NEWS

People’s Assembly National Demonstration Sees Thousands March In London

'Health, homes, jobs and education.'

16/04/2016 14:21 | Updated 17 April 2016

Thousands of people demonstrated in London on Saturday against the Government's cuts, demanding “health, homes, jobs and education”.

It is estimated that more than 50,000 took part in the People's Assembly National Demonstration, which began at about 1pm.

Pictures and videos from the scene in London showed thousands of demonstrators meeting near University College London, in Gower Street.

The demonstration travelled down Shaftesbury Avenue, through to Charing Cross Road and finished at Trafalgar Square.

Slogans such as "Cameron Must Go - Tories Out!" and demands for decent health, homes, jobs and education were brandished in the protest.

Kicking off the rally, the National Health Singers sang a song they had written, which included lines of "don't let our junior docs be worked around the clock", and "help us keep you safe, don't take our rights away".

Before the crowds set off, Labour shadow secretary for international development, Diane Abbott, spoke to the gathering.

The Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP said: "Fighting austerity is the political struggle of our time.

"It is austerity that is the real threat to the NHS. It is austerity which is stopping local authorities building homes.

"It is austerity that is forcing people out of work and into zero hours contracts.

"It is austerity that threatens the future of our young people.

"There could not be a more important demonstration or a more important movement than this one."

She told the crowd that this is "probably the biggest demonstration ever," and is "the right cause".

Chris Nineham, of Stop The War Coalition, said: "Austerity is not about economic necessity, it is a political choice."

He added: "We can now not just get rid of David Cameron, but the whole rotten Tory Government."

Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, NUT general secretary Christine Blower and Green Party leader Natalie Bennett also joined the demonstration.

They spoke at the rally in Trafalgar Square at the end of the march.

Thousands congregated in Trafalgar Square to listen to the speeches.

More than 100 coaches filled with demonstrators arrived in the capital from around the UK - with thousands of others attending through their associated unions or groups.

Michaella Hagger travelled to the demonstration from Winchester.

The 27-year-old who works in the probation service, said: "I'm here because I hate David Cameron.

"It's all about the cuts, tax dodging, and the NHS for me. They are ruining people's jobs and making it impossible for everyone," the Press Association reports.

The People's Assembly said the demonstration could be a “critical moment” as an “out of touch” government faces increasing pressure and scrutiny.

  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    Campaigners marching in an anti-austerity demonstration in central London.
  • John Stillwell/PA Wire
    Police monitor protesters in Whitehall, central London, after an anti-austerity demonstration.
  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    The demonstration started in Gower Street and proceeded through to Trafalgar Square.
  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    Campaigners brandish signs which read "Cameron must go" and "ditch dodgy Dave" as they march through London.
  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    Thousands of people joined in the anti-austerity march.
  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    Campaigners marching in an anti-austerity demonstration in central London.
  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    Many people brought homemade signs to the demo.
  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    A demonstrator pens "stop cuts" on her arms and face.
  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    Save Our Steel was just one of the many groups participating in the protest.
  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    Other signs included "no more austerity" and "cut war not welfare".
  • John Stillwell/PA Wire
    A protester talks to a police officer in Whitehall, central London, after an anti-austerity demonstration.
  • John Stillwell/PA Wire
    Police monitor protesters opposite the gates of Downing Street in Whitehall, central London, after an anti-austerity demonstration.
  • John Stillwell/PA Wire
    Police monitor protesters in Whitehall, central London, after an anti-austerity demonstration.
  • John Stillwell/PA Wire
    Police monitor protesters opposite the gates of Downing Street in Whitehall, central London, after an anti-austerity demonstration.
  • John Stillwell/PA Wire
    Police move in to arrest a protester opposite the gates of Downing Street in Whitehall, central London, after an anti-austerity demonstration.
  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    Campaigners marching in an anti-austerity demonstration in central London.
  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    Campaigners marching in an anti-austerity demonstration in central London.
  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    A campaigner dressed as a police officer outside 10 Downing Street in central London during an anti-austerity demonstration.
  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell speaks at an anti-austerity demonstration in central London.
  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    Campaigners wearing pig masks march in an anti-austerity demonstration in central London.
  • Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    Campaigners marching in an anti-austerity demonstration in central London.
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