Part protest, part performance – the mass chanting on the eve of the UK’s general election, highlighted those left out of the political system.
They demanded ‘an immigrant for prime minister… someone with AIDS for prime minister… someone who has debt’.
The text was originated by US artist and activist Zoe Leonard in 1992. It was revived for the 2010 Swedish General Election and this new version was collaboratively authored at workshops in Berlin and London over the past year.
Over 50 people yesterday spent an hour collectively chanting both Leonard’s original and the new version – the first time it had been performed in the UK
Laura Guy, who helped organize the Trafalgar Square event, told GSN: ‘The readings are not simply about demanding greater representation within the present political system but about showing how so many people are failed by that very system.
‘We were informed by a historic moment of queer and feminist political struggle and wanted to orientate that toward a present set of demands.
‘It was empowering to stand together, to take up space and read in unison. I think many of us would all like to see a reinvigorated LGBT politics in the UK that aligns queer struggle with that of the many others.’
Read the new version in full here:
I want a dyke for prime minister. I want an immigrant for prime minister and I want a person with AIDS for prime minister and I want someone who has debt and I want someone who watched their council estate being bulldozed and replaced with luxury flats.
I want a prime minister who never crossed a picket except on the way to have an abortion and I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils and I want a prime minister who lost their last lover to suicide, who still sees that in their eyes every time they lay down to rest.
I want a prime minister with no access to legal representation, a prime minister who has stood in the line at DWP [Department for Work and Pensions], who has a chronic illness and who had their DLA [Disability Living Allowance] withdrawn, who has been unemployed and sexually harassed and gay bashed and deported.
I want someone who is a migrant worker, who had no choice but to leave her own children to work in a private household and who survived an abusive employer.
I want someone who has been in love and been hurt, who respects sex, who has made mistakes and learned from them. I want a prime minister who thinks black lives matter. I want someone who was stopped and searched, someone who couldn’t afford their care home fees, someone who is trans and has done drugs and is still on the waiting list for the mental health service.
I want someone who has committed civil disobedience. And I want to know why this isn’t possible. I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always an elite: always a john and never a sex worker. Always a boss and never a laborer, always a liar, always a thief and never caught.
- See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/do-you-want-poor-dyke-sex-worker-or-immigrant-prime-minister070515#sthash.NSw2P0l1.dpuf