Quakers from across Britain will be joining together for worship before the national demonstration against the cuts on Saturday 26/03/2011.
The protest will take place in central London and Quakers are gathering at Westminster for Meeting for Worship ahead of the gathering.
Ruth Tod, one of the Quakers who plans to attend said: “How we earn and spend money is an indication of our values; sometimes it is not clear what is best, yet overall I believe that ‘following the path of money’ reveals a lot about a society. Quakers have a testimony to equality, because we believe that love and respect lead us to share and support one another, to cooperate with one another and create together.
Over 40 Quakers have already signed up to take part in the Meeting for Worship and march and many more are expected. Some will be marching under other banners or as individuals.
Ruth Tod adds: “The cuts will cause more inequality because they will be falling hardest on the poorest and most vulnerable; they will also threaten many of the services that help create a flourishing, learning and healthy society. How we finance and enable such a society to grow, is very much a matter for public discussion. Personally I question the value of the City as a means of generating wealth in our country. In the last few years we have seen that this wealth creation places a huge cost and burden on the rest of us. I would like to see Quakers questioning our dependence on the City. Can we let our priorities be people and planet, rather than profits for the few?”
Quakers have also been involved in other methods of protest. Film-maker Kevin Redpath was involved in putting together a film about saving libraries in Somerset, for example.
There are different options says Ruth Tod: “Many Quakers support alternatives such as partnerships, mutuals, credit unions and co-operatives, all of which allow the profits to stay with the people involved. We can foster such developments anywhere in the world, as an example and as a support for enterprises and causes that meet our values.”
Friends will be gathering at Westminster Friends Meeting House at 52 St Martins Lane, London from 11am on Saturday 26/03/2011. The Meeting for Worship is scheduled from 11:30am until 12 noon when Quakers will join with participants from other churches by Trafalgar Square.
See http://www.quakerweb.org.uk/blog/events/quakers-march-for-the-alternative/ for more information about the Quaker presence at the demonstration.