TEACHERS, parents, pensioners and activists are all set to join a day of direct action across the borough next month as the protests against council cuts move to a critical stage.

Called Lewisham Carnival Against the Cuts, it will take place on February 19, and organisers hope people from all around Lewisham will take part, protesting outside facilities threatened by the council’s estimated £87m savings package.

Lewisham Council has laid out an inital raft of measures, including the closure of an early learning centre, ceasing to run five libraries and stopping funding for employment service Early Doors. It blames the need for savings on reduced government funding.

The protest is being organised by trade unions along with campaign groups including Lewisham Anti Cuts Alliance and People Before Profit.

People Before Profit’s John Hamilton, who ran for mayor last year, has also put forward an alternative budget, calling on the council to cut back on outside consultants and cap council pay rather than cut services.

He said: “It’s all meeting with a very good response so far.

“We want to go beyond activists and really spread this right through to the wider public.

“We want to get people all over the borough demonstrating outside the places that are local and important to them.”

Dubbed ‘the real Lewisham People’s Day’ organisers of February’s event plan to provide people taking part with leaflets, balloons and posters to advertise their own actions.

A Facebook group has been set up and the carnivalagainstcuts.org.uk website has been launched.


Groups are looking for ideas for protest from across the borough.

Their planned actions for February 19 already include:

'A chorus of disapproval’ protest across the borough from 11am to midday including people banging pots and singing.

Lobbies outside threatened services and high street banks.

Protests outside high street shops whose owners are accused of tax avoidance.

March starting at 1pm from Catford Town Hall to Lewisham Library.

Gig orgainsed by Goldsmiths Student Union.

Beach party on the Thames at Watergate Street.

“Read-ins” are also planned for the borough’s threatened libraries on February 5 as part of a national day of protest.