Parliament Street Fountain turned into Bonfire of Austerity

Update: the York Press covered our events – read the report here.


bonfireTo mark bonfire night and as part of the national ‘Bonfire of Austerity’ events, we built ourselves a bonfire on top of the dormant fountain in Parliament Street. After a bit of hasty negotiation with council staff and police, the bonfire stood for 2 hours whilst group members gathered messages on flames. Unsurprisingly, there was plenty of anger at Tory policies, such as the bedroom tax, dismantling of the NHS, and scapegoating of those who want to work but simply can’t find any. The bonfire itself drew plenty of attention, most of it positive, and Food Not Bombs handed out free food and drinks, adding to the positive community atmosphere.

bonfire 2

Dummy of David Cameron on trolley with labels attachedAround 80 messages were displayed around the fountain, which was brought to life as a giant artwork. Afterwards, we collected them all so that we can type them up and look for common themes amongst them, to be discussed at our November 18th ‘Decision Meeting’ (7.30pm Friends Meeting House).

We also had a Guy, dressed up as David Cameron with his pet policies on show. Instead of asking for pennies, we were offering shares in the guy instead – in line with the Cameron’s economics policies!

Festival of Free SpeechLater, we held our Festival of Free Speech in St Helen’s Square. We heard from teachers, students, NHS and bedroom tax campaigners, poets and even a couple of passers by. There were many differing visions of how to tackle the cuts, as well as many stories of the pain and suffering that they are causing. One thing was clear throughout both events: the blame for our economic problems rests with the bankers, yet its the rest of us who are being punished.

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