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Hundreds of Equity members march against arts cuts

25 October 2012

Hundreds of Equity members marched behind the Equity banner in London on 20 October calling for more investment in the arts and an end to austerity policies. They were part of the 150,000 strong TUC March for a Future that Works.

Equity’s  message was simple – without public investment, we wouldn’t have The Kings Speech, The History Boys, Matilda, One Man Two Guvnors and many other successes. Public investment, be it from National Government/Arts Councils or local authorities helps independent theatre, film and variety venues to survive and flourish. Without it, the UK’s commercial sector and broadcasters wouldn’t be able to access the talent they need to be the best in the world.

Equity member James Smith compered the rally in Hyde Park and Equity Council members  Joseph Kloska and Sally Treble encouraged marchers on from two open top buses placed along the route.

In Belfast members backed an Irish Congress of Trades Unions march and prominent members Marie Jones, founder of Charabanc Theatre, Peter Mullan (recently in the film War Horse), Ian McElhinney currently in Game of Thrones, and former Equity Northern Ireland Councillor Maggie Cronin, who was in the recent Oscar winning short film The Shore all lent their names to the rally.

Members also turned out in numbers for a Scottish TUC march in Glasgow.

Later in the week Equity members backed a UK Feminista rally and lobby of Parliament calling for every school plays their part in preventing violence against women and girls, action to end the stereotyping, objectification and sexualisation of women in the media, urgent investment in childcare for all, action to ensure justice for women seeking asylum and protection of reproductive rights and support an abortion law for the 21st century.

Equity backed the march after UK Feminista assured the union that campaigns against pole dancing and lap dancing clubs, both sources of work for Equity members, would play no part in the day.


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