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Banners appear across Hull campaigning for new political system

Two days before people in Hull head to the polls, a series of thought-provoking banners have been unveiled across the city.

In the early hours of this morning (Tuesday April 30) the giant signs appeared on locations including Murdoch Bridge which spans the A63, Newland Avenue railway bridge and a building on Hessle Road. Images of the banners are already appearing on social media and prompting conversations and questions from those who spot them. 

The banners in question read:

  • Dear democracy, is this it?
  • 75% not at the polls 
  • People’s Assemblies now

They are the work of Cooperation Hull – a collective of people who are using People’s Assemblies to provide an alternative to the politics of power and profit, and build communities driven by mutual aid and common interest. 

Hull has some of the lowest voter turnout statistics in the country – with numbers lowest in wards which experience the greatest inequality. On Thursday, 19 of the council’s 57 seats are up for grabs, with the potential for the council to either remain under Lib Dem control, or return to Labour. However, with so few people turning up to the polls it is difficult to argue either option truly represents what local people want.

Catherine, a pastoral support officer at a local school and member of Cooperation Hull said: “Whatever happens at the polls on Thursday, people will wake up on Friday morning and nothing will have changed. The basics of living will still be unaffordable and getting more expensive, the majority will again have chosen to stay away from the polls and the average person won’t feel like there is anyone in power, locally or nationally, who speaks for them and their interests.

“The banners are a high visibility way to connect with people and the disenfranchisement we’re all feeling. Cooperation Hull is planning a series of People’s Assemblies on election day itself, right outside polling stations. There are important reasons people aren’t showing up to the polls and they’re the same reasons we started Cooperation Hull.

“People understandably don’t see any value in casting their vote, and this is a very public way to say that we agree, and there is an alternative. Everyone who’s seen the banners in person, on social media, or heard about them and feels seen can join us. Come to an assembly or a stall on Thursday and find out how we can replace party politics with people power”.

Cooperation Hull started just over a year ago. They have held a series of People’s Assemblies bringing together communities to share free food and a space to talk about what politics mean to them, what they want from the world and how life could be better for everyone. 

They recently established a weekly ‘pay what you can’ meal and social every Tuesday at Lonsdale Community Centre, 4.30pm – 7.30pm – so far many of the evenings have been a sell-out. 

For more information about Cooperation Hull and how to get involved, visit: https://www.cooperationhull.co.uk/ or @cooperation.hull on instagram.

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