We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


Russell Brand calls for 'peaceful, effortless, joyful revolution' (again) during People's Assembly march

Comedian who has publicised his refusal to vote or engage with the political system was speaking at 50,000 strong march against austerity

Russell Brand is at it again. After spending the latter part of last year urging people not to vote, he has renewed a call for revolution.

Addressing around 50,000 protesters in London’s Parliament Square, Brand said: "This will be a peaceful, effortless, joyful revolution and I'm very grateful to be involved in the People's Assembly."

The march against the coalition’s austerity measures marked the one-year anniversary of the formation of the People's Assembly Against Austerity, launched through an open letter co-signed by the late Tony Benn, along with a variety of union leaders, MPs and writers.

Brand’s name didn’t feature on the original list, but since a number of high-profile rants against the political system, consciously or not, has become somewhat of a poster boy for the movement.

Whatever his role, he’s certainly managed to steal the headlines of a march which was organised to highlight the impact of the coalition's cuts on communities and workers.

"Power isn't there (in the House of Commons), it is here, within us," he said. "The revolution that's required isn't a revolution of radical ideas, but the implementation of ideas we already have."


The march started at the BBC in Portland Place where protesters accused the broadcaster of ignoring the impact of the cuts on impoverished Britons.

Also addressing the crowds outside Parliament at the end of the march, Sam Fairbairn, national secretary of the People's Assembly, said: “Make no mistake, these cuts are killing people and destroying cherished public services which have served generations.

“Alongside May Day demonstrations in memory of the legendary Bob Crow, who helped launch the People's Assembly, and Tony Benn, who was Assembly president when he died, we are now turning up the heat on Cameron and Clegg.

“Later this autumn, we will unite with the trade union and labour movement when it holds another monster march against austerity and the ConDems.

“Soon we will reach a size and influence where neither the BBC nor this austerity Government will be able to ignore us.”

He added the group will aim to hold the biggest protest in British history later this year.