matthew liam fogg

This weekend thousands marched across the UK in defence of the welfare state and in protest against the government's austerity programme. We hit the streets with them to find out what they stand for.

by i-D Staff
22 June 2015, 2:02pm

Where are you from?
I was born in Burnley, Lancashire. I'm currently living in Clapton.

Why are you here?
Like everyone, I'm here to fulfil a democratic duty to contribute to the national conversation. It's everyone's right as citizens to have their voices heard.

What do you stand for?
Not sitting passively by and accepting the billions of pounds in proposed cuts to public services and benefits; something that's going to make life even harder for claimants and those in low-paid jobs. Saving the NHS, stopping TTIP, a frack-free World - everything that ensures the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

If you were Prime Minister, what would you do?
Firstly, I'd hope that I'd won power by being the nation's most popular choice of leader, which is something that doesn't seem evident with Cameron. The system doesn't seem democratic, and should change. I'd move for electoral reform; the government is supposed to hold power through the consent of the people - something that isn't fully representative in our current first past the post system. I realise that might hinder my votes, mathematically speaking, but I would only be Prime Minister in the first place thanks to the people and each voice cannot be compromised.

Do you think you're better off than your parents generation?
Yes and no. I think every generation has been better off than it's predecessor. We have more privilege than our parents. Of course, for them, growing up in the North, under Thatcherism had its constraints, but, whilst I'm sure our culture will continue to get richer, austerity poses a threat to our present and future. The sense of community and togetherness I grew up around in my early life is being broken up, especially in London given the current housing market, which is all over the place.

Do the people have the power?
Yes, but we're going to have to be unrelenting in putting our point across. We need to rally again on the 8th July, when Osborne will orchestrate a bonfire of services, jobs and welfare. Take the Tory plans to scrap the Human Rights Act, for example, something that seems to have been put on the back burner for the time being after the huge public backlash. We can make a difference through solidarity. The government rules with our consent and we can kick them out in five years, without the need for violence. Many countries in this world don't have that privilege. We do.



Photography Rosie Harriet Ellis

straight up
straight ups
rosie ellis
rosie harriet ellis