Follow London's Biggest Demonstration In A Decade As 300,000 Protest Austerity And Public Sector Cuts

Tyler Durden's picture

After leading to the collapse of the Portuguese government, anti-austerity anger is now ramping up at the very heart of the old continent, where the biggest demonstration in over a decade has struck in London. Per the Guardian: "More than a quarter of a million protesters against public sector cuts are expected to flood central London today in the biggest political demonstration for nearly a decade. Police sources, normally cautious about estimating numbers, said last night they were braced for up to 300,000 people to join the march – far higher than previous forecasts from TUC organisers. More than 800 coaches and at least 10 trains have been chartered to bring people to the capital from as far afield as Cornwall and Inverness. The Metropolitan police, under fire for their use of kettling in previous protests, said "a small but significant minority" plan to hijack the march to stage violent attacks. Organisers, however, insist it will be a peaceful family event. Union members are expected be joined by a broad coalition, from pensioners to doctors, families and first-time protesters to football supporters and anarchists. Ed Miliband said the government was dragging the country back to the "rotten" 1980s. Labour is calling today's event the "march of the mainstream"." Some of the protesters, already pigeonholed as "anarchists", have already become unruly as a splinter group has formed on the iconic Oxford street where it is engaged in altercations with the Police, including throwing smoke bombs, lightbulbs filled ammonia.

The protest can be followed in real time on Sky News below.

The Guardian also has a live blog of the protest that can be followe here:

Some of the most recent entries:

1.44pm: Richard Evans has been talking to PA News about his 166 miles trek from Cardiff to join the march.


Evans, a PCS union rep who was interviewed by the Guardian about his protest earlier this week, said the walk was worth it although his feet were "very sore".

"I wanted to encourage people to get on a bus. I think the best way to do that is to go a step further.

whole point of this is the government looks again at the cuts. I'm
hoping there is enough people here to make them realise when you're in
the position you're in - in the coalition government - you need to think
again. With this number of people, the government have to take notice. "

1.39pm: Paul Lewis has just tweeted about police penning in protesters outside Downing Street.

1.39pm: Paul Lewis has just tweeted about police penning in protesters outside Downing Street.

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Reports of "light kettle" at Downing Street and rolling shop occupations at Picadilly #march26 #26marchless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Activists from Ukuncut, the peaceful direct action group that has
closed down more than 100 high street stores accused of tax avoidance,
are moving into position on Oxford Street. They are planning 14
different occupations of high street stores accused of tax avoidance,
Matthew Taylor writes.

A spokesman just
said there were about 200 people moving towards their various targets
with more expected to join in the next half an hour.

the main march just gets bigger. People are still streaming across
bridges to join from south London while others are making their way from
the north.

Bernard Goyder, a veteran of last year's student protests, said he had been "blown away" by today's turnout.

couldn't be any better. I have never seen such a wide diverse group of
people together. It dwarves anything I have seen before. It is much much
bigger than any of us were expecting"

1.15pm: Tom Wills, a student journalist based in Brighton, has posted a set of photos from the march on Flickr, which give a sense of the mass turnout.

1.10pm: EastLondonLines, a news website run by the journalism department of Goldsmiths, has posted this Twitpic, which shows the protesters marching past police lines near Parliament.

Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis Photograph: Sarah Lee

1.04pm: Paul Lewis has sent through an update, describing the wide range of groups who have joined today's protest.

here watching hundreds of thousands of people stream past, you get a
real sense of the broad coalition against the government. I noted down
every banner that past through over a couple of minutes.

Teachers Association, Vulnerable Chinese Migrants Association, Society
of Radiographers, Prison Officers Association, Don't Cut Out The
Disabled, Southend On Sea Unison Branch, Ipswich Labour Party, Cut
Trident, Nurses Uncut, Met Police Group PCS Union, Calderdale Division
of the NUT, Chelsea Anti Cuts Alliance, Colchester NHS SOS, South Ribble
Children, The Bohemian Storm is Rising, Parents Alliance of Community
Schools, Isle of Wight Uncut."

Matthew Taylor

1.02pm: Matthew Taylor says thousands of people are still joining the march, with the total number estimated at around 400,000.

am now on a footbridge overlooking the Embankment and people have been
streaming underneath us for about an hour. People are queuing as far
back as I a can see and tens of thousands more are still arriving from
side streets. Organisers are suggesting there could be as many as
400,000 here today. That is impossible to verify at this stage. But it
is clear that this is a very big demo."

