It’s been quite busy over the Christmas period with the anticutsleeds group, as we’ve all got families to see, jobs to do and essays to write. However, we thought we would do a quick pre-Christmas post.
Congratulations to everyone who attended the demonstration in Leeds (or elsewhere) on the 18th December. I’ve heard it went well and you can see some great video and images here. If you attended, we would love to hear your reports: how did it go? What was good? What wasn’t so good? How were the police and public? You can comment on here, link to your own blog, tweet us, or even EMAIL US on our new email address (wow) anticutsleeds[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk
This Tuesday also saw the meeting of the Leeds Coalition of Resistance. Did you attend? How was it? We’ll be getting a report back soon but for now, if you’ve got any feedback, it would be great to hear it.
There are already protest events planned for the New Year across the country – let’s get some in Leeds! If you’ve got any ideas for protest, things you really want to highlight, or want to help out in any way, again, get in contact!
Anyone who is involved in the arts through study, teaching, working or general interest should join the Leeds Arts Against the Cuts group on Facebook. This group comprises of a lot of post-graduate students and teaching staff from the University of Leeds who are interested in creating intelligent protest actions, as well as advising its members of new actions, ideas and information. It’s been set up by Jo Wolfarth (@joannawolfie on Twitter) and anticutsleeds will be working jointly with them in the future!
The next anticutsleeds meeting is planned for soon after the New Year. We’re still working out a date, but we will be letting people know about attending. These meetings are a place for like-minded people to come together and work out creative ways to protest against the cuts. They are not a place to debate the necessity of the cuts, or to promote a specific personal political ideology. We’re all from different backgrounds, with different beliefs and different opinions, but we are united under our desire to change the way people think about their role in a democracy, re-introduce the notion that protest is both necessary and productive, and fight cuts that will be hitting not only the most vulnerable members of our society, but pretty much everyone. If you attend one of the anticutsleeds meetings: remember this!
Finally although at the moment it’s quite hard to feel very festive, and for a lot of people across the country the worry about what is to come in the following year will be souring the Christmas season, we would urge you all to remember what is amazing about this time of year. Friends, family, snow (when it’s not disrupting train journeys), hot cups of tea, the crackle of wrapping paper, brandy, pine needles, cranberry sauce and stuffing (how come the best bits of Christmas dinner are everything but the turkey?) and robins. Whether you celebrate Christmas as a religious or pagan festival, whether you just love the lights and glitter, even if it’s all a bit much and makes you want to sit on your own with a good book for a while, what it represents is something we should all hang onto in the coming months and years. It’s not only a coming together of people you care for, to celebrate what you have and look forward to what you will achieve; it’s a circle of friends, family, and those who support you when times are tough and it takes more than a mince pie to slog it through. And everyone, and anyone, involved in fighting against ideological repression, in whichever way you see fit, should keep that with them when it feels like you want to give up.
I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.
I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.
Scrooge, from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
and a Happy New Year to you all!