Last September two protesters, Tracey Mallaghan, 44, a mother of three and medically retired school nurse assistant, and Bob Cobbler, 50, steeplejack father of two, daubed pink paint and glued themselves to the windows of the Department of Health and Social Care in Victoria Street London, in a protest about the lack of social care and dire management of the Covid crisis.
This morning they were due to appear in court as a result, but decided to abscond and return to the building once more to repeat their protest. At the last moment the court date was actually moved, but with Covid deaths passing 100,000 they decided to carry out their plan anyway, breaching bail conditions imposed after the first protest.
After throwing two buckets of pink paint at the offices, they sprayed slogans on the windows and stuck copies of a statement on the walls.
Police arrived after around ten minutes and as well as arresting the two protesters, they also detained a man who had briefly stopped to see what was going on. Despite his protestations – he was asking them to check the CCTV and to check his address to show he lived locally and was just out for exercise – but they arrested him and took him away in a police van. He was a person of colour. No-one from the government has yet been questioned or arrested over the 100,000 and more deaths they have presided over.
The government’s line is “how could we have predicted this?”, but it was predicted and the current failings (lack of preparedness, PPE, NHS capacity and so on) were all highlighted and then ignored in the 2016 Cygnus Report which was an exercise involving all major government departments, the NHS and local authorities across Britain back in October 2016. Its aim was to prepare the UK for an influenza pandemic which sits as the top risk on the National Register Of Civil Emergencies. A Crowdjustice fundraiser by Dr. Moosa Qureshi and his team have been relentlessly pursuing the release of the Cygnus findings and fighting government obstruction.
Meanwhile the shortcomings, such as lack of PPE, led to dodgy private deals with friends in high places as the National Audit Office reported, with more than 8,600 coronavirus contracts ‘given’ out by the end of July, 58% of which were awarded without proper tendering processes in place – a mere £10.5bn worth of business.
Burning Pink is both a direct action group, and a political party. The party has just one policy – to hand over important government decisions to citizen’s assemblies using modern techniques of deliberative democracy.
It may sound crazy, but can it ever be worse than the self-serving system we have now, that has led to so much death and destruction?