Monday, March 28, 2011

Thousands of Britons in Demonstration Against Budget Cuts

Thousands of Britons in demo! .

Saturday, 26 March 2011 23:12

British police swung at protestors during a Trade Union Congress (TUC) march in London on March 26, 2011. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the United Kingdom took part in the march to protest against government cuts.


Tens of thousands of protesters descended on London yesterday for a huge demonstration against the government’s harsh austerity measures, as thousands of police deployed amid fears of violence.

Trade unions organising the rally said more than 100 000 demonstrators were expected to turn out to oppose cuts introduced by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition to tackle Britain’s record deficit.

Scotland Yard said around 4 500 officers would be deployed, after several huge student protests against plans to triple university tuition fees turned violent late last year.

Teachers, nurses and other public sector workers were being joined by students and pensioners for the march, which was expected to bring the centre of the British capital to a standstill.

After coming to power in May, the coalition announced cuts worth £81 billion (US$131 billion) over five years in order to slash a record public deficit it blames on the previous Labour government.

Brendan Barber, the head of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Britain’s trade union movement, said yesterday’s “March for the Alternative” would be the biggest protest it has organised for decades.
“We’re certainly going to see well in excess of 100 000 people, possibly many, many more,” Barber said.

“It is to make the case that there is an alternative to this relentless focus on the deficit and austerity that we see from the coalition government,” he told BBC radio.

But Education Minister Michael Gove insisted that the protests would not force a change in government strategy.
“Of course people will feel a sense of disquiet, in some cases anger, at what they see happening,” he told BBC radio.

“But the difficulty we have as the government inheriting a terrible economic mess, is that we have to take steps to bring the public finances back into balance.”

British newspaper reports said between 250 000 and 300 000 were expected, which would make it the largest protest in the capital since around one million people marched against the Iraq war in February 2003. — AFP./The Sunday Mail

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