50,000 bring Central London to a standstill

What a fantastic weekend it was! The day before the People's Assembly celebrated its first birthday, crowds filled the streets of London to demand an alternative to austerity on our first national demonstration on 21 June 2014.

People's Assembly demo from stage

The march exceeded all expectations. Banners from Newcastle to Cornwall were spread throughout the demonstration. Every campaign and trade union was represented, many brought their members together in big and colourful blocs.

Stand Up Against AusterityLocal People's Assembly groups and trade union branches laid on coaches from over 50 places across the country.

50,000 people united together on Saturday. It brought Central London to a standstill and we sent a clear message to the government; this movement is here to stay, we're rapidly growing in size, and we are willing to take further action until the views of the majority are represented.

The demonstration received wide media coverage. The Guardian report has been shared over 100,000 times, and was the most read article for two days with thousands of comments! 

A decision somewhere high up in the ranks of the BBC was made not to cover the demo, but after thousands of complaints they tweeted:

"Many of you have been asking to see coverage of Saturday's anti-austerity march through central London.

It was the first demonstration organised by the People's Assembly campaign group, which included politicians, union leaders and celebrities.

Organisers say tens of thousands protested against the impact of cuts around the country."

Reports, images and video of the speeches are coming in. If you have any good ones yourself - please send them to office@thepeoplesassembly.org.uk. We'll add everything to our website in the next couple of days. Make sure you 'like' us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, where we'll keep sharing stuff as it comes in. 

Russell Brand at Parliament Square People's Assembly demo

What next?

The demonstration marked the start of a new wave of resistance over the next few months. Saturday has paved the way for huge co-ordinated strikes on 10 July. The Unison ballot result came back today with a yes vote. It looks likely that these co-ordinated strikes will be the biggest for years and will involve members from the NUT, Unite, GMB, PCS as well as Unison. 

Over the summer, campaigners are marching the length of the country from Jarrow to London in defence of the NHS. We'll be helping to co-ordinate big rallies, protests and meetings as the marchers arrive into towns and cities.

We'll be supporting the demonstrations when NATO come to Cardiff highlighting the fact that billions are spent on war, yet we're told there's not enough money for social security, hospitals and education.

In September, a big demonstration will take place outside the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, and on 18 October we'll be working with the TUC to get one of the biggest demonstrations in British history in London.

We need more local People's Assembly groups and will work hard with local activists to set them up across the country. We'll be launching a new speaking tour in the next couple of months, setting up meetings, rallies and actions. If you want to get involved, please get in touch.

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the demonstration on Saturday such a success. Please get stuck into your local People's Assembly group, set one up if there's not one where you live, and help make sure this movement grows to a size that can stop austerity in its tracks!

To take all of this on, we urgently need to raise funds. The People's Assembly is run entirely off donations from our supporters, and we're spending more than we're getting in. Here's three ways you can help:

1) Come to the Stand up Against Austerity benefit gig on Monday 7 July at the Hammersmith Apollo.
Actis include: Jo Brand, Jason Manford, Stewart Lee, Shappi Khorsandi, Francesca Martinez, Marcus Bridgstoke, Jeremy Hardy, Mark Steel, Jen Brister, Kate Smurthwaite. Click here to get tickets
2) Set up a regular donation to the People's Assembly. Click here
3) Make a one-off donation. Click here


Sam Fairbairn
National Secretary, The People's Assembly 


Showing 5 reactions

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  • commented 2014-06-25 11:07:11 +0100
    I am glad it went so well.

    Such a shame, though, about the lack of ramp to allow someone from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) to speak. http://dpac.uk.net/2014/06/disabled-people-against-cuts-and-the-peoples-assembly/

    Of all the progressive groups working to provide an alternative to right wing politics, I had hoped that the People’s Assembly would be better.

    I have seen what DPAC had to say and I have been waiting for some comment from PA, putting their side. I have been waiting in vain.

    Shame on PA. This is what DPAC are fighting. The PA seems to be on the other side.
  • commented 2014-06-24 07:47:15 +0100
    When we got down to Downing Street and when Class War stood in front of the gates … And more people stopped to join in the singing …. For a minute, glances were exchanged and a collective ‘shall we’ almost turned into a ‘we shall’

    Exciting stuff …. With this as just a beginning, who knows what will happen :)
  • commented 2014-06-24 00:18:19 +0100
    This was a major success. It would have been nice to see half a million people turn up but that will just have to wait.. What surprised me was that in only a year of The People’s Assembly existing it could put together this incredibly well organised and peaceful demonstration. 50,000 people represents close to one in every thousand people in the whole of the UK. It is amazing to consider that so many people committed more than a day of their time to make this protest happen. (That’s about half a million person/hours – notwithstanding the organisers – and at the minimum wage that represents nearly £4 million worth of effort that the people of the UK put into this demonstration) It is also amazing that the BBC managed to black it out. Their feeble attempt to redress the criticism was to insidiously add insult to injury. Although that is disgusting of such an organisation and represents dangerous propaganda it is also satisfying to note how desperate the government are that they sink to that level to try to hide the problem. For all their attempts to collect more data than they can handle like greedy pigeons gorging on excess grain spills the government still haven’t understood the internet. This demonstration has restored some of my flailing faith in the UK as a nation. With the impetus only rising it gives hope for a better future. I couldn’t give a big enough thank you to all the people that made this happen. Fantastik!
  • commented 2014-06-23 23:16:23 +0100
    Look, I’m all for putting a positive spin on things and the march was fun and a good effort for a first try plus the tourists loved it – but there is no way it brought Central London to a standstill… if we want to do that then, next time get everyone to SIT DOWN – non-violent, too many to arrest and the press will take notice. All it takes is a few prepared groups strung out along the route, to sit down at the same time and chances are everyone else will follow. Sit for 20 minutes or so then get up and continue. It shows what we are capable of without getting anyones backs up or bringing out the water cannon… You’re welcome.
  • commented 2014-06-23 23:04:39 +0100
    why say it’s a “fantastic weekend” when you’ve achieved nothing? woop de doo you had a fun day out and got a few clicks on the guardian. get angry, it’s not a game. they aren’t going to listen to a few banners and russell brand on a podium, you struggle to get the national media to give you a mention, nevermind make ripples in government and the amongst the ruling class. if you’d flipped a few police cars, thrown a few bricks, burnt down a few westminster haunts and had a riot you might had made a difference. fuck capital

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