Billy Bragg: ‘Why we have to take to the streets for G20 protest’

Singer-songwriter tells NME.COM why he's performing at 'Bank Of England Carnival' today (April 1)

Billy Bragg has told NME.COM he is taking part in today’s (April 1) G20 protests as it’s the only way to convince the Government to make radical changes to the economy.

The singer-songwriter is taking part in the G20 Meltdown‘s “Financial Fools Day” protest, which will see him perform outside the Bank Of England in London alongside the likes of Kate Nash and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly at noon.

Speaking ahead of the “carnival”, which will see protestors marching to Threadneedle Street from four London Underground stations – Moorgate, Liverpool Street, London Bridge and Cannon StreetBragg said taking to streets was justified.


“It seems to be clear from what our government are saying that we can go back to how things were before the credit crunch, and personally I don’t think that’s viable to go back to a housing boom, to go back to people living beyond their means,” he explained.

“If ever there was a time when the possibility of another way of doing things was to be debated, that’s now. So I think the anti-globalisation movement are totally justified in coming out onto the streets into the city of London when the bankers are there to express their anger over this situation that the bankers have got us into.”

Bragg is set to perform ‘The World Turned Upside-Down’, an English rebel song he popularised in the ’80s about the Diggers, a 17th century group of revolutionaries who tried to bring about a form of communism.

Police say they will be operating a “flexible policy” throughout the day, while organiser Camilla Power insisted today’s march will be peaceful.

“I don’t think violence is any use whatsoever,” she declared. “I don’t think it would achieve the popular empowerment that a really lovely carnival atmosphere would achieve. This is a day for us to take over the space of the city and to laugh those bankers out of town.”

For more on Bragg‘s plans and the G20 protest, get this week’s issue of NME, on UK newsstands now.


Head to NME.COM/photos to view our picks of the 21 most powerful protest anthems.

Meanwhile, you can listen to all 21 tracks, and nominate your own favourite protest anthems, on the Office blog.