1.00pm: While this photo from Mary shows crowds gathering at Embankment.

12.58pm: This photo by Mary Hamilton pokes fun at undercover police officers - whose activities have recently been investigated by the Guardian.

Undercover police assembly point on the anti-cuts march in London

Undercover police assembly point on the anti-cuts march in London. Photograph: newsmary/twitpic

12.45pm: Journalist Mary Hamilton - aka newsmary - has been posting photos of the march on Twitpic.

12.35pm: The Public and Commercial Services Union has set up its own live blog of the march.

12.30pm: Here's a map of the march route

View March for the Alternative Route in a larger map


9.15am: Good morning and welcome to the Guardian's live coverage of the mass protest in London against the coalition government's public sector cuts.

Around 300,000 people are expected to join the March for the Alternative organised by the TUC,
the biggest union-organised event for over 20 years and the largest in
the country since the protest against the Iraq war in 2003. More than
800 coaches and 10 trains have been chartered to bring people to the
capital from as far afield as Cornwall and Inverness.

members are expected to be joined by a broad coalition, from pensioners
to doctors, families and first-time protesters, to football supporters
and anarchists. My colleague Matthew Taylor has written a guide to all the organisations - both official and unofficial - who will be taking part.

Metropolitan Police believe a small minority will try to hijack the
anti-cuts march to stage violent attacks on property and the police. The
TUC organisers of the event say they have organised a family-friendly
demonstration with brass, jazz and Bollywood bands. But there are
concerns that unofficial feeder marches, sit-down protests and a takeover of Trafalgar Square could turn from peaceful civil disobedience into stand-offs with the police.

The march assembles on the Embankment from 11am but it will still be leaving at 2pm and possibly even later. The TUC has drawn up a set of tips for those planning to join the march.
The protest will culminate in a rally in Hyde Park. Guardian reporters
Matthew Taylor and Paul Lewis will be out on the streets covering the
protest as it happens.

If you're at the demo and want to send me
any comments - or share any pictures, audio clips and videos - you can
contact me either on or on Twitter - @David_Batty

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EscapeKey's picture

There is zero chance the budget can be resolved through further taxation, and the demonstrators smoke crack if they think it can.


Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

When I press my escape key I get Hope and Change.

EscapeKey's picture

Funny, when I press mine, I get Tragedy & Hope.

Bananamerican's picture


but then neither am I familiar with the "Vulnerable Chinese Migrants Association"

Thomas's picture

"Let them eat fish and chips."

Charlie Munger

EscapeKey's picture

No, that's the first I've heard of them, will have a look - cheers. I was referring to Carroll Quigley's work.

ElvisDog's picture

EscapeKey is right. I know austerity and budget cuts are painful to those who are affected by them, but where do the protestors think the money is going to come from to continue the benefits and public sector jobs they enjoy? Reality can be a bitch, but the reality is that there isn't enough money (real money/wealth, not fiat currency) to pay for what they want.

john39's picture

how about the Rothchilds give back what they stole?

ElvisDog's picture

I think it's important to look at velocity (dx/dt) rather than a single point in time (x). In the U.S., the cost of public sector pensions and health care has been going up on average at 11% over the past 10 years. The general tax revenues during that time have gone up something like 2-3% on average. The general tax revenues are higher now to be sure, but a line with an 11% slope will catch up to a line with a 2% slope pretty quickly. When I say "there is no money", I'm really talking about a long-term point of view.

srelf's picture

Here Here!

The regularity of one class of humans gathering too much to themselves gets boring when one views it historically. Queue the hungry masses, yearning to be free.

docj's picture

Seize it all.  Fine.

What do you do next week?

boricuadigm-shift's picture

Anyone has noticed helicopters in Bank of America(or other banks) in other cities?  Today I saw a huge helicopter hovering over Bank of America building in (Brickell) Miami, FL.  I know, I know... conspiracy theory...  But it may me think.  What is a huge helicopter doing at 8:30am hovering over a bank trying to land what it look like a 15' diameter x 10' tall cylindrical object on a Saturday Morning?

Food for thought!


False Capital's picture

Ben Bernanke making good on his promise?

Freddie's picture

They use to do this with checks to get them processed faster.  I guess one day's worth of float paid for the expense of picking check up by chopper.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Who says they want to "Resolve" it?

