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THOUSANDS of anti-austerity protesters will march through central London on Saturday to demand an immediate general election.
Protesters will be wearing yellow high-vis jackets in an echo of the “gilets jaunes” movement in France.
Far-right groups have also been mobilising as “Yellow Vests UK” in an attempt to hijack the movement for their own xenophobic vision of Brexit, making headlines this week with menacing verbal attacks on MPs and journalists outside Parliament.
Coaches from across Britain will join the demonstration organised by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity.
The campaign group has called on everyone, regardless of whether they voted Leave or Remain in the 2016 referendum, to join the protest, arguing that a general election offers the only way to end the austerity, homelessness and the privatisation of public services fostered by the Conservative government.
Unite deputy general secretary Steve Turner, who will be speaking at the end rally at Trafalgar Square on Saturday, said the government was “clearly completely out of touch” with the majority of Britain’s people.
“Since the Tories took power in 2010, we’ve seen homelessness more than double and crisis after crisis in our NHS and schools. At the same time, people’s take-home pay has often failed to keep up with rising food, rent and living costs,” he pointed out.
“Many workers are in precarious employment in the gig economy or on zero-hours contracts. This government has done nothing to tackle these issues.”
Labour’s shadow minister for business, energy and industrial strategy Laura Pidcock, who will also address the crowd, said: “Real change happens from the bottom up and if we are to transform this country, it’s never just about what happens in the Commons chamber.
“It’s so important that we mobilise a movement against this government and the destruction they are wreaking day in, day out, in our communities. I urge everyone who possibly can to join the Britain is Broken demo on Saturday … to call time on the Tories and their government.”
Other speakers will include shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Laurie Martin and Erick Simon of France’s yellow jackets.
The demonstration will assemble at noon outside the BBC headquarters in Portland Place.
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