re opposed that the poorest in society are made to pay for the crisis in the economy”.
“It is powerful to have a collective voice across the country”.
A similar sentiment was expressed by one of the protesters, who said “Even if this little protest in itself won’t achieve anything, there are people across the country doing the same thing and I think it is powerful to have a collective voice across the country”.
In addition to the protest held yesterday, the People’s Assembly will begin holding monthly meetings on the first Monday of the month at 7.30.p.m at the Mechanics Institute and encourages anyone interested or affected by austerity issues to participate.