Protesters in march against cuts in Glasgow

STUC march in Glasgow Organisers said they were hoping it would repeat a mass demonstration in 2011 over pension reforms

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About 5,000 people have attended a march in Glasgow over public spending cuts.

It coincided with marches in London and Belfast, where thousands gathered to call for an end to austerity measures.

Protesters called on the government to focus instead on creating policies which they said could create growth.

The rally in Scotland, which was organised by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), began in George Square and ended at Glasgow Green.

It was led by former Remploy workers who lost their jobs when the government-owned factories were closed.

Disability activists, community groups and public sector workers were joined on the platform by organisations including the National Union of Students, the Church of Scotland and the Hardest Hit Coalition.

They were joined by members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and the march organisers the STUC.

STUC general secretary Grahame Smith told the crowd: "The Prime Minister says he doesn't want to defend privilege, he wants to spread it.

The TUC's London march against public sector cuts Tens of thousands of people marched in London, against austerity measures

"Privilege of course means giving few an advantage over the many. That's why it's tax cuts for the rich and benefit cuts for the poor.

"We don't want an extension of privilege, we want an extension of fairness and justice."

Speaking in George Square, Mr Smith said the priority should be fair taxation and a living wage, investment in quality jobs, strong trade unions and employment rights.

Before the march, organisers said they were hoping it would be as well attended as the demonstration in 2011 over pension reforms, which attracted more than 250,000 people across the UK.

The National Union of Students in Scotland president Robin Parker, who gave a speech in George Square, said: "Students are standing side-by-side with trade union and community members from across Scotland today because we don't want to see Westminster's austerity policies dump an entire generation on the scrapheap.

"The Scottish government has said they are putting a priority on tackling youth unemployment, but they can do more. If they are serious about tackling youth unemployment, they need to be serious about funding colleges.

"Our generation needs a future that works."

And Derek Thomson, chair of the PCS union's Scotland committee, said: "We want a future funded through fair and progressive taxation and one that delivers public services and welfare benefits to those that need them.

"We want an end to the austerity agenda.

"We want investment in jobs that builds both the public and the private sectors. That's what PCS members will be marching for on Saturday and politicians across the UK would do well to listen."

Strathclyde Police said the demonstration passed off without incident.

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