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Anti-austerity demonstration: Voices from the crowd

anti-austerity march Image copyright Getty Images

Demonstrators have taken to the streets of London to protest against austerity measures.

Young and old, and from all walks of life, some had been taking part in marches for years, while for others this was their first.

Celebrities came out in force, along with politicians and union leaders, with some areas of the city centre almost taken over by the sheer number of those present.

We asked people in the crowd what brought them to the event.

Dan Bromley, 37, a politics teacher from Didsbury, Manchester (above right, with friend Sean Timon), said he had been going on marches from when he was a toddler.

He said: "I don't agree with the government programme. And I think this affects everybody. I come from quite a privileged part of Manchester and I'm OK.

"But walk a few hundred metres from where I live and you see the impact austerity has on the poor. This demonisation of the poor - its dividing us. It's turning people against each other and rotting our society.

"I just hope this raises something in the consciousness of people who are living in a bubble."

Jan Lane, 56, from Bath, said: "The inequality and injustice in our country has ballooned. No-one seems to be addressing the issues.

"I've a daughter with learning disabilities and so far we're OK but I know people with multiple disabilities and illnesses who have been through the PIP system and been really badly affected.

"I've not taken part in a march for a long time - since I was a student - but I'm disgusted with our government."

Activist Selma James, 84, (above left, with Lina Lopez) coordinator of the Global Women's Strike, said: "I'm furious that every single feminist in power is against women - they are for austerity and against us. And they don't respect pensioners like me. They're against mothers. So we're marching for a caring society."

Nathan Harmer-Taylor, from Somerset (above, with wife Helen), was part of the Green Party group.

He said: "The war on the poor has to stop today. I don't want five more years of what the Conservatives have been doing."

Laura Swaffield, who was there as part of the Library Campaign, said: "Austerity hurts everything that matters. Local authority cuts are affecting libraries and it's a really important service for a lot of people. Somebody has to show libraries are part of society as well. They matter as a basic service as much as more obvious ones."

Tom Yelland and David Gambie (above, right), from Crystal Palace, each brought their two children to the demonstration - their ages ranging from six to nine.

Mr Yelland said: "I oppose these cuts and the effect they're having on ordinary people. I've seen the effects on people I know and my family. My mum's quite disabled and has suffered as a result."

Mr Gambie said: "I work with people with addictions and can see the effects cuts are having on them and on our staff - these are people with a lot of experience earning less than they would in Tesco."

Alice Copping, 25, (above right with friend Miranda Glen, also below), a charity worker from Dulwich, said while she had attended demonstrations before, she was with a group of friends who had not.

She said: "I'm concerned about all the cuts. My family personally had to use a food bank a month ago. And domestic violence courts are being shut down."

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