Over 30,000 demonstrators marched through the northern British city of Manchester to protest against austerity cuts to public services and pensions.
The rally against the governing coalition was organized by the Trades Union Congress and came as the ruling Conservative Party’s annual conference opened in the city.
The trade unions billed their march as a rally “for the alternative – job, growth, justice,” the Agence France-Presse news agency reported. Protesters as varied as students and retirees carried banners reading “Unite and fight.”
As they marched past the building where the Tory conference was being held, they chanted “David Cameron on your bike, we want a general strike!”
According to demonstrators, it is important that the government began to understand that most people are unhappy with their policies.
“It is important to let the government know that majority of people are opposed to what they are doing, opposed to the economic course they are taking, and are prepared to try and build a movement to bring this government down and bring in a government that does not go after working people,” one protester told RT.
In his message to demonstrators, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that the previous government had lied to the population about the state of the country’s economy.
“The money you were promised by the last Labor government never existed,” Hague stated. “It was never there. And we have been left with the task of telling you that truth.”
“A government betrays instead of serving its people if it allows them to live on a delusion,” Hague added. “And above all it is wrong, unfair and irresponsible to leave a massive debt for the next generation to deal with instead of facing up to it now.”
According to Agence France-Presse, left-wing activists took part in the rally along with public sector workers. Police said that 35,000 people attended the demonstration.