Students, workers and people of Nottingham took to the streets of London to stand in opposition and defiance to the cuts threatening our society. The atmosphere was quite different to the last protests; it was more optimistic, with a samba band and boom boxes providing music, Hare Krishnas providing food and even protesters wheeling a trolley of medical supplies. There was a real community spirit and as the protest was on a Saturday there were a lot more workers and families.
We marched the usual route from the University of London union, past the Houses of Parliament and then down towards Milibank. All the windows of the official buildings had been boarded up, so I guess they are getting more worried and more prepared. At Millibank there was an attempt to break the lines of polices that were blocking it off; however after a while of this the general concensus was to go to the Eygptian embassy and show solidarity with Eygptians as they fight the dictatorship in their country and to urge our politicians to call for Mubarak to step down. The protest split into lots of sections and took different routes to try to reduce the likelihood of kettling. The walk to the Eygptian embassy was probably one of the most exciting parts of the protest, with lots of cheers and honks from people in their cars as we walked through the more residential streets. It was really nice to get so much support from people and to see how much that support has grown since the first protest last November. We were not able to get right outside the Eygptian embassy as the road to it was blocked off; however people stayed in the area. While 1000s were outside the Eygptian embassy another group had taken the protest to the streets of London, running to prevent being kettled and temporarily taking over strategic areas such as Oxford Circus.
All in all, it was a good day, which ultimately showed the power we have, not only to fight these cuts and this government but to build and create better alternatives.