Campaigning and collaboration

How an alliance of anti-poverty charities worked together to protest in the City of London.

Anti-poverty alliance protest
Anti-poverty alliance protest

A collective of UK anti-poverty charities staged a day of protests in London earlier this month to put pressure on Gordon Brown to place people and the environment at the heart of his plans to cope with the economic crisis.

The campaign started in the morning when two protesters - one wearing a Gordon Brown mask and the other dressed as a City fat cat - were woken from a shared bed outside the Royal Exchange by an alarm clock that carried the slogan: "Gordon: call time on global greed!"

Later that day, campaigners staged a 'noise demonstration' with bells and alarm clocks outside the Guildhall during Brown's address at the Lord Mayor of London's banquet.

The organisations involved included War on Want, Cafod, Stamp Out Poverty and ActionAid. Paul Collins, media officer at War on Want, said: "The picture opportunity of Brown in bed with a fat cat outside the Bank of England delivered our key message."

The need for the second protest to coincide with Gordon Brown's address meant the charities had to work quickly. "We had only a short period in which to arrange the picture opportunity and mobilise activists for the protest," said Collins.

The campaign was covered by national newspapers, including The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and the London Evening Standard, as well as international organisations such as Tokyo TV and online publications The Christian Post and OneWorld.net.

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