UK Uncut are calling for street parties across the UK on May 26th. A statement on their website reads:
“UK Uncut, the anti-cuts direct action group, has today announced a new plan of action to start shortly before the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and the Olympic period. The group, best known for targeting tax dodgers, will hold street parties in major towns and cities across the UK in the run up to the Jubilee and Olympics which will ‘resist the cuts and celebrate a future that is decided by us, not a handful of billionaires’.
“The UK Uncut planned events will take place on the weekend before the Queen’s Jubilee. UK Uncut has dubbed these events as street parties with a ‘twist’. They plan to block major roads and high streets up and down the country to call for a ‘future uncut’ and protest the government’s cuts, austerity agenda and the closure of local public services.”
In the 90’s the street party movement, which began in London with Reclaim the Streets, swept the world. A fusion of the direct action of the environmental movement, the enduring rave culture and some good old fashioned anarchism created a new and radical form of protest which genuinely appeared to rattle the state.
In 1997 Reclaim the Streets linked up with the striking Liverpool dockers for a March for Social Justice which ended in a huge rave in Trafalgar Square. Prior to this a party had been held on the M40, where a tree was planted in the middle of the motorway. The movement came to a head with the Carnival Against Capitalism on June 18th 1999 when thousands of people descended on the Square Mile and ransacked the financial district. Six months later in Seattle the World Trade Organisation meeting was shut down by mass protests, sparking the worldwide anti-globalisation movement.
They were more optimistic times, and whilst the anger that lay behind them was genuine, Reclaim the Streets parties were both fun and spiky, a difficult combination to achieve. At times it almost felt like we might win, but perhaps that was just the drugs.
UK Uncut appear to aiming more for bunting, disruption and cake than techno, ecstasy and fighting the filth, but with the Olympics coming and the Jubilee just round the corner, this action could help spark the Summer of protest against this toff Government we so badly need.
A documentary about the history of Reclaim the Streets (found via urban75)