Attitude_Check's picture

True.  But is unconscionable, evil in fact, to expect the costs to be borne by the public WHILE the culprits primarily responsible get government funded bailouts!

gallowglass's picture

 Boy,I hate it when Anarchists protest Government cut-backs!

tmosley's picture

Hahaha, THAT'S what they are protesting?

England is well and truly fucked.  

cossack55's picture

Anyone spot any Gadsden Flags yet?

Horatio Beanblower's picture

There's more chance of seeing a flag with 'Please Tread On Me' written on it.  These brainwashed fuckers want increased taxes, bigger government, and more spending.  



Long-John-Silver's picture

They haven't figured out that they've run out of other peoples money.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

"Tread even more on the other guy" is more like it.

scatterbrains's picture

I hope they succeed if only just to witness before I die the bankers standing in their shoes with signs, protesting and hopefully even get to witness the police commence some serious beat downs of the bankers.

JLee2027's picture

There are few things in life more satisfying than out-living your vanquished enemies.

baby_BLYTHE's picture

Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward.
Whoever cannot take care of himself without that law is both.
For a wounded man shall say to his assailant, "If I Die, You are forgiven....If I Live, I will kill you."
...Such is the Rule of Honor.

Dr. Porkchop's picture

People complain because the sheep spend all day on their iPads and watching dancing with the stars, but when they actually get out on the street to engage in reality, it's still not good enough. What's the percentage of people that read Zerohedge or other sites like it? A tiny fraction of the world's population? Most people get their info from the mainstream, if they can get this far through the corporatist mindfuck and still figure out something isn't quite right, then I applaud them. Maybe they don't have all the answers, but I can guarantee that we don't either.

Canucklehead's picture

What is the expected goal of this 1970's/1980's style protest?  Everyone is too old to get laid...

tmosley's picture

This is like saying that people don't read enough, and then asking us to praise some moron who is holding a book upside down.  

They aren't "getting" anywhere.  This is exactly the sort of thing that got us to the point where we are now.  A give-away is a give-away is a give away.  It doesn't matter who it is going to.  It needs to stop.

These people are using the fact that bankers stole money as an excuse to themselves steal money.  This is the DEFINITION of two wrongs not making a right.

Maniac Researcher's picture

Yes...keep repeating to yourself that ZH is a credible source of information.

In your world, social welfare is theft? Really? There are plenty of texts that address the numberous debates surrounding social welfare and its relationship to taxation, politics, corporations, and the state that I have never seen referenced here. [for starters I would look at Jacoby, Berle & Means, Chandler, jr., Horwitz, etc]

Instead ZH delivers racial epithets, boorish misogyny, and vague ahistorical pronouncements of narrow worldviews. There is a considerable difference between understanding history in order to comprehend the present [read: why British folk are protesting today] and being bitter and hateful towards people you don't know.

sun tzu's picture

Yes social welfare is theft. No able bodied, mentally competent adult should be living off the labor of their fellow citizens. Throwing the race card in there won't change anyone's mind.

YHC-FTSE's picture

No, some social welfare is theft based on the conditions you mentioned. Not all. If a person is not an able bodied, mentally competent adult then surely it is not. So, it would be correct to say that social welfare is not theft, but there are thieves who exploit the system. Don't blame social welfare. Blame the thieves.

Baptiste Say's picture

All social welfare is theft end of story. It is funded by wealth coervicely extracted from those who bother to produce the wealth, if is not an area the robbed producer would have otherwise invested in and given contributing to it is not optional then by all means it is no less theft than me pointing a gun to your head and levying a $10000 fee for your freedom and life, even if I was planning on splitting this this money between starving children in Bumfuk Africa and subsidising housing for immigrants it is still theft.

YHC-FTSE's picture

My dear Baptiste, if we all believed that, we'd be back to seeing the kind of Dickensian suffering we know about throughout history: Slums, diseases, crimes, and bodies on the streets. I don't want that in my neighbourhood, do you? Well, maybe you do. I once posted that society is judged by how it treat its most vulnerable people and ended up trying to define every single word I typed because we were obviously so divergent on views it was like explaining the concept of sedimentary rock formations to a creationist.

Needless to say, I loathe the healthy layabouts who exploit and milk the system, but there is a very strong case for social welfare to provide a safety net to the most vulnerable people in our society. Nobody has to point a gun to my head to save a man from drowning.

