Thousands march to protest austerity
Thousands marched in central London yesterday to protest against the British government's austerity programmes and spending cuts in a massive show of force meant to win attention to the plight of the poor.
The march began with a festive mood. Red flares exploded as the rally got under way at the Bank of England, sending plumes of scarlet smoke through the financial district's narrow and winding streets. Brass musicians offered a tune as demonstrators waved placards, balloons, and banners on the way to Parliament Square
The event was intended to vent outrage, albeit peacefully, over the Conservative government's plan to slash millions of pounds in public spending to address the deficit, which ballooned after the nation rescued its troubled banks during the 2008 financial crisis.
Social activists, union leaders, and campaign groups joined forces to protest cuts in public services, welfare, and education that are expected when the government unveils its budget next month. Demonstrators argue that the public is being punished for a crisis it did not cause.