Thousands of protesters marched in London with People’s Assembly to call for a general election.
The “Britain is Broken” protest demanded government action on the cost of living crisis, better pay, the repeal of anti-union employment laws and against “Tory austerity”.
Trade unionists, community organisations, protest groups and individuals were joined by supporters of CND, Just Stop Oil, Extinction Rebellion and anti-racism groups who set off from Embankment to Trafalgar Square to hear speakers including Jeremy Corbyn and RMT leader Mick Lynch.
Corbyn told the crowd the government will be “forced to listen” to their calls for an election, action on low pay and workers rights.
“Governments do eventually listen because of popular movements,” he said. “The people out here are very determined.”
People’s Assembly Against Austerity – who organised the march – said they wanted to “shut down London” for force the government to hear their demands.
“The government is in a deep crisis and the third prime minister in a matter of months has been decided by a tiny elite,” said Ramona McCartney, national organiser for People’s Assembly.
“We want to make this the biggest demonstration possible to force them to a general election and in solidarity with every striking worker.”
A petition calling for an immediate general election set up by the Independent newspaper has been signed by 465,000 people while their poll, conducted this week, found 61% of voters want an early election.
People’s Assembly: ‘Outrage is not enough’
Recent polls predict the Conservatives are facing annihilation in the next election are its MPs are dismissing calls for one. There is no statutory obligation for a general election to be called until December 2024. Tories have repeatedly rejected an early election despite there being a third prime minister in Downing Street this year. They state the UK has a parliamentary democracy not presidential one and that parties are elected to form a government.
However, the damage and chaos caused by Liz Truss’s short occupancy followed by Rishi Sunak’s U-turns and ditching of manifesto pledges has raised questions about his mandate and legitimacy.
National secretary of People’s Assembly Laura Pidcock said: “This Tory government is now totally unaccountable, but outrage is not enough.
“We have to come together, as a movement, to organise on the streets and in our communities, and show that our voices will not be silenced and that we want fundamental changes to the way our country is run.
“What I suspect is that it will be another tax giveaway for the super-rich.”
Pidcock said people have to “come together and organise “on the streets and in our communities” to “show that our voices will not be silenced”, adding: “We want fundamental changes to the way our country is run.”