In October 2017 we arranged Re:Connect, an day focused on taking action against austerity and division. We finished the day by writing the Leeds People’s Charter. Read more about the day in the event programme below:


Re:connect – Building a collective response to austerity and division

We are separate. Our lives and struggles are different for each of us, but when we work together we can build strength and solidarity.

Divisions have emerged, and have been exploited over the last few years: between generations, “strivers” and “skivers”, those were born in the UK against those who have migrated here for many reasons, and those who voted Leave or Remain.

Years of austerity have meant more people competing for resources, while the government and media continue to find ways to blame marginalised people for problems in our society.

As these divisions grow and become cemented we are less likely to work together, even though we have ‘more in common’ than many of us think. This division will make it harder to defend what’s left.

Come Through for a day of free workshops, conversations and connecting with others, to better understand key issues of 2017 including : the impact of cuts and austerity, racism in Leeds, rubbish jobs, the gig economy, and refugee rights.

Be a part of the day that will give you strategies for how we can address injustices together, and practical skills that will help us be heard, and achieve change.


10.30 – 11.20 : WHERE ARE WE?

An opening discussion with local voices exploring some of the issues we face and how they impact on people in Leeds and the surrounding region. Topics include the impact of benefit sanctions, the poor experiences faced by those seeking sanctuary in the UK, how austerity has hit disabled people and the Trans community, as well as the dangers of fear and xenophobia.

Contributors include: Economic Justice Project, Sophia Thomas – Trans Leeds, Aisha Ali-Khan – Shipley Feminist Zealots, Hadi – Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network, Armineh – Disabled People Against the Cuts, and representatives from Leeds Poverty Truth Commission. This session includes facilitated contributions from those attending.


• Austerity on Services and Welfare – with Hands Off Our Homes, Poverty Truth Commission, and Rowan Sandle – Psychology Researcher
• The Hostile Environment on Communities of Colour – with MEND and Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network
• Austerity on Workers and Jobs – with former Deliveroo Riders, NHS Workers and representatives from the National Union of Teachers

12.30 – 1.30 : SHARED LUNCH

1.30 – 3.00 : STRATEGIES FOR…

• Fighting the Cuts with Direct Action and Media – with Sisters Uncut Doncaster & Womens Lives Matter
• Racial Justice – with Racial Justice Network & Hope Not Hate
• Workplace Power – with Industrial Workers of the World
• A Social Strike! (The Game) – with Plan C

3.10 – 4.40 : TRAINING FOR CHANGE…

• Power mapping and building a broad-based alliance for change – with Becky Howcroft – Leeds Citizens
• How to use the Media to get your message out – with Economic Justice Project
• How to be a Trans Ally – with Emma Simpson – @SimpsonTrainings
• Healing the cuts through Spoken Word – with Sai Murray -Voices that Shake!


Join us for tea, cake and collective creativity. In this closing session we will be drawing on stories, strategies and ideas from the day, to write a set of demands that will help create a legacy for the day. We will explore questions of ‘How do we go forward from here’ and ‘Do we rebuild what’s been lost, or build on what’s emerged’? Our Charter of demands will be a shared resource that can be taken forward to our organisations, elected representatives, and built into our own work and communities beyond the event.