Over 2000 people took to the streets yesterday as rage against continued austerity exploded in an unprecedented and largely spontaneous protest.
The day began with several hundred people answering the call on social media to gather outside the Tory Party Headquarters. As the crowd swelled and the protest took to the streets hundreds more people joined the unofficial march and soon a defiant mob of over 2000 people brought Central London to a standstill.
The demonstrators thronged the streets from Trafalgar Square to Piccadilly Circus with a mobile sound system keeping spirits high. Chants of ‘Tory Scum’ and ‘Tory Cunts’ were met with an enthusiastic welcome from many passing motorists, bus drivers and even tourists. The crowd finally stopped outside the gates of Downing Street where a huge police presence had assembled to protect the heartland of state power.
As batons were drawn and riot police arrived scuffles broke out as an attempt was made to clear the streets of people. A bungled attempt at kettling the demonstrators was thwarted leaving only around 100 people trapped inside police lines. A tense stand off soon emerged as hundreds of coppers swarmed into Whitehall eventually pushing those outside the kettle down into Parliament Square. 17 people were arrested as police used a couple of minor injuries and some daft graffiti as a licence to throw their weight around but the truth is they were disorganised and taken by suprise and most people escaped unscathed.
This unauthorised protest was the fourth time recently that people in London have taken to the streets in huge numbers without asking anybody for official permission. The recent March for the Homeless saw a crowd a thousand strong occupying roads and clashing with bailiffs in defence of London’s homeless people. Then just two weeks later an anti-gentrification protest in Brixton led to the storming of Lambeth Town Hall, damage to a local Foxton’s Estate agent and a bold attack on the police station. On Mayday hundreds of people out-manouvered the police and took to the streets for the lively Fuck Parade organised by Class War. Each protest has been bigger, more boisterous and more diverse than the last. Something really is stirring in the capital.
What recent events show is that the days of boring A to B marches, with routes agreed in advance with police and heavy stewarding, are clearly no longer what people want. If thousands are prepared to take to the streets then that should be the only mandate necessary. Fuck asking permission, there is no law anyway that says you have to go crawling to the authorities before you can hold a static demonstration. And if that demonstration is so strong it can take the streets then there is fuck all anyone can do to stop it.
We do not have to accept five more years of misery. Whether organising against workfare, Maximus assessments, housing benefit cuts or whatever other shit they come up with, we can be the spanner in the works that breaks the machine. Rarely, if ever, has a new Government been greeted with such anger. Fuck all the talk about democracy, or majorities, or whatever the fuck the stupid Labour Party decides to do. Millions in the UK do not even have a secure home and hundreds of thousands of people are forced to use foodbanks. A country that treats people this way should be ungovernable. And it could be. That is the choice facing everybody this week. Do we wait another five years only to go through this shit again? Or do we start doing something about it now?
Above pic from The Independent.
The state opening of Parliament is on Wednesday May 27th. Class War are mobilising. Keep it free.