Socialist Worker

Thousands join angry marches against Boris Johnson

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2685


Protesters marched in London against Tory racism and attacks on the NHS (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Rage against the Tories was on the streets of London on Friday evening as around 2,000 people joined a demonstration outside Downing Street. 

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) organised it in response to Boris Johnson’s victory in the general election and to kickstart resistance on the streets to the coming assaults on working class people. 

Protesters defied atttempts from the police to kettle them and kept marching through central London.

Hundreds more people joined protests and marches across Britain, including thousands in Glasgow.

After the election, keep up the fight against Tory rule
After the election, keep up the fight against Tory rule
  Read More

Chants of “Boris Johnson—fuck off back to Eton” and “Save our NHS, save our NHS” rang out from the overwhelmingly young demonstration in London. Megan, a student in London, told Socialist Worker, “Movements are really important.

“I’m not sure what demonstrations can do, but we’ve got to show our disapproval.

“We’ve seen in the US Donald Trump’s sexism and racism making right wing people stronger, and the growth of racism is a big problem in our society.”

“I think people voted because of Brexit and immigration not because of issues like health care,” she said

Lewis, one of the McDonald’s workers who struck for £10 an hour and union rights, told Socialist Worker, “We need to keep up the demonstrations, marches and strikes.

“We need to show that Johnson doesn’t represent everyone.” 

He added that people had to “keep talking about the policies” in Labour’s left wing manifesto to make sure they’re not dropped. 

Anger on the streets of Glasgow

Anger on the streets of Glasgow (Pic: Andrew McGowan)

The general election result was a bitter blow.

The Labour leadership gave way to pressure from the party’s right wing and slowly shifted the Brexit policy since the last general election. The right wanted to scupper Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and make Labour a moderate party of Remain. 

Fred, a Labour Party member from the Islington South constituency in north London, said, “I think the Brexit policy did not work—and that was the biggest factor behind the result.

“The second referendum didn’t cut the ice.

“There were very good policies in the manifesto, but there wasn’t an overarching single message.

“As much as I support Corbyn, some of the attacks on him stuck.”

And Mary, another Labour member, said, “The antisemitism headlines and saying he has links to terrorist by the press stuck even though it’s unfair.” 

Many people were furious with the Labour right for trying to undermine Corbyn. Clem, a university student, said, “I think the whole of the left needs to unite, but I’m not sure it should include the social democrats.

“They spent their time undermining Corbyn then act surprised that he lost.”

Friday's mobilisations have to mark the first step in fighting vicious Tory rule, and more protests are planned. They will be critical towards building resistance to Tory austerity, racism and inaction on climate change on the streets, workplaces and campuses. 

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