Thousands march against austerity: Here are the juicy pictures
‘Protest reggae may well be the worst genre of music yet invented’
Saturday saw a series of anti-austerity demonstrations being held across the UK, with protests being held in London, Bristol, Glasgow and Liverpool.
Between 70,000 and 150,000 attended the main one at Parliament Square with Russell Brand, Charlotte Church and Jeremy Corbyn all in attendance.
Calling on the Government to “End Austerity” now, the London protest had something of a party atmosphere. Bristol English student Alex Schulte was among those at the protest. He said: “It was a mixture of carnival and controlled fury really – you had garage rock bands accompanying hare krishnas in a rendition of Wild Thing, next to floppy haired students in camo Morrissey jackets chanting about burning David Cameron alive.”
Alex added: “It got quite febrile as it went on – things looked like they could take a turn for the hairy when the anarchists started burning placards but the event ended entirely peacefully, and I can’t say I saw a single scuffle or confrontation.”
A Metropolitan Police spokesman later confirmed that only five arrests were made.
Sam Bowman, 27, works in Westminster and witnessed the London protests. He said: “It was mostly pretty relaxed, although I did see some guys with black face-coverings try to shove over a photographer, which was pretty grim. The music was awful – protest reggae may well be the worst genre of music yet invented.
“What was interesting to me was how many different groups and campaigns there were – at least half a dozen different types of socialist party, each with its own newspaper and dozens of other little campaigns and groups with their own banners and demands.”
In Liverpool the protests lasted roughly two hours, with 200 making their way through the city to converge in Derby Square. Armed with megaphones and banners, the crowd broke into a rendition of “All You Need Is Love” and chalked messages into the steps.
Bristol’s Mayor George Freeman tweeted the city “should be proud of young people who’ve played leading role in anti austerity demos”. Meanwhile trade union leaders in Glasgow warned they would ignore any new laws that would limit strikes or funding.