When an anti-austerity march starting from the steps of the BBC fails to make the news, something is rotten in the UK. Speaking with RT, Russell Brand believes that’s to be expected, as people would surely rise up if they saw just how exploited they are.
Read more on the anti-cuts march: 'No more austerity:' Thousands rally in London demanding alternative from govt
On Saturday, tens of thousands assembled on the doorstep of the
BBC's offices in London to kick off the “No More Austerity”
march. The rally was called by The People's Assembly Against
Austerity, a broad coalition of groups opposed to the
Conservative-Lib Dem government that embraces trade unions and
other campaigners. And just as protesters attacked the state-run
BBC for ignoring the impact of social spending cuts on
impoverished people in the UK, their decision to not report on a
protest happening right on their doorstep further served to
rankle those who feel alienated by the political establishment.
RT's Sara Firth spoke with a number of people at Saturday’s event, including Britain’s most popular celebrity rabble rouser and revolution-peddler: comedian Russell Brand.
When asked why the mainstream media coverage of such events seemed to be lacking, Brand said it all came down to who gets to control the societal narrative.
“I think that the mainstream media likes to control the parameters of debate so important ideas never reach mainstream ideology. Because if people knew what was happening, they wouldn’t tolerate it; if people knew how exploited they were. Ignorance is a necessary ingredient for oppression,” he said.
Despite fears that protesting has become an ineffective means of social change, Brand remained philosophical.
“Everything makes a difference in a constantly mutating cosmos, and it will make a positive difference, because we are unifying, so yes.”
When asked if he still wanted a revolution to take place, Brand, who has predicted a “peaceful, effortless, joyful revolution,” said, “Yes.”
Brand, best known for his work as an actor, comedian, television personality and self-effacing Messiah, has become a high-profile poster boy for the disaffected with his anti-system rants and calls for revolution.
And while Brand remained hopeful, Sam Fairbairn, national secretary of the People's Assembly, issued a dire warning: “Make no mistake, these cuts are killing people and destroying cherished public services which have served generations.”
Fairbairn, who addressed the crowd outside Parliament at the end of the march, said that like it or not, the establishment will have to deal with the protesters.
“Soon we will reach a size and influence where neither the BBC nor this austerity government will be able to ignore us.”