Anti-austerity protest brings thousands to the streets of London to demand David Cameron's resignation

'I'm here because I hate David Cameron. It's all about the cuts, tax dodging, and the NHS for me'

Matt Broomfield
Thursday 21 April 2016 13:00
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Thousands protest against austerity in London

A protest calling on David Cameron to resign brought thousands of people onto the streets of London.

The March for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education was organised by activist group the People's Assembly. The demonstrators called for an end to austerity, and demanded the Prime Minister quit over the revelation that he profited from his father's offshore investment fund.

It was estimated around 50,000 people attended the demonstration.

Before setting off, the crowd was addressed by Dianne Abbott MP and junior doctors involved in organising strikes against the new contract that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is seeking to impose.

Ms Abbott said: "I'm so glad to be here to pass on Jeremy Corbyn's absolute support for this demonstration. There couldn't be a more important movement and demonstration than this one today.

Anti-austerity protesters in Trafalgar Square, London, call for David Cameron to resign

"Austerity is a threat to the National Health Service and to our public services. We must unite to defend them."

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, union chief Len McCluskey and Green Party leader Natalie Bennett also took part in the march.

Speaking in Trafalgar Square, Mr McDonnell said: "Alongside courage and determination, we need solidarity. The workers united will never be defeated."

He added later: "I think Cameron should go, but I think he should take his party with him. His Government is now bankrupt in terms of political ideas, and bankrupt in terms of what they have done with the economy as well.

"On every front now we are seeing the Government in disarray - in terms of the economy we are slipping backwards instead of growing."

The People's Assembly used the protest to make "Four Demands". With regards to health, they called for an end to Government spending cuts and the alleged privatisation of the NHS. The protestors' demand over housing included rent controls and the protection of social housing.

On jobs, they called for a universal living wage and the scrapping of the Trade Union Bill, and they also demanded an end to student tuition fees and "the marketisation of education".

Probation worker Michaella Hagger, 27, 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."

Also on the march was feminist protest group Sisters Uncut. They said: "Sisters Uncut are marching with student nurses for a society in which everyone has a secure livelihood, and no one is financially dependent on an abusive partner."

The march was supported by trade unions and a number of activist groups. The Radical Assembly organised a "No Jobs" bloc calling for "full automation" of the economy and "an end to the 'paid work is good for you' culture", while a delegation from the Fire Brigades Union drove a fire engine along the protest route playing disco music.

Last week, 1,000 protesters gathered outside 10 Downing Street for a spontaneous demo demanding Mr Cameron's resignation over the Panama Papers scandal.

:: This article was updated on 21 April

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