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ANTI-AUSTERITY protesters marched through central London over the weekend to call for a general election as the only way out of the Brexit deadlock.
Protesters from across the country gathered outside the BBC and marched to a rally in Trafalgar Square where they were addressed by politicians, activists and trade unionists.
Organised by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity (PA), the protest was inspired by the “gilets jaunes” yellow vest movement in France.
Two of the French protesters joined the protest and addressed the hundreds of demonstrators.
Erick Simon, of gilets jaunes, said that “all European countries must join up in this battle against austerity.”
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell brought with him a solidarity message from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and told the crowd that eight years of austerity is “tearing apart the very social fabric” of Britain.
Mr McDonnell said that he expects MPs to defeat Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal in tomorrow’s Commons vote and that “when the time is right” his party will move a motion of no confidence to “bring this government down” with the hope of triggering a general election.
“It’s now here before us, we could have a socialist prime minister,” he said.
The rally was briefly disrupted by Class War protesters, who attempted to enter the stage area to put across their own agenda while Mr McDonnell was speaking.
Labour MP Laura Pidcock said that millions of people are “suffering the indignity of poverty.”
She added: “We are one movement and we are one class against austerity, and we must unite on that common fact.”
Journalist Owen Jones also spoke at the event and was bombarded by a small group of far-right protesters who turned up at the end of the rally. They harassed and verbally abused him as he attempted to leave Trafalgar Square.
There were also incidences of harassment, intimidation and violence from a small number of right-wing thugs from various factions — including those copying the French gilets jaunes by wearing high-vis jackets — who intended to sabotage the event.
They also threw glass bottles, one of which hit anti-austerity activist Sam Lees, who was left with injuries to his face.
Others, who carried pro-Trump banners, attempted to attack Stand Up to Racism activists, who managed to block them out of the square with chants of “there are many, many more of us than you.”
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