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 Protesters set for London march against spending cuts

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Join date : 2011-03-24

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PostSubject: Protesters set for London march against spending cuts   Protesters set for London march against spending cuts I_icon_minitimeSat Mar 26, 2011 7:22 pm

Protesters set for London march against spending cuts
Anti-cuts demonstration in London (29 Jan 2011) A number of smaller anti-cuts demonstrations have taken place in the last few months
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People from across the country are converging on London for a march in protest at the coalition government's spending cuts.

The Trades Union Congress predicts more than 100,000 people will join the march, to be policed by 4,500 police.

The TUC said it was deploying more than 1,000 stewards to ensure the event remained "family friendly".

Ministers say the cuts are necessary to fix the public finances and critics must come up with an alternative.

More than 600 coaches are due to take people to London on Saturday morning, with marchers planning to assemble from 1100 GMT on Victoria Embankment and Lower Thames Street.

They will then walk to Hyde Park for a rally from 1330 GMT where speakers will include Labour leader Ed Miliband.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said those taking part in the March for the Alternative will include community groups, pensioners and public sector workers.
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“Start Quote

Our alternative is to concentrate on economic growth through tax fairness”

End Quote Len McCluskey Unite general secretary

He said they were urging the government to spend more public money - not less - on projects to create jobs and boost the economy, and to crack down on tax evasion and avoidance in order to claw back more for the Treasury.

The largest union involved, Unite, said so many of its members wanted to take part that it could not find enough coaches or trains to ferry them to London.

Its general secretary Len McCluskey said the scale of the deficit had been exaggerated.

Outlining his economic plan, he said: "Our alternative is to concentrate on economic growth through tax fairness so, for example, if the government was brave enough, it would tackle the tax avoidance that robs the British taxpayer of a minimum of £25bn a year.
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What's happening and where

* Marchers assemble from 1100 GMT on Victoria Embankment and Lower Thames Street
* People are advised to join the march late, up until at least 1400 GMT, to avoid long wait
* Starts moving at 1200 GMT towards Hyde Park
* Rally in park from 1330-1630 GMT
* Speakers will include Labour leader Ed Miliband

* Map of the route

"If the government was brave enough, it would introduce a Robin Hood tax, a small percentage on financial transactions that would raise another £20bn a year.

"Then we would have enough money to start to invest in our manufacturing base, invest in construction, invest in the infrastructure, invest in people, invest in jobs, because that's the way for a civilised nation to deal with national debt."

Education Secretary Michael Gove said he could understand the disquiet and anger.

"But the difficulty that we have as the government inheriting a terrible economic mess is that we have to take steps to bring the public finances back into balance," he said.

Mr Miliband is attending the march but is yet to sketch out an alternative, he added.
Students protesting about government cuts (16 Mar 2011) Many of those taking part in Saturday's march are expected to be students

On Friday, the Labour leader said that "the voices of the mainstream majority" would be making themselves heard.

"I think the government will be making a great mistake if they somehow dismiss all of the people on that march as troublemakers, or just 'the same old people'. They are not," he added.

Andrew Burgin, secretary for campaign group Coalition of Resistance, said he thought it would be a "massive demonstration".

There are some concerns about disorder at the event, and a number of groups have been using the internet to call for the occupation of buildings in the West End.

The Metropolitan Police said it planned to station officers at certain sites thought likely be at risk, such as the Treasury and the entrance to Downing Street.

It has also written to businesses asking them to step up their security and to clear away any loose equipment such as ladders and dustbins that could be used as weapons.
'Kettling' concerns

The TUC has said months of planning and close co-operation with the police would ensure the march would be peaceful.

It is urging people not to join feeder marches and to stagger their arrival and departure times.

Both the police and the TUC will be sending information and advice to protesters during the march via Twitter.

In a report published on Friday, Parliament's Joint Human Rights Committee praised the Met and the TUC for their close liaison.

But it said it was concerned about the possible use of containment - or "kettling" - on peaceful demonstrators, and expressed surprise that neither the police nor the organisers had raised issues around the technique in their planning.

The Met will for the first time allow observers from human rights group Liberty into its control room for the event.

Met Police commander Bob Broadhurst said he hoped for a peaceful demonstration, but added: "We might end up in some form of containment. We would hope we can keep that for as few people as possible and for as little time as possible."Sightline Payments
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