On 26 March 2011, 500,000 people marched through London in protest against government spending cuts. The March For The Alternative was one of the largest demonstrations ever seen in the UK.

To mark the day, the SAVE OUR PLACARDS team asked people to leave their protest material at a tree in Hyde Park.

Hundreds left us their placards, banners, and costumes. And we've worked hard to find new audiences for the material since.

Below, people share the politics behind their slogans, their experiences of the demonstration, and thoughts on what has happened since in Con-Dem austerity Britain.

Monday, 21 July 2014


Coral's "I WISH MY BOYFRIEND WAS AS DIRTY AS YOUR POLICIES" placard appeared in the 2014 V&A Disobedient Objects exhibition.

Here's why she made it...

"The placard was in response to the Coalition’s cuts to funding for education such as the E.M.A. and the tripling of tuition fees to around £9000.

"These are the ‘dirty policies’ I was specifically referring to, although Andrew Lansley was attempting to undermine the NHS, and strange ‘silent policies’ were criminalising homelessness around the same time if I remember correctly.

"My sweeping statement was directed at their sweeping policies.

"The ‘I wish my boyfriend was as dirty’ part of the slogan was formed primarily as a way to make light of a bad situation. The future of an entire generation was being fundamentally hindered and therefore there was not much to smile about other than a silly joke on a placard.

"Also, some met police had been quite aggressive during previous demonstrations and I thought it would be difficult to hit me with a baton if they were laughing.

"With ‘Object’ raising awareness of the normalisation of sexually objectifying women, I thought I would fight fire with fire and sexualise the government’s policies in order to expose how absurd they were."

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