Tag Archives: anti-cuts

Craftivism Against Cuts

17 Feb

I AM SO SAD. I bought a new kitchen knife yesterday and managed to slice nicely through my knuckle just getting it out of the packet! It’s all bandaged up now but still, I can’t do all the fun things I wanted to this week, like sewing, playing my new ukelele (!), and riding my bike. Sob.

So, since I can’t sew, I thought I’d make myself feel productive by showing you what I have been sewing over this week – mini protest hearts against the cuts!

Warning: the slogans on these are very much tongue-in-cheek but could be seen as offensive! So if you like your crafts cuddly, proceed with caution…

I would never put slogans like this on a placard, but I thought the pretty colours and floral fabrics made a nice juxtaposition that meant I could get away with it!

This is the back of the “no cuts” heart. Geddit?

I’m really pleased with them. I can’t decide whether to put them in my shop, or hang them around Brighton for people to see! What do you think?

hanna ♥

p.s. woot woot to the forest news!


Let Santa Go! Let Santa Go!

18 Dec

My feet are still absolutely frozen even though I got home from the protest 4 hours ago! But it was very good and successful I think. Some incredibly supportive and encouraging comments, including those who joined the protest after hearing what it was for! ( I hear that happened a lot around the country!)

There were some people who said, and I quote, “I don’t give a shit about anyone but myself. Let me into the shopping mall”. Which was a bit depressor. I will write a longer blog on what I think of that, but for now I need to warm my feet, have dinner and watch Bridget Jones. Because that’s how I roll.

I did make a video though! It got a bit music video since I love this Beck song so much, but hope it gives a good impression of the day. Not one, but TWO Father Christmases in jail. Sorry kiddos, Christmas is off. Also, those guys on the roof have only just come down! 7 hours in the cold! Good on them.

hanna ♥

Tomorrow is Pay Day!

17 Dec

Tomorrow at 12 noon, I am meeting the Brighton Uncut crew under the clock tower and then we’ll be off peacefully protesting against corporate tax dodgers on the high street. This will be my first anti-cuts protest, but I am prepared! I know the last Brighton cuts protest outside TopShop a couple of weeks ago resulted in protestors being kettled for 4 hours, so here is my list of what I’m taking:

  • Walking boots. Good ankle support for marching round and warm so my feet won’t get cold in the snow.
  • Water. But I will only drink this when severely dehydrated – there are no toilets in a kettle, y’know.
  • Biscuits! To eat and hand out and thus attract activisty friends like moths to a flame.
  • A sandwich. This is all for me.
  • A flip camera, so I can record amazing actions / passerby reactions / potential police brutality.
  • Clean hair. If you don’t have this you risk being seen as a hippy / crustie / social pariah by 95% of the population, whatever your cause. Sorry.
  • Lipstick, obviously. I’m on a protest darlings, not in prison (yet).
  • Phone so I can tweet! Follow me @hannathomas
  • Banner – I don’t actually have this, but in an ideal world I would!
  • A big smile. Yes, I am blimmin’ angry about the cuts. For me, it means jobs will be scarce when I graduate from my masters and that my brother, who is nearly 16, will have to pay up to eight times more than I did to go to uni. It also means that the young, unemployed people I work with at Otesha will find it even harder to find jobs or get any qualifications. Having said all this, my anger is directed at the government, not the people who are shopping or work at the stores. So I plan to be smiling at them and having some great conversations with them tomorrow.

Here is a video of the last protest in Brighton and if you’re looking for what’s going in your own town visit UK Uncut here.

Super Sunday

12 Dec

1. I don’t know what this means, but I like it. Another print by Mr A Hayes.

2. My friends Jess and Char came down for the day yesterday and we had such a fun time! We had a good trawl through the antiques market – I bought this very freaky owl mask which is quite possibly the best thing ever. Now someone needs to have a woodland themed party, like, now.

3. Brighton Farm Market is, I think, my favourite place to be on a Saturday. Look at the scrummy food! Get the vegan hot chocolate from the Jolly Green Cafe. Divine.

