An independent group of queers, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people from across the UK have joined forces to voice their concern and take action against the Government’s sweeping package of funding cuts and public spending reform.
The group, known as Queer Resistance, aims to bring together individuals from the widest possible range of backgrounds, united in their commitment to resist the cuts, which are already hitting the most vulnerable members in our society, including many from the LGBTQ communities.
It will act to raise awareness of the impact of the Government’s plans as well as providing a support group for the LGBTQ community and unifying like-minded individuals, working with anti cuts groups, existing LGBTQ groups and other organisations from across the UK and beyond in the fight for the alternative. It also aims to challenge the common portrayal of the LGBTQ community as part of a wealthy and influential professional elite, when in reality many are often economically and socially disadvantaged members of UK society.
As a result of the financial crisis and the bank bailouts paid by the UK taxpayer, the UK is beginning to pay the price with cuts to public spending in education, housing, benefits and healthcare. Queer Resistance sees that these anticipated spending cuts will have a serious effect on a diverse range of important communities in the UK, not least LGBTQ people.
The rise of tuition fees will impact students who are not supported financially by their family and this means the effect will inevitably be felt by many LGBTQ students, many of whom are estranged from their families.
Other plans include severe cutbacks in NHS spending, meaning local authorities will have to abandon services they regard as ‘non-essential’. This will undoubtedly put sexual health and HIV services at risk at a local level. Plans to devolve spending decisions to doctor-led consortiums will also create a postcode lottery for health services, effectively leaving those who want to surgically transition unable to do so.
Public cash is also likely to be channelled away from areas like the investigation of hate crimes. The work of many charities working with victims of hate crimes and domestic abuse, like Galop and Broken Rainbow, are already suffering from the effects of underfunding.
The slashing of the benefits system and legal aid will compound problems for those who need help the most, including the disabled and those unable to work within the LGBTQ communities.
Real alternatives – join the March!
People can get involved with Queer Resistance in a number of ways.
On 26th March, the group will join the ‘March for the Alternative’ in central London alongside various other LGBTQ groups to voice its concerns about the funding cuts and to highlight the alternatives to the cuts, which are fair, safe and sustainable including: a Robin Hood tax on the banks; closing tax loopholes; and policies for jobs and green growth.
For this march, Queer Resistance is creating a ’Pink and Black Bloc’ to ensure a visible queer presence and invites people from across the lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer communities as well as their friends and allies to join. The aim is to give each other moral support and provide safety in numbers. Wear pink and black, bring any queer banners, placards or signs that you have, or just turn up and march along with them. If people are interested in joining go to Soho Square at 10am and also check the Facebook page for latest information. People will also be able to follow happenings via the #pinkbloc26th on Twitter and via the Queer Resistance Facebook page.
If you can’t attend on the 26th, you can help Queer Resistance organise other events or alternative actions or simply join their Facebook Page or find them on Twitter (to show your support and they will keep you in touch with what’s going on.
Now is the time to resist these needless cuts, push for the alternatives and fight for your community, your society and your values.