The huge TUC march in London set off at noon. Giant balloons from the Unite and Unison unions hover overhead along with some from the Daily Mirror newspaper.
Many groups of demonstrators can be seen across the city marching to the demonstration from their transport drop off points. Lots are still to arrive at the main march.
School students are among those demonstrating. Bracken, a year 11 school student from Sheffield, told Socialist Worker, “We’re here because of university fees. I probably won’t be able to go to university now.”
Eleanor, a student in the same year, brought a mask of Tory education secretary Michael Gove with her. “We’re here because we’re angry,” she said.
“The government is getting away with things that most people don’t want. If we don’t march they won’t know what we think.”
Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, told Radio 4’s Today programme that many workers weren’t talking about a general strike. But that’s not the experience of the demo.
Mark is a Remploy worker. He said, “Without a shadow of a doubt I would back a general strike. We need to join together.”
John Marsden is a Unison member at Kensington & Chelsea council. He spoke to Socialist Worker in a personal capacity. “Workers need to band together and strike,” he said.
He added that “Labour needs to stand up more strongly for an alternative”.
Angela Heath, Eileen Kelliher and Irene Heath are Unison members working at Liverpool Women’s NHS trust.
“We’re here to get rid of the government,” they told Socialist Worker. “We’ve had enough of being dictated to. In our hospital they are getting rid of the social workers who look after bereaved mothers. That’s how low they’ll go.”
The front of the London march sets off from Embankment.
Read more of our 20 October coverage
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The Met is a corrupt barrel
They tried to paint killer cop as a bad apple
Spring budget to come out on Wednesday 6 March