Anger at David Cameron spilled onto the streets last Saturday. In central London over 1,000 people laid siege to the Tories outside Downing Street and the Conservative Party’s spring conference. Another 1,000 people in Newcastle marched in solidarity with junior doctors on the same day.
The protests came after revelations that Cameron had profited from an offshore account set up by his late father.
But they expressed a much more deep-seated anger against the Tories.
Alice Smith and Joanna Gibbs travelled from Chester to join the London protest. Joanna said, “Cameron’s damaging everything good about our society. The NHS, benefits, everything.”
Alice said, “He’s fucking the old, he’s fucking everybody who could possibly be ill in the future.”
Joanna added, “I don’t know if he’ll resign, but we need to keep doing things like this. It’s the fact that he lied about it—this could be the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
The London march was reminiscent of the angry, militant and young protests after the Tories’ general election win last May.
This mood was matched in Newcastle, with one protester telling Socialist Worker that the march was her first demonstration in 30 years. And one speaker told the Newcastle rally, “Public services aren’t too costly. If we take the money being hidden in offshore Panama accounts, there would be enough to fund welfare ten times over.”
After gathering outside Downing Street protesters ignored police and marched to block the entrance to the Grand Connaught Rooms conference venue. Several top Tories, including David Cameron, were speaking inside.
Once outside the protesters shouted “resign” and “Cameron out”.
But college student Andrew said, “It’s not enough to get rid of Cameron. We need a new government.”
Junior doctor Jack agreed, “I’m here to show opposition to this government of millionaires.”
The protesters marched back to Downing Street, shutting Whitehall with a sit-down open air meeting.
They discussed how to build resistance on the back of the anger that has resurfaced after the tax revelations.
Paula Peters from Disabled People Against the Cuts (Dpac) told the sit down, “Let’s make this the summer and autumn of discontent against this government.”
There were calls for a bigger fightback in Newcastle too. Teacher Dan Kebede said, “It is up to us to unite together, teachers and doctors, and stop this government.”
One-off payments aren’t enough
IWGB union members fight back
Anti-racist protests call for change
Many thought they could win more