Thousands protest austerity in Bristol

10060329-large.jpgThousands of people flooded the streets of Bristol in an anti-austerity demonstration which was organised by a group of young, determined women.

A group of seven teenagers organised the march, which opposed the Government's austerity measures, on social media.

Support grew rapidly for Bristol Against Austerity, and by evening thousands of people packed every corner of Park Street as the demonstration snaked round the city centre.

Many of those who attended were angry, and the majority were young people bearing placards, who said they were disgusted at the Government's attitude to the NHS and welfare spending.

10061502-large.jpgSome people at the front chanted "Tory scum" and "no prosperity with austerity", and the horde of people met in the evening sunshine on Broad Quay at 5pm, and slowly made their way up Park Street, around Clifton Triangle, and back down to Castle Park.

Daisy Wilson McNeal, 18, a student at St Mary Redcliffe sixth form attended with her friends to protest.

She said: "The next five years are crucial in our lives, and the Tories are not very friendly towards students.

"High tuition fees hit the poorest hardest, and it means when we come out of university we will have debts that we can't pay off.

"It makes it hard to lead an independent life and get on the property ladder.

"Although benefits cuts might not affect me directly, they affect others in Bristol and I don't approve of them."

Drivers beeped their horns in support of those on foot as they edged past.

The protestors came to a halt at one stage to let two fire crews passed amid cheers from the crowd.

By 6pm in the city centre, there were placards as far as the eye could see. The protest ended in Castle Park with a huge cheer from the crowd.

Afterwards, one of the seven girls who organised the event, Hannah Patterson, 17, said: "We are just a group of seven young women. It was an amazing turnout, we didn't really expect anything like it.

"We were talking on Twitter about how hopeless we feel, and we came up with this idea. It is brilliant so many people were there, and we want to say thank you to Bristol for keeping the event peaceful."

Megan Flaherty, 18, I didn't realise we would so much power to create something this big, it is amazing.

"We just felt lost before this, we didn't know what to do after the election. It is great to know we are not alone."

The organisers are planning more demonstrations in the future, and said they want to support food banks.

The protesters were criticised by Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, of North East Somerset MP who failed to understand the difference between a majority of seats and a majority of votes. "I think they may have missed the General Election that took place last week, where the country endorsed the Conservative manifesto."

To get involved with the Bristol People's Assembly email: bristolpeoplesassembly@gmail.com or call: 07971630005

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From the Bristol Post

Showing 5 reactions

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  • commented 2015-05-15 17:15:52 +0100
    Well done Bristol!! ✊
  • commented 2015-05-14 16:35:17 +0100
    Respect to eveyone that showed. If the election didn’t fire people up, the result certainly has. I’m sure we can rely on spiteful anti poor policies to keep people’s blood boiling enough to take to the streets regularly.
  • commented 2015-05-14 15:03:05 +0100
    there are just over 64 million people in the uk, 11 million voted in this appalling tory government. that is not democracy in my or any book,that is a forced opinion ,a dictatorship. everybody gets what so few want. time to fight back.
  • commented 2015-05-14 14:54:33 +0100
    excellent xxxxx
  • commented 2015-05-14 13:16:25 +0100
    many more to come.

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