50,000 March Against Austerity

Sam Fairbairn with our round up of Saturday's mega march and a few things to get started on in your local groups including how to be put in touch with people in your area. 

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.

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.

Local 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 400,000 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. 


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 

Russell Brand at Parliament Square People's Assembly demo

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