Hastings Solidarity plans austerity protest

A similar protest in Bristol, picture by Gary Horne Photography
A similar protest in Bristol, picture by Gary Horne Photography

Hundreds of people are set to descend on Hastings town centre on Saturday (May 30) in protest against government cuts and austerity.

Hastings Solidarity, as part of an ongoing campaign by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, is holding the demonstration from 2pm, meeting by Hastings Pier at 1.30pm.

More than 280 have pledged to attend and people have voiced their support on the organisation’s Facebook page.

Protestors will march from the pier to the town centre and assemble outside Sports Direct.

A banner-making workshop for the event will be held in Bottle Alley from noon for those interested in taking part in the demonstration.

Neil O’Ware, from Hastings Solidarity, said: “We have more than 280 attending so far and lots of people who are not on Facebook have shown their support.

“So we think we will see many more people turning up.

“We only set this protest up last Thursday (May 21).

“Since the general election there have been similar protests across the country in London, Bristol and Manchester.

“We feel there is a groundswell of opposition to any cuts.

“There is an overwhelming sense of anger among people.

“We have received a surge of support for our cause since the election result.”

Hastings Solidarity said many residents were worried over the NHS being privatised and were sick of the poorest and most vulnerable being made to pay for the mistakes of the wealthy and powerful.

Mr O’Ware added many people in Hastings, as elsewhere in the country, were stuck in zero-hours contracts and struggling to find jobs and make ends meet.

He added: “Many people on zero-hours contracts are working in the care industry and hospitality industry, of which such contracts are rife.

“There are lots struggling here in Hastings and will struggle more under more cuts.”

He said the government was planning to make £12 billion of cuts to the annual social security budget over the next two to three years.

Mr O’Ware said: “This will affect low-paid workers on benefits very aggressively.

“There will also be cuts to child benefit and those for disabled people.”

Those interested in attending the march can contact Hastings Solidarity’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HastingsSolidarity or simply turn up on the day.

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