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Protesters in London march against austerity

June 21, 2015

Protesters have marched peacefully through the streets of London, demanding an end to austerity. Finance Minister George Osborne is expected to unveil massive cuts targeting public services in July.

Großbritanien Demonstration gegen die Regierung
Image: Getty Images/Z. Kaczmarek

An estimated 250,000 protesters marched through the streets of London on Saturday, from the Bank of England to the Houses of Parliament, in a sign of discontent with the government's austerity measures.

Protesters included comedian Russell Brand and singer Charlotte Church, along with trade unionists and leftist politicians.

The protest was the first of its kind since Prime Minister David Cameron swept up an unexpected victory in May's general election.

The vote gave Cameron's center-right Conservative party a majority in parliament, the first time in nearly 20 years.

Protesters held placards stating "End Austerity Now" and "Defy Tory Rule."

"It will be the start of a campaign of protest, strikes, direct action and civil disobedience up and down the country," said Sam Fairbairn from the People's Assembly, the organizers of the demonstration.

"We will not rest until austerity is history, our services are back in public hands and the needs of the majority are put first," Fairbairn told an audience of protesters.

Similar anti-austerity marches were held in Glasgow and Liverpool.

Großbritanien Demonstration gegen die Regierung
Cameron's government has been criticized for pushing wide scale cutbacks to public servicesImage: Reuters/S. Plunkett

Further cuts?

Finance Minister George Osborne is expected to present details of fresh austerity measures in the government's first budget on July 8.

Cameron's government has said it will be cutting 30 billion British pounds (41.9 billion euros, $47.64 billion) from the budget, half of which will target welfare.

The cuts come amid austerity measures implemented under Cameron's watch, after he first came to power in 2010.

ls/cmk (AFP, AP, Reuters)