Huge anti-austerity rally in London
Tens of thousands of British citizens have taken to the streets of the capital London and Glasgow to protest against the Conservative government’s austerity policies.
The protest organized by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity has begun outside the Bank of England near the houses of parliament.
According to Press TV’s correspondent in London, Narges Moballeghi, people from different walks of life including firefighters, teachers and medical workers have joined the massive rally.
This is expected to be the largest anti-austerity protest in London since Conservatives won recent elections.
The Conservatives managed to secure 331 seats of parliament against Labor with 232 seats. The results proved shocking for most observers as polls predicted a neck and neck competition.
During the past months, similar protests have been held in London. The protesters are angry that a party with only about 37% of the vote has a majority in government. They say the Tory’s will destroy the country even further in the next five years with austerity and the dismantling of public services leaving the poor even more worse off.
The government says austerity measures are vital to cut the deficit.
To stop Saturday’s protest, UK police had increased pressure on anti-government activists by handing fresh bail conditions. Media reports said police had launched a crackdown on activists previously linked to direct action protests before Saturday’s demonstration.
To this end, three activists arrested on suspicion of offences at earlier demonstrations have been handed fresh bail conditions forbidding them from attending the protest march on Saturday, sources have told the Guardian.
Earlier, Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn slammed the government’s austerity policies as a mask for inequality.
Corbyn urged people across the country not to accept the Tory agenda of cuts and reduced welfare, saying it takes a collective movement focused on achieving equality to counter the Tories. He is seen as the socialist left wing candidate compared to Liz Kendall, Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham. Corbyn has rallied against New Labour ever since its inception under Tony Blair.
He believes that “Britain has become a more unequal society, is becoming a more unequal society and austerity is a cover for actually deepening that level of inequality…we have more people than ever using foodbanks, we have a greater number of people being homeless and many people in housing stress.”
Millionaire celebrities Russell Brand and Charlotte Church join thousands of protesters on anti-austerity march through London
- Thousands marched through London to protest against austerity plans
- Millionaires Russell Brand and Charlotte Church were among them
- Singer branded public spending cuts ‘unethical, unfair and unnecessary’
- Protestors marched from London’s financial district to Parliament today
They have a combined net worth of more than £20million.
But Russell Brand and Charlotte Church still felt compelled to join tens of thousands of protesters on an anti-austerity march through London.
The millionaire celebrities teamed up with families, students and campaigners from all over the country to march from the heart of the financial district to Parliament.
Brandishing an End Austerity Now placard, Church, 29, slammed the government’s plans for public spending cuts saying it was ‘unethical, unfair and unnecessary’.
Singer Charlotte Church joined thousands of protesters on an anti-austerity march through London
The singer said: ‘I’m here today in a show of solidarity with everyone here – it is a massive turnout – everybody who thinks that austerity isn’t the only way and thinks it is essentially unethical, unfair and unnecessary.’
Church, who has a estimated net worth of £11million, said she was inspired by the surge of the Scottish National Party she said ‘absolutely’.
But she added: ‘But I think that the Scottish have been able to galvanise themselves against the Westminster elite.
‘We are in one of the richest nations in the world and social inequality is unacceptable.’
Comedian Russell Brand (pictured) was also seen marching from the financial district to Parliament
Some protesters donned masks as they packed the streets outside the Bank of England
‘I’m immensely proud to be here. I think this is a brilliant movement and it is for the common good. We are here to make a stand.’
Comedian Russell Brand, who has an estimated net worth of £9million, was also seen marching through the streets wearing headphones and a grey jumper.
Holding banners saying ‘End Austerity Now’ and ‘Defy Tory Rule’, protesters packed streets outside the Bank of England.
Led by a brass band trio, they waved placards, blew whistles and chanted their opposition to the Conservative Government and its plans for billions of pounds of cuts.
Speakers including Labour London Mayoral hopeful Diane Abbott addressed the crowds before they set off for the Palace of Westminster.
Organisers promised a ‘festival atmosphere’ and the march kicked off to the sounds of drum bands.
But a loud boo erupted through the crowd as it arrived outside Downing Street and a red flare was set off, filling part of Whitehall with thick scarlet smoke.
Brandishing an End Austerity Now placard Church said she was inspired by the surge of the Scottish National Party she said ‘absolutely’
The Welsh singer was heard chanting as she joined families, students and campaigners
Protesters, some clad in goggles and with scarves wrapped around their face to conceal their identity, chanted their opposition to Prime Minister David Cameron.
Another demonstrator waved a model of Margaret Thatcher’s head on a stick.
Many trade unionists and public sector workers were among the crowd.
Sian Bloor, 45, a primary school teacher from Trafford, near Manchester, warned that children ‘are being robbed of their childhood’ because of swingeing Government cuts.
She said: ‘We have seen a huge impact on our work at primary school.
Protesters sprayed bright blue smoke into the crowd and covered their mouths with scarves
Led by a brass band trio, they waved placards, blew whistles and chanted their opposition to the Conservative Government and its plans for billions of pounds of cuts
One protester impersonated George Osborne who said he wants government departments to make extra cuts
‘I regularly bring clothes and shoes for children and biscuits for their breakfast, just so they get something to eat.
‘You can see how children are being affected by the cuts.
‘Children come into school concerned because they are being thrown out of their house and have nowhere to live for the umpteenth time that year because their parents’ benefits are being cut.
‘They are being robbed of their childhood.’
The Conservatives won an outright majority in a national election last month after five years when they had led a coalition focused on cutting public spending to narrow Britain’s large budget deficit.
The singer, who has an estimated net worth of £11million, brandished an End Austerity Now placard
Hundreds of protesters carried banners through London streets including one (pictured saying ‘class war’
Since winning the election, finance minister George Osborne has said he wants government departments to make extra cuts this year and to commit future governments to run budget surpluses.
A spokesman for the People’s Assembly, which is organising the protest, said: ‘It is clear this march has exceeded all expectations.
‘Even the police are estimating that there are ‘several hundred thousand’ marching. Today is not the end of our campaign against austerity but the start of a mass movement prepared to take on this government.’
One child was seen bearing a placard saying ‘toddlers against austerity’ while being pushed along
Tens of thousands of demonstrators with placards crowded the area around the Bank of England
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