The people fight back! Mass anti-austerity demonstration shows defiance to Tories

Photo: Steve Eason

Simon Hardy reports from the 20 June demonstration.

Over 200,000 people marched through central London on 20 June as people came from across the country to show their anger and opposition to further Tory cuts. The demonstration saw lots of young people coming out to protest against the government, marching alongside seasoned activists from previous movements.

With the Tory government planning on implement tens of millions of pounds more cuts – particularly to welfare – people who are already feeling the effects of austerity simply can’t take much more. With cuts across the public sector and low wages affecting millions, many cannot make ends meet. Services they once relied on are being cut back or shut down in order to pay off the deficit – a failed economic strategy since the deficit has actually grown since 2010. All the while the richest 1% in Britain are richer than they have ever been.

See Simon and other marchers talk about the demonstration in this video:

The demonstration was led by the People’s Assembly and the large trade union groups: Unite and the NUT were particularly prominent, as was the FBU fire truck, handing out free T-shirts! Representatives and members of Greece’s Syriza and Spain’s Podemos parties were also on the protest, showing how international the movement is against austerity.

Speakers at the start and end of the demo, including trade union leaders like Len McCluskey (Unite) and Christine Blower (NUT) made it clear that austerity was hitting the poorest the hardest. Great speeches from disabled activists made it clear that the government’s policies are killing people as much-needed support is withdrawn. Jeremy Corbyn, currently standing for Labour leader, received a warm response from the assembled protesters, calling for a united fight and saying that socialism was something still worth fighting for.

A day after the protest, David Cameron said that it would make no difference and the planned cuts would carry on. Now the ball is in our court. We must turn a mass demonstration into a mass movement, building united local campaigns across the country around issues like low wages, housing and welfare cuts. The spotlight will also fall on the Labour left and the trade union leaders. What action is being planned to build the kind of resistance to the cuts that can win?

Left Unity banners on the demonstration


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