Socialist Worker

Anger on streets meets Boris Johnson’s first day as prime minister

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2665

Rage on the streets

Rage on the streets (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Over 5,000 people, most of them under the age of 30, raged through central London on Wednesday to show their rejection of new Tory prime minister Boris Johnson.

“He sums up everything that’s wrong with society,” Deliveroo worker Sam told Socialist Worker. “He’s a racist and he’s full of lies and cares only for a tiny portion of people at the top.

“How did we get here?”

People assembled at Russell Square and then moved off to march to Downing Street. Helen, a local government worker, told Socialist Worker, “I am really angry that Boris Johnson has got into Downing Street.

“It feels like we have a Donald Trump figure here as well.

“There is so little reaction in general. This is a racist, a homophobe and a total incompetent in Downing Street. We need to wake up.”

Before the march took off Labour shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, gave a speech in which he said it was the first day of resistance to Johnson. He described Johnson as a “racist” and “a liar”.

He also warned demonstrators not to “fall for his buffoonery”.

Ready to leave from Russell Square

Ready to leave from Russell Square (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Michael had come from Liverpool for the protest. “All Tories are scum, but Johnson is such an insult,” he said.

“I despise what he said about people in my city,” he said.

Johnson, when editor of the Spectator magazine, approved an article accusing “drunken” and “mindless” Liverpool fans of responsibility for the 1989 Hillsborough football disaster.

Alan told Socialist Worker, “My family are in Glasgow and they hate Johnson. Mind you, they hated Theresa May as well. I think people in Scotland are now more and more likely to vote for independence if they got a chance.

The fight is just starting

The fight is just starting (Pic: Guy Smallman)


“It’s a real shame that Labour is as much of an obstacle to independence as the Tories. That makes them the enemy to lots of people, especially young people.”

Boris Johnson—most vicious of Tory clowns
Boris Johnson—most vicious of Tory clowns
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Some people on the demonstration focused on Johnson’s support for Brexit, and in particular a no-deal Brexit. But most were motivated by wider issues about his racism and attacks on working class people.

Earlier in the day Greenpeace activists joined hands across the Mall road as Johnson was making his way to meet the queen. Activists had planned to hand a letter to Johnson that detailed how to end the climate crisis.

Their protest was quickly broken up by police.

On Tuesday hundreds of people gathered in Glasgow to demonstrate against Johnson.

It was organised by pro-independence group All Under One Banner, with many carrying Saltire flags and handwritten signs reading: "Boris No! Independence Yes!"

Another protest was planned in London on Thursday, called by the Labour Party and featuring Jeremy Corbyn. It assembles at Parliament Square at 6pm.

People are looking for a focus to resist. Many marchers on Wednesday were pleased to hear about the climate strike on 20 September—a break from the weak response of far too many trade union and Labour leaders.


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