4. We also hit up Terre a Terre while Jess and Char were down, which was the craziest culinary experience I’ve ever had in my life. If you want vegetarian food like you’ve never tasted before, definitely definitely check this out.

5. I’ve been following the anti-cuts protests avidly and was so, so disappointed that the rise in tuition fees got voted through. I’ll definitely be attending the Pay Day protests next weekend. In the meantime, I read about this incredible one woman TopShop protest, that involves chocolate. Sounds good to me.

6. Only just discovered 80s band Martha and the Muffins. Where have they been all my life? Super!

7. I was very proud of my friends Niel Bowerman, Kirsty Schneeberger and Casper ter Kuile for being featured in The Guardian as youth climate leaders. Well done guys!

hanna ♥

Comment is Free – This isn’t just a student protest. It’s a children’s crusade.

25 Nov

Evening all, I just read this article by Laurie Penny on the Guardian Comment is Free site and though it was so good it was worth cross-posting in full. With a 17 year old sister and a 15 year old brother facing stupendous debt as they go to uni (not to mention my parents trying to support them) I am totally uplifted and heartbroken at the same time that there are kids on the streets standing up for themselves. So here’s to them.

Outside Downing Street, in front of a line of riot police, I am sitting beside a makeshift campfire. It’s cold, and the schoolchildren who have skipped classes gather around as a student with a three-string guitar strikes up the chords to Tracy Chapman’s Talkin Bout a Revolution. The kids start to sing, sweet and off-key, an apocalyptic choir knotted around a small bright circle of warmth and energy. “Finally the tables are starting to turn,” they sing, the sound of their voices drowning out the drone of helicopters and the screams from the edge of the kettle. “Finally the tables are starting to turn.”

Then a cop smashes into the circle. The police shove us out of the way and the camp evaporates in a hiss of smoke, forcing us forward. Not all of us know how we got here, but we’re being crammed in with brutal efficiency: the press of bodies is vice-tight and still the cops are screaming at us to move forward. Beside me, a schoolgirl is crying. She is just 14.

“We followed the crowd,” she says. So did we all. There are no leaders here: the thousands of schoolchildren and young people who streamed into Whitehall three hours ago in protest at the government’s attacks on further and higher education were working completely off script. A wordless cry went up somewhere in the crowd and they were off, moving as one, with no instructions, towards parliament.

But just because there are no leaders here doesn’t mean there is no purpose. These kids – and most of them are just kids, with no experience of direct action, who walked simultaneously out of lessons across the country just before morning break – want to be heard. “Our votes don’t count,” says one nice young man in a school tie. The diversity of the protest is extraordinary: white, black and Asian, rich and poor. Uniformed state-school girls in too-short skirts pose by a plundered police van as their friends take pictures, while behind them a boy in a mask holds a placard reading “Burn Eton”.

“We can’t even vote yet,” says Leyla, 14. “So what can we do? Are we meant to just sit back while they destroy our future and stop us going to university? I wanted to go to art school, I can’t even afford A-levels now without EMA [education maintenance allowance]”.

I ask her who she thinks is in charge. Her friend, a young boy in a hoodie, grins at me, gesturing to the front of the kettle, where children are screaming “shame on you” and throwing themselves under the police batons. “Us,” he says.

This is a leaderless protest with no agenda but justice: it is a new children’s crusade, epic and tragic. More fires are lit as the children try to keep warm: they are burning placards and pages from their school planners. A sign saying “Dumbledore would not stand for this shit!” goes up in flames.

This is also an organic movement: unlike previous demos, there are no socialist organisers leading the way, no party flags to rally behind. The word spread through Twitter and Facebook; rumours passed around classrooms and meeting halls: get to Westminster, show them your anger.

Suddenly, there is a rush from the front and the sound of yelling police as hundreds of protesters run back from the lines, frightened. “Don’t throw anything!” implores a young, bearded protester with a megaphone. “Protect your friends – don’t give them the excuse!” But no one is listening. Sticks are being thrown: the mood is enraged as people see their friends struck back or struck down. “Tory scum!” they yell. “I wish they weren’t breaking things,” says Leyla, “but this is what happens when they ruin people’s futures.”

photo credit