YHC-FTSE's picture

@Maniac Researcher

Don't remember coming across you before, but that's one of the best posts I've read this evening. Don't take the junks seriously. 

tmosley's picture

If you don't think ZH is credible, get out.  Seriously, its credibility is all it has going for it.

Also, when something is taken from you under threat of violence, and given to someone else, it can be called many things, and it may in fact be one or more of those things, but it is also theft.  Always.

You will notice if you check my recent spat with Trav that I have brutally berated him for being a racist.  MOST people here are not racist.  You can take that collectivist false fact and shove it straight up your ass.  I have NEVER seen misogyny.  I don't know what the fuck you are talking about with regard to history.  I study history regularly.  It is a hobby of mine.

Further, these people are protesting for more of the same that got them what they have now.  That is the definition of insanity.

Looking through your posts, I see we have yet ANOTHER libtroll.  Joy among joys.  Christ, we don't troll Daily Kos, why do you feel the need to troll here, ESPECIALLY if you think there is no value to the articles?

YHC-FTSE's picture

Christ almighty - people can have differences of opinion without the fucking cretinous personal shit you heap on those you disagree with. Using your own tactics, if he is a libtroll, then you are a neocontroll (Or neoCuntroll). See what I mean? Sometimes I think you're one of those morons who always get the wrong idea in the lessons history can teach us, and sometimes you seem like a genius. 


There are lots of people I disgree with on one subject, and even on rare occasions junk (Though not on my thread), but then again on another thread I'd appreciate their astute comments. What the fuck's wrong with kind hearted liberals anyway? The world is already full of silly fucks who want more selfishness, more inhumanity, and more loneliness. 


ZH is more credible than most, but it certainly is not the fucking manna of information from heaven. We have all see articles here with sources that are dubious, badly researched, or even plain old wrong. Don't even get me started on the comment posts. ZH's driving force are the contributors, not its credibility - it has none by itself. All sources of information should be well referenced, verified and researched, (surely you'd agree?), and it does not pass muster. I don't think you're full of bullshit, but you really are not contributing if the only way you can express yourself is berate people for not being identical to you. Call them out if they are factually wrong, but not because he/she has an opinion you disagree with. Alright? 

Maniac Researcher's picture

@"tmosley" - kudos! your tireless fight against racism has earned cookie! Don't eat it all in one place!


The reason you don't understand my posts about history is because you don't understand the field. Perhaps some Marc Bloch would help - I'd love to sit there in the room and wait the ten seconds for you to grunt "libtroll" at the book and turn on the History Channel.

You've never seen misogyny on Zerohedge? That makes you both blind and stupid, dude - enjoy your delusion.

Oh yeah, and my favorite comment - what was it you said? "they" are protesting for more of the same? I didn't know you were a mindreader as well, tmosley. Why don't you put that skill to good investment use then - since you are so keen to knowing the thoughts of large swaths of people.

Ah, and finally the name calling. Yes, a libtroll. Sure, you can call me whatever name that soft brain of yours can come up with.

You know what name calling says to me? that you don't have anything left -- don't worry, it's a common symptom of "full of shit" syndrome. It isn't lethal but it has no cure. Lot of that going around these and your buddy Trav have a lot more in common than you think.

baby_BLYTHE's picture

@Maniac R

Fine, GTFO. Quit wasting your time here. Obviously something lead you to come to ZH and take the time to set up an account.

I realize it must be quite depressing to someone of your profession seeing how much ASS Tyler kicks on a consistant unrelienting basis, getting plugs by financial channels and some of the largest nationally syndicated programs.

Now, back to yahoo to join your ilk.

Maniac Researcher's picture

No. I think I will stay and continue pointing out your bullshit where applicable, thanks.


Your "appeal to authority" argument about ZH credibility because it was mentioned by Rush Limbaugh is laughable - and only convincing to you and your friends.

Something did bring me here, though - you are correct. In order to attempt to conduct empirical research, you have to read all sides of the story - including the wingnut side. Many researchers avoid this area because of the frustrating number of willfully ignorant individuals they come across [Hello there!]. So ZH is somewhat useful in that regard - well, that and comic relief.

docj's picture

Not for nothing Doc, but the euro-left organizing a "massive protest", more often a rent-a-mob of the perpetually unemployed, is about as uncommon as high-tide.