A “no more austerity” march is gearing up in the British capital and RT’s Sara Firth says tens of thousands have already come to demand an alternative to the “greed and selfishness” of the Con-Dem coalition.
The rally, which also includes a festival, was called by The People’s Assembly Against Austerity, an broad coalition of anti-government groups that embraces trade unions and other campaigners.
“Living standards continue to drop, forcing millions into poverty, yet the politicians remain addicted to austerity,” the rally’s web page said.
Assembling on the doorstep of the BBC’s offices in London, the demonstrators are to march to the Houses of Parliament to demand that “the alternative to austerity” is no longer ignored. The advertised speakers include Len McCluskey, leader of Unite, one of the two biggest UK trade unions, Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party and Russell Brand, the anti-establishment comedian.
The diverse march has even been joined by Franciscan monks.
Anglican Franciscan monks in their traditional brown robes were at the forefront of the protest with trade unions and campaign groups to demand an alternative to the British government’s austerity program.
“Christianity places a quite firm obligation from those who have more to share to look after those who have less,” Brother Robert, of the Franciscan order, told the leftist Morning Star newspaper.
“At the moment the government seems to promote an atmosphere that is rather, well, different,” added the monk, employing characteristic British understatement.
Brand came to prominence in UK politics in October 2013, when he called in a TV interview for worldwide “socialist revolution” against the status quo and dismissed the idea of voting for the current political parties represented in the UK parliament.
While one left-wing novelist, Joan Smith, dismissed his performance as “adolescent waffle,” a columnist for the Independent, Simon Kelner, defended him saying: “It sounded rather attractive, even if it wasn’t exactly worked through.”
The anti-austerity protest takes place as the largest-ever study into deprivation in Britain revealed that poverty is getting worse, and even working families are now struggling to make ends meet.
The Poverty and Social Exclusion project found that more than 500,000 children are living in families who can’t afford to feed them properly and 5.5 million adults have to go without essential clothing.