The London demonstrations yesterday, where a reported 500,000 people took to the streets to protest the austerity cuts, will not change government strategy according to Liberal democrat minister Vince Cable. “No government – coalition, Labour or any other – would change its fundamental economic policy simply in response to a demonstration of that kind,” he said.
Police arrested 201 people and charged 149 according to the BBC. Police reported that 145 of the arrests were in connection with the group UK Uncut, which occupied luxury grocery store Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly in protest over alleged tax avoidance by the business’s part owners. BBC is reporting 84 injuries, including at least 31 police, with 11 officers requiring hospital treatment.
UK Uncut has posted alternatives to the government’s austerity measures:
One alternative is to clamp down on tax dodging by corporations and the rich, estimated to cost the state £95bn a year
Another is to make the banks pay for a crisis they created: last year they paid out over £7bn in bonuses and just four banks made £24bn in profit
The tax avoided and evaded in a single year could pay for the £81bn, four-year cuts programme.