Hundreds of thousands sick of hearing the government say it has no money particularly as it is now involved in yet another expensive war are due to take part in what is set to be the UK’s biggest political demonstration in a decade.
Mass protests are planned across the British capital to oppose the government’s 80 billion pound spending cuts. People are demanding that the government abandon what they call damaging cuts and set out an alternative based on job creation, fair taxation, and growth.
The march has been organized by the Trades Union Council which represents more than six million workers. Dubbed “The march for the alternative”, the march is tipped to be the TUC’s biggest event in decades, bringing together trades unionists, community group members, and users of public services.
Organizers are expecting 200,000 demonstrators, but some are saying that up to half a million will turn out to march against a treasury initiative to eliminate the country’s huge budget deficit in just four years.
Over the last six months towns and cities all over the country have seen hundreds and thousands protest against cuts in public spending in areas like education and pensions. But now the UK is spending hundreds of millions on military intervention in Libya. It is estimated that in the first week alone, bombing Libya has already cost $US 245 million.
“It’s been ten years now that we’ve been intervening in wars. We had the war in Afghanistan, then we had Iraq, now suddenly is a third theater of war. At the same time [the British government] says it hasn’t got enough money for the welfare that people in this country need,” says Lindsey German, an activist at the “Stop the War” coalition. “And they say everybody has to make sacrifices. Well may be we should not be spending 800,000 pounds per missile. How many libraries, how many nurseries, how many young people sent to school we could fund?”
The march to take place on Saturday has been planned a few months ago following last year’s big student demonstrations. This time, it is the trade unions who are getting in on the act, and there is a whole new dimension to it.