London (teleSUR) – As the British monarchy celebrated another royal wedding and mainstream media dedicated countless hours of coverage to the elaborate spectacle brought to you by taxpayers’ money, Europe’s Republican parties came together in the convention of the Alliance of European Republican Movements in Central London.
Republican campaigners from around Europe, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden discussed the continental movement to get rid of the monarchies across the continent.
Ahead of the wedding Republic, the United Kingdom-based group that organized the convention published a public opinion survey that revealed 57 percent of the 1,615 people surveyed “believe the Royals should pay the full cost of the wedding, including the cost of policing and security.” The poll, which was carried out by YouGov, also found that 76 percent of people were against the use of taxpayers money for the event.
BrideBook.co.uk estimates the wedding cost at approximately US$42 million, US$40 of which will cover security costs that are paid directly by taxpayers.
Many disagree with the people paying for a lavish event for the elites, especially in the United Kingdom, which has implemented a hash program of austerity that as affected essential public services for the many.
The Tory greedy bastards have given the super-rich, tax cuts worth billions of pounds. It makes me sick that the poor have to cover the short fall in public expenditure, driving working class into poverty and relying on food banks. #RichList2018
— Nadeem Ahmed (@Muqadaam) May 13, 2018
According to Canary, a local independent newspaper, the wedding could’ve paid for 6 million three-day emergency food packages or 3,000 training programs for nurses who since 2017 have to pay over US$12,000 in tuition fees due to budget cuts to the National Health Service. Some have even pointed to the fact that Meghan Markle’s dress, which cost upwards of £300,000, eclipsed the cost of the additional funds needed for the Grenfell Tower were 72 lives that were lost in a fire last year.
The "royal" wedding dress is estimated to cost between £300,000 to £400,000. To have added safe cladding on Grenfell Tower it would've only costed £200,000 and would've saved lives. The same politicians who refused to pay it, will probably be guests at the wedding. pic.twitter.com/TrYNKL1w7Z
— Stephen Lewis (@vegansmithsfan) May 13, 2018
So far 33,500 people have signed a petition demanding openness and transparency around the wedding’s finances. The petition also argues “if the Royals want to turn a private wedding into a public PR exercise, they need to pay.”
But the cost isn’t the only reason the wedding has faced public backlash. Since the wedding’s date and the location were announced, city council leader Simon Dudley, and others have been on a harsh campaign against London’s homeless population claiming that their presence on the streets could paint the city in a “sadly unfavorable light.” Some even campaigned to have the urged police use their powers to remove them before the wedding.
"In 2018, the homeless of Windsor were cleared away for the Royal Wedding, while royalists draped in Union Jacks were allowed to camp out on the streets."
Imagine what future generations will think of today's Britain when they read this sentence in the history books.
— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) May 17, 2018
Friday night dozens of protesters descended on Windsor for a #RoyalSleepOver to protest the targeting of homeless people and raise awareness on the issue.
Police officers are removing sleeping bags and belongings of homeless people living on streets outside Windsor Castle – but promise to return them after the tax payer funded royal wedding#RoyalSleepover #SolidarityNotCharity #ToryCutsKill #HomelessLivesMatter #ToriesOut pic.twitter.com/IqT84i3vE6
— Isca Saboteur (@IscaSaboteur) May 15, 2018
According to the National Audit Office, the U.K. has witnessed a rapid rise in homelessness, which has increased by 134% since the Conservative Party came to power in 2010. Opposition politicians link the increase on severe cuts to public spending.
Citizen outage also echoed from past and present British colonies.
Australian human rights campaigner and anti-monarchist Peter Tatchell described the wedding as “escapist nonsense; a real-life soap opera for people who fantasize about fame, riches, status and fairy-tale romance.”
While two Irish groups, Anti-Imperialist Action Ireland and Irish Socialist Republicans protested the royal wedding in a town near Dublin arguing those who participate in the media-created frenzy will be celebrating “the ongoing occupation of six Irish Counties and Britain’s normalization strategy in Ireland.”
This post was originally written for and published by teleSUR English.