Tens of thousands rally in London against austerity
UK: Tens of thousands of people marched through London and other
British cities on Saturday in protest against spending cuts by Prime
Minister David Cameron’s struggling coalition government. Marchers
carried signs reading “No cuts” and “Cameron has butchered Britain,”
condemning the austerity measures introduced by Cameron’s
Conservative-led coalition in a bid to reduce Britain’s huge deficit.
Police said they dealt with a number of incidents of “anti-social
behavior” as breakaway groups of anarchist protesters protested outside
major companies including McDonald’s and Starbucks in the Oxford Street
Scotland Yard sid not provide an estimate for the turnout on the
three-mile (4.8-kilometre) march route but organisers said police had
told them that around 100,000 people attended. “This is not a crisis
that is going to sort itself out through cuts,” 19-year-old protester
Jonathan told AFP.
“We’ve had a double-dip recession now, and we are here today to show
we are not going to stand it any longer.” In Scotland’s biggest city
Glasgow around 5,000 people took part in a separate protest while there
was also a march in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Britain climbed out of a
deep economic downturn in late 2009 but fell back into recession at the
end of 2011.
The coalition said after coming to power in 2010 that most
ministries’ budgets would be be cut by a fifth over four years, while
other unpopular measures include a tripling of university tuition fees
and a public sector pay freeze.
Protesters paused to boo at Cameron’s Downing Street residence, and
shouted “Pay your taxes!” at a Starbucks coffee shop.