‘We Will Not Surrender Our Voices’: British Teens Lead Thousands-Strong Protest Against Austerity

‘We want an end to austerity. An end to the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer.’

Sarah Lazare

(Common Dreams) – A spirited protest against austerity reportedly led by teenagers swept Bristol, England on Wednesday, drawing thousands to the streets and garnering widespread media attention just days after the country’s electoral lurch to the right.

The group Bristol Against Austerity put a call-out for the mobilization, which declaring:

This is a protest against the government who propose to make £12bn in welfare cuts over the next 3 years, who introduced the bedroom tax and the privatization of the NHS, that has targeted the poorest people and will continue to do so with devastating consequence. A protest against the party who has the backing of the right-wing press, manipulating and scaremongering voters. The party who secures it’s donations from it’s wealthy friends, who dodge their taxes as we foot the bill.

We want an end to austerity. An end to the right wing media who are allowed to run amok. An end to the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer. An end to an unfair voting system. This protest is about standing up for all that is so frightening about this tory government. It is a clear message from our city to Westminster that we will not surrender our voices.

(Photo: Gary Horne Photography)(Photo: Gary Horne Photography)

Support for the action reportedly grew rapidly, and the day of the protest, over thousands of people showed up, flooding the southwest England city.

“A lot of people were so affected by [the previous coalition government] and then to hear the Tories’ plans for the next five years–it really does paint quite a bleak picture that we are not happy about,” protester Hannah Patterson told the BBC. “We think it’s a good idea to let them know we’re not happy about that before they enact them out.”

The Bristol Post noted, “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.”

(Photo: BBC)(Photo: BBC)

A video documentary of the march can be viewed below.