On Saturday the 20th of June, the People’s Assembly organised a massive national demonstration in London opposing the Conservative government’s policy of austerity, called End Austerity Now. The People’s Assembly is a coalition of anti-austerity campaigns and groups, so there was a wide variety of places and interests represented on the demonstration. Thousands of people turned up protest against the cuts, and I was one of them.
The marched started outside of the Bank of England, a symbolic location. The route went through the city, along Fleet Street and the Strand to Parliament Square, where a rally was held.
The words on this banner is a stanza from the poem ‘The Masque of Anarchy’ written by the poet Percy Shelley after the Peterloo massacre in 1819.
The People’s Republic of Brighton and Hove was ‘founded’ after the general election, when two of the city’s constituencies were the only two not to elect a Conservative MP in the south-east. The Republic already has a flag and a passport, and a policy of deporting all Conservatives.
People of all ages attended the End Austerity Now demonstration, and I saw several pensioner’s organisations represented.
Unite’s big floating balls were a very visible presence.
Everyone loves a reference to popular culture, but the image of David Cameron’s head on Miley Cyrus’ body is not one I will forget in a hurry!
The City of London provided a meaningful backdrop to the demonstration, but does tend to be empty at the weekends, so there weren’t many spectators until the march made it to Westminster.
Some protesters turned themselves into placards, like this gentleman.
Another witty homemade placard that I quite like.
There was music of various forms along the march. These supporters of Hare Krishna seemed to go down particularly well.
There was a large bloc of students and teachers on the demonstration, and thanks to this inflatable they were hard to miss!
It is estimated that a quarter of a million people came on the march.
The Fire Brigade’s Union were another group who made an impression.
Sisters Uncut is a women-only group that uses direct action to try and protect domestic violence services. They also have some pretty good chants!
Housing, and many of the issues and protest tactics that surround it, like squatting, is a particularly contentious issue in London.
This gentleman had some rather good songs about Ian Duncan Smith.
Various unions were present on the demonstration, and their banners are always works of art.
I’m not sure why David Cameron is a crab, but this costume is fantastic!
I couldn’t resist taking a picture of placards in front of Big Ben- it’s democracy in action!
The bedroom tax is a highly controversial government policy. Lots of people with banners and placards stopped along Whitehall, presumably to promote their cause as the rest of the march passed by.