Protest against cuts – level 3
Thousands of protesters packed the streets of London’s financial district on Saturday to demonstrate against the newly reelected conservative government’s plans for public spending cuts. Protesters gathered outside the Bank of England to listen to speeches before marching through central London towards Parliament.
“I think there’s a genuine need to stop austerity and cuts to the vulnerable, particularly the disabled, the elderly, and the young, the young… The government seems to be very interested, almost obsessed with cutting benefits for young people who are looking for work.”
“I just don’t think the poor should have to suffer for the mistakes of the rich. It’s affecting the vulnerable, the disabled, the mentally ill, people who just want to make it, perhaps who don’t have the best start in the life, and they don’t want to be suffering from the mistakes of the few, the few at the top.”
Since winning the election, Conservative Finance Minister George Osborne has said he wants government departments to make extra cuts this year to commit future governments to run budget surpluses during normal economic times.
“You know, at the election light, they always say the Tories got a majority, but they only got about 800 or 600,000 more votes than they did in 2010, so you know, they didn’t really, they didn’t get a big mandate for their full manifesto, which is what they’re claiming. 25% of people voted Tory, you know, that’s nothing. So I think a lot of people from up and down the country are here cause they’ve just had enough. They’ve had enough of austerity, of cuts, of privitasation. They don’t agree with that.”
The protest was organised by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, an umbrella group with support from trade unions, antiwar protesters, and some Labour and Green party politicians.
Difficult words: pack (to stand close together), genuine (true), austerity (when a government spends less money), vulnerable (people who are easily harmed or hurt), budget surplus (when you have more money than you spend), mandate (authority to make the decisions), manifesto (a statement by a political party about their plans), umbrella group (a bigger organization that coordinates activities of smaller organizations).
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