Published on November 6, 2013 | by Ruby Sigurdardottir0
‘No ifs, no buts, no public sector cuts’
Roads arounds the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall were either blocked or closed earlier this week (November 5) when thousands of protesters demonstrated to highlight the issues of austerity, corruption and state surveillance.
Starting out at Jubilee Gardens on the South Bank, the People’s Assembly demonstrators, many in Guy Fawkes masks, marched towards Westminster Bridge chanting: “No ifs, no buts, no public sector cuts”.
A giant bonfire was built in the middle of the bridge where activists threw an effigy of David Cameron into the flames.
The demonstrators occupied the bridge for over an hour as they listened to Labour MPs Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, and The Independent journalist Owen Jones.
During his speech Corbyn pointed towards the Houses of Parliament and said: “That place over there only gets messages when there are big protests all around the country. That is what this is about. Stand together for justice, stand together for peace and stand together for an end to the greed and inequality in this country.”
Among the protestors was Marlon Loria, a 16-year-old A-level student at Richmond upon Thames College, who told Arts London News that he was protesting because of excessive university tuition fees.
“I’m at college and I’m looking to go to university, but I’m going to be £27,000 in debt just for my tuition. Living costs will be another £20,000.
“That puts me off going to university because my family aren’t particularly wealthy. The fees are going to hold so many people back, even those who are extremely academically able, unless they come from a wealthy background.”
Non-existentMiddlesex University graduate, Lee Burkewood, is now an active member of the Green Party and was at the demonstration slating government’s cuts to art faculties.
“The cuts to arts are absolutely disgusting. The arts department at Middlesex University is practically non-existent because they’ve vastly cut the arts and humanities there.
“Any creative subjects, any subjects that are teaching people to think, are being cut. The tories want students to get degrees that make them good workers, and not creative thinkers,” Burkewood added.
The People’s Assembly demonstrators moved towards Parliament Square, which was occupied by hundreds of members of the activist group Anonymous. Among them was comedian and actor Russell Brand, who has recently called for a revolution initiated by people who refuse to vote.
“I’m at college and I’m looking to go to university, but I’m going to be £27,000 in debt just for my tuition. Living costs will be another £20,000.” – Marlon Loria.
Brand tweeted: “Whatever party they claim to represent in the day, at night they show their true colours and all go to the same party.”
People’s Assembly secretary Sam Fairbairn announced that there would be more demonstrations in the future.
He said: “The People’s Assembly are here today to say to the government that, unless you abandon your austerity programme, we will bring big parts of this country to a standstill. Today is just the start.”