THOUSANDS of people are taking part in the People’s Assembly march today in London. The front of the demonstration has just left Gower Street, heading for Trafalgar Square.
It’s loud, lively and confident with everyone well aware of the horrific damage the Tories are doing, but also knowing that David Cameron has never looked weaker.
There’s music, and chanting and lots of homemade placards. The FBU firefighters' union engine is playing Johnny Cash. And there’s a deep desire to get Cameron out.
The junior doctors are mentioned by almost every marcher. It’s clear they could tap massive support if there was a systematic push to win wider action in solidarity with them.
Tom Bowers from Liverpool said, “The Panama papers revelations are a disgrace. It shows how the Tories get into power, by using their family money. This is the first one of these I've ever been on and it's great so many people have come out.
“The Tories are pissing so many people off, doctors, teachers, disabled people. Something's got to happen soon.”
Patrick Jenkins, Labour town councillor from Southam near Coventry said, “The main reason I'm here is the government’s plans to force schools to become academies. The Tories are taking control out of local people's hands and giving it to businesses.
“The other reason is the junior doctors—there has been no communication between the government and the doctors.
“I think Corbyn’s brilliant, he just explains his policies. He's the reason I joined Labour.I think the key thing is we should be attacking the Tories, not the right and left in labour fighting each other. I want to see the Tories out before 2020.”
Royal Mail worker Mark came from Reading with his brother. "We've been privatised against the wishes of 98 percent of the workforce and you see the effect every day. It's all about making money, to the detriment of the service and the workers.
“You have to march to show you don't agree with what this government is doing. They were elected by only 24 percent of the electorate and they keep hurting the vulnerable for their own gain."
Valerie Brannon from Kilburn said, "The Tories are being very harsh to disabled people. I'm also marching for the NHS—the contract they are imposing on junior doctors will be bad for everyone who uses the health service as a patient too.
“We have to get rid of the Tories and we have to get rid of them now."
Ellis from Manchester said, “We went to the People’s Assembly demo in Manchester. I'm sick of the Tories. I'm a student, my mum works in the NHS. As a family we're feeling the pressure. The Panama Papers prove what people already knew, how corrupt the government really is.”
Waitress Biba Williams said, "We need a government we can trust not just to line its own pockets. We need to put money into things like health and education not Trident. I have faith in Jeremy Corbyn.
“People are starting to get together and rise up. We're more powerful when we're together and people are starting to see that."
Retired public sector worker Jane said, "The cuts are tearing the heart out of this country,causing so much privation and pain. The junior doctors have taken a stand—and something has got to change or people are going to die."
Anita, a teacher from Milton Keynes, said, "The government's plans to academise all schools will be bad for our pay and conditions, and bad for provision for children and young people.
“Parents will have no input into education and there will be no accountability."
She was optimistic, "The NUT has already won a U-turn on the plans to bring in baseline testing for four year olds, and defended the right of sixth form staff to strike. It's possible to win anything if you've got enough people who'll come out and make their voices heard."