London’s anti-austerity demonstration began outside the Bank of England in typical fashion with the all-so-familiar chants against public sector cuts and a rousing applause following each soundbite. Déjà vu. The same old signs and costumes; it seemed like there would be no freshness to proceedings.
But, as the march started, originality prevailed. Long gone was the rhetoric; music now greeted the crowd from steel drums and trumpets to Hare Krishna singers and an austerity-inspired Frank Sinatra. One group installed speakers on a bicycle and travelled the entire route singing covers of rock anthems like The Clash’s ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go?’ and The Troggs’ ‘Wild Thing’.
Watch the video above to see some of our favourite musicians from Saturday’s demonstration.
Once at Westminster, the music did not stop. Before the speeches, speakers blared out hip-hop classics like Dead Prez’s ‘Hip Hop’ and ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Flash, which had the young’uns twerking.
And for those slightly older, there was time to fit in some reggae and ska. The Specials’ ‘A Message To You Rudy’ booming outside the Houses of Parliament had the crowd briefly forgetting about politics and enjoying the rare London sunshine.
The concerns about austerity are very real and should not be diminished; but Saturday’s events show that it doesn't mean people won’t have a good time.