By Annette Mackin
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Thousands join anti-austerity protests around Britain

This article is over 8 years, 2 months old
Issue 2378
Protesters in Parliament Square on Tuesday night
Protesters in Parliament Square on Tuesday night (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Thousands took to streets around the country to protest against austerity yesterday, Tuesday. The People’s Assembly coordinated the Burn Austerity day of action on bonfire night, with hacker group Anonymous also staging protests.

In London, protesters marched onto Westminster Bridge opposite the Houses of Parliament where energy bills and an effigy of David Cameron were burnt on a bonfire.

Suzanne, a retired education worker, travelled from Cumbria to attend the protest. She told Socialist Worker, “I’ve come to protest about everything this government is doing, but especially against the attacks on the NHS. I used to work in education, so I’m also protesting against what Michael Gove is doing too.”

Writer Owen Jones and Labour MPs John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn also joined the protest on the bridge. John McDonnell said, “This is a recovery for the rich. When parliament and politicians fail to listen, we need to take back the streets.”

Protesters also marched around the country against Tory cuts. In Newcastle, demonstrators marched into high street shops wearing masks and bound in chains to protest against tax avoidance.

Anti-austerity protesters also burned utility bills in Sheffield and collected signatures for a petition against austerity.

After the bonfire on Westminster Bridge, the Burn Austerity demonstrators marched to join the Million Mask March protest in Parliament Square. This was one of 400 protests called in cities around the world by Anonymous.

Joined by comedian Russell Brand, protesters donned Guy Fawkes masks to protest against state surveillance, cuts and tax avoidance. Police surrounded the protesters and arrested 11 people when demonstrators tried to march to Buckingham Palace. But protesters still demonstrated outside the palace gates.

“It’s important to show you’re against government cuts.” Christine, a writer based in east London, told Socialist Worker. “You can’t just sit at home complaining about the cuts – you have to do something.

“The campaign which defeated the plans to close Lewisham Hospital gave us hope. We need more victories like Lewisham. So everyone should get out there and start marching.”

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