My Name is Dave – strikes and public protest

My Name is Dave – strikes and public protest

Date: 5 July 2011

I’ve become a bit of a placard and banner geek when it comes to marches and protests. Some people make exhibitions of them, I’ll just have to make do with sharing my favourite ones. This time it’s the ‘my name is Dave’ placard that was at the public sector workers’ strike on Thursday.

The picture on the placard had David Cameron with a ruffled Earl hairstyle and moustache and wearing Earl’s trade marked checked shirt. If you don’t know Earl already, Earl is a character in an American comedy who has reached a point in his life when he realises the effect his negative behaviour has had on others. At the beginning of each programme we get a reminder of what the show’s about as he muses, “That’s when I realized that I had to change, so I made a list of everything bad I’ve ever done and one by one I’m gonna make up for all my mistakes. I’m just trying to be a better person. My Name is Earl.”

I’m assuming that the writing on the placard that I couldn’t quite make out listed some of the many bad things that our ‘Dave’ had done ranging from forcing teachers to work longer and pay more for a smaller pension to cutting benefits for the disabled. But as our Dave hasn’t had an epiphany moment of his own, we have had to come out to help him have one. We may have to offer him more help on the way – the students started with their protests last year and there will probably be many more too, from all sectors of society.

We are following a pattern of global resistance to the neo-liberal agenda that has been growing around the world. WDM has been working for decades with groups in the global south as they resist a global  agenda that hurts the vulnerable by pulling back state provision and opening doors for private companies to profit out of people’s vulnerability.

And WDM is glad to be able to share the stories where resistance has worked and successful alternatives have been born that put people before profit.