Dear Guardian letters
Len McCluskey calls for a "broad strike movement" to stop the coalition's "explicitly ideological" programme of cuts. ('Unions Warn of Massive Wave of Strikes', Guardian 19 December 2010) This will happen. Government cuts are decimating education, welfare, health, sports and the arts. We are told t; that they are as inevitable as the rain; that the only choice we have is between music classes for our kids or care for our elderly.
We need both and do not accept that jobs, services and the quality of life have to be jettisoned for the greed of those who are asked to sacrifice nothing. Cutbacks in the arts mean that access will be limited to those who have the money to pay while many who work in the arts will lose their jobs.
The closing of public libraries is the most obvious example. They are where literature, art and culture are available to everyone without charge. Some authorities are already selling them off, others are offering them to the 'consumer' on the principle of 'if you want them buy them'.
Massive increases in education fees and the abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance are part of the same philosophy. Everything that is not immediately of use to the corporate agenda is to be placed on a 'pay as you go' principle. Meanwhile funding for theatre, film, music, dance and other arts projects is to return to the Victorian notion of finding patrons, drawn from the people and corporations who have their own agendas of how to define the arts.
In the face of those who choose to exercise their power to destroy, we need to create. We urge all those who work in the arts to join us at 'Artists of the Resistance' in opposing the cuts.
Iain Banks, writer
Andy de la Tour, actor
AL Kennedy, writer
Roger Lloyd Pack, actor
Miriam Margolyes, actor
Susie Meszaros, musician
Michael Rosen, author and poet
Martin Rowson, cartoonist
Janet Suzman, actor
Timberlake Wertenbaker, playwright
Shaun Askew, animator
Shabina Aslam, theatre director
Anne Aylor, writer & ballet teacher
Jordan Baseman, video artist
Elizabeth Beech, artistic director,The Phoenix Project
Maria Birmingham, animator
Cecily Bomberg, writer
Sean Bonney, poet
Stephen Carley, AV artist
Karl Benjamin Frankson, artist
Jill Gibbon, artist
Joseph Healy, disability worker
Camilla Howalt, artist
Angela Jane Kennedy, artist
Fin Kennedy, playwright
Ol'ga Kretz, film-maker
Lucy Lepchani, writer & poet
Fiona MacDonald, opera singer
Carol Mottershead, dancer
Romayne Phoenix, visual artist
Konstantina Ritsou-Zavolia, author & director
Patricia Shrigley, video artist
Patrick Simons, artist
Ron Stagg, Museum Association
Rebecca Thorn, musician
Charlotte Turton, artist
Elizia Volkmann, writer and artist
Michael Walling, artistic director, Border Crossings
Joanne Walker, CoR Tyne & Wear
David Wilson, publisher
Jan Woolf, writer
Artists of the Resistance
c/o Coalition of Resistance
5 Caledonian Road
City of London N1 9DX
T: 07951 579 064
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