Why Are There "WANTED" Posters For George Osborne in London?

As London awoke and made its way to work this morning, many bleary-eyed commuters might have felt they had stumbled into the Wild West as they were greeted with “WANTED” posters plastered on bus stops, Tube platforms, street signs, and walkways all over the capital. The outlaw? Chancellor George Osborne. His crime? “Destroying women’s services,” read the claim.

On closer inspection, the hit job is the work of Sisters Uncut, the “feminist group taking direct action for domestic violence services.”

Ahead of the Budget announcement this afternoon (Wednesday), the group claim that Osborne's budget cuts will cripple services for domestic violence victims, particularly specialist ones for BME women. It is a concern echoed in a comment piece in The Guardian today:

“For all the multiple and outrageous ways in which women have borne the brunt of austerity, nowhere is the impact more acute than in the area of protection from domestic and other kinds of violence," writes Mary O'Hara, a specialist on austerity cuts.

Despite a rise in violent crime against women since 2010, services and refuges for victims have been scaled back. Sisters Uncut claim services have lost more than 30% of their funding since 2010. There will be further cuts to BME services when the Budget is officially announced later today.

On Monday, Sisters Uncut barricaded the Treasury entrance in protest, calling the austerity cuts a “racist, sexist choice”.

Kat Vail of Sisters Uncut told The Guardian: “We have a very basic demand: the government must ringfence funding for domestic violence services. This is the only way to make sure they can stay running. Domestic violence is high in the UK – one in three women will experience it – yet services that support survivors are being forced to close because the government won’t put a secure funding plan in place.”

Sisters Uncut, which was formed in 2014 and was responsible for the protests at the Suffragette premiere last October, are sharing pictures of the posters in various locations with the hashtag #giveusdollargeorge on their Twitter feed.

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