Traffic on Westminster bridge in London was brought to a standstill on Saturday as hundreds of protesters occupied the road to paint a huge message decrying the government’s austerity agenda.
As dozens of police watched, protesters first painted, then hung a 20-metre banner over the side of the bridge facing parliament. “12 billion more cuts. 120 billion tax dodged,” it said. “Austerity is a lie.”
It was the first demonstration by UK Uncut, the grassroots direct action group, since the 7 May election. With the Conservative government planning deep cuts to public services, activists vowed that it was a taste of things to come.
A UK Uncut member, Beth Cunningham, 26, said: “With the new government being sworn in on Wednesday we just wanted to send a clear message that we are going to be fighting the cuts.
“Direct action is what works. It sends a loud and clear message that people aren’t happy. And it’s part of acknowledging that our current political resources aren’t enough. People don’t have enough resources in the current political system to make their voices heard and that’s why we resort to direct action.”