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Bristol protests against austerity

Tom Baldwin

Many were shocked to wake up on 8 May to the prospect of a Tory majority government. But a group of Bristol sixth form students were among those who followed the saying: ‘Don’t mourn - organise!’

Their response was to call an anti-austerity demonstration on Facebook. It struck a chord and support for the event on 13 May quickly snowballed.

The protest swelled as we moved through the city centre with more people joining everywhere we went. In total around 5,000 marched on a week day evening.

People want to oppose the government’s austerity attacks, in a city where less than one in five of the electorate voted Tory.

The demo was overwhelmingly made up of young people from schools and colleges. This generation potentially has the most to lose from austerity (see back page) and yet most wouldn’t have had any say on their future, even under this undemocratic system. Fighting for your future can’t wait another five years.

Home-made placards showed that people weren’t just against austerity. They wanted a fairer, more equal society, anathema to the ‘greed is good’ philosophy of the main parties.


This march was a great start but maintaining and building momentum will be crucial. Repeated demonstrations alone won’t be able to do this. General strike action, including school student strikes, must be the next major step in taking the fight to the Tories.

People may have woken up full of dread on 8 May but we can make sure it’s David Cameron who wakes up fearing for his job every morning, from now until he’s kicked out of Downing Street.