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Thousands Of People Marched In London For Fairer Homes, Jobs, Health And Education

Police said they were prepared for up to 100,000 people to attend the anti-austerity demonstration.

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Thousands of people have marched in London to protest against the government's austerity measures.

Stefan Rousseau / PA WIRE

The Metropolitan police said they had made plans to manage crowds of around 100,000 people expected to attend the demonstration, which gathered near Euston station before marching to a rally in Trafalgar Square.

Organised by the People's Assembly Against Austerity, protesters had four demands of the government: fairer employment, healthcare, housing and education.

Stefan Rousseau / PA WIRE

The march was called after George Osborne's most recent Budget statement, which proved to be one of his more divisive.

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith resigned over his objection to welfare measures laid out by the chancellor, while the education community was left up in arms over the decision to turn all schools into academies by 2020.

The march also aimed to offer solidarity to the NHS ahead of a planned walk-out by junior doctors at the end of the month, and cuts to funding for student nurses and midwives.

Speaking at the rally in Trafalgar Square, Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell promised that his party would end austerity if voted back into power.

"We will introduce a fair taxation system and we will make the rich and the corporations pay their way in society," he said.

Stefan Rousseau / PA WIRE

Saturday's march follows a more hastily-organised demonstration the previous weekend, where around 1,000 protesters marched to the Conservative Spring Forum in Covent Garden demanding David Cameron's resignation following the Panama Papers scandal.

Leaked documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca forced the prime minister to admit that he had once profited from shares he held in an offshore fund owned by his father.

Massive turn out on the streets today! People have #4Demands - health, homes, jobs, education. @pplsassembly

Referring to the Panama Papers in an interview with International Business Times ahead of the demonstration, People's Assembly national secretary Sam Fairbairn said: "When we launched the demonstration we had no idea what kind of spectacular failure the government would make on all four of those fronts in the last few weeks."

He believed that the current government offered "tax-havens for the super rich and austerity for the rest of us."

Following last week's calls from the public for Cameron to resign, he felt Saturday's anti-austerity march represented a "critical moment as people march in opposition to an out of touch government of the rich."

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell speaks at an anti-austerity demonstration in central London.
Stefan Rousseau / PA WIRE

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell speaks at an anti-austerity demonstration in central London.

General secretary of the Unite trade union, Len McCluskey, singer and anti-austerity activist Charlotte Church and leader of the Green party Natalie Bennett were also expected to speak at the event.

Children chanting "Save Our Schools" @pplsassembly demo. Gawd bless em:

Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

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