Following the model of the French “Yellow West” movement, thousands of protesters demonstrated on Saturday in London against the British government. In the face of Brexit, they demanded an end to austerity and a new election. Politicians and trade unionists from across the country followed the call of the campaign “The People’s Assembly Against Austerity”. About 5000 to 10,000 demonstrators would have participated, said a spokeswoman for the organizers in a first estimate of the German Press Agency.
Austerity and Brexit have divided the nation according to the organizers. “Since the Tories took power, the number of homeless people has doubled,” said Steve Turner of the union Unite, who is also vice-president of the campaign. The National Health Service NHS, the care sector and the schools were shaken by crises. “We are dealing here with a government that is completely alien to people’s everyday worries.”
Representatives of the “yellow west” movement from France participated in the demonstration in London. “All European countries should join this fight against austerity,” said a participant from France.
The movement had formed in France in November to protest President Emmanuel Macron’s reform policies and the perceived lack of purchasing power. The term for the movement goes back to the yellow safety vests for motorists, who also wear the demonstrators.
Great Britain wants to leave the European Union at the end of March. The UK Parliament will vote on Tuesday on the Brexit agreement negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May and Brussels. It is considered very unlikely that the deal will come about. Chaos threatens in case of an EU exit without agreement.