London: Anti-Austerity Protesters Gather To Demonstrate Against Cuts

Anti-austerity protestors took to the street yesterday as the action group UK Uncut demonstrated  for first time since general election ‘to send a clear message that we are going to be fighting the cuts’

The Guardian reports: Traffic on Westminster bridge in London was brought to a standstill on Saturday as hundreds of protesters occupied the road to paint a huge message decrying the government’s austerity agenda.

As dozens of police watched, protesters first painted, then hung a 20 metre banner over the side of the bridge facing parliament. “12bn more cuts. £120bn tax dodged,” it said. “Austerity is a lie.”

It was the first demonstration by UK Uncut, the grassroots direct action group, since the 7 May election. With the Conservative government planning deep cuts to public services, activists vowed that it was a taste of things to come.

A UK Uncut member, Beth Cunningham, 26, said: “With the new government being sworn in on Wednesday we just wanted to send a clear message that we are going to be fighting the cuts.

“Direct action is what works. It sends a loud and clear message that people aren’t happy. And it’s part of acknowledging that our current political resources aren’t enough. People don’t have enough resources in the current political system to make their voices heard and that’s why we resort to direct action.”

A second UK Uncut member, who preferred to remain anonymous, added: “You can tell David Cameron used to work in PR because they have been so successful in getting everyone to believe this story about austerity.

“We wanted to challenge that narrative and that’s why we chose the tax-dodging statement, because it makes our argument very succinctly.”

The protesters met at Waterloo station, with the crowd falling short of the 4,700 who had signed up to the event on Facebook. Many of those who did attend carried home-made placards. “There is such a thing as society, and we’re here to say enough,” read one.