The TUC demonstration on 26 March exceeded expectations, with hundreds of thousands of workers marching behind an array of union banners not seen in London for many years. Photographers from Workers were there to capture the spirit of the day...
Marchers stream over Blackfriars Bridge in a bid to join the demonstration on the Embankment.
Part of the big contingent of firefighters marching under the banners of the Fire Brigades Union.
Hyde Park: a message from history.
There are many tales of the demonstration. Here is just one – from the Isle of Wight.
At 7am, five coaches left the Isle of Wight, bound for the anti-cuts demonstration in London, paid for by the unions Unison, Unite and PCS. The coaches were full of the island’s trade unionists, community groups and concerned islanders.
The coaches arrived at the London Eye at about 11.30am. As we were on the opposite side of the River Thames to the where the demonstration was being held, we had to walk to Waterloo Bridge to cross over the river.
It was just as well we assembled our banners at the side of the coaches, as it would have been impossible on the Embankment, due to the huge crowds.
It took us the best part of an hour to walk over Waterloo Bridge as the thousands of protesters funnelled into the main body of the demonstration. It took the others, with the Isle of Wight Trades Union Council banner about five hours to reach Piccadilly. We then had to make our way back to the coach, as it was leaving London at 5.15 pm. So we never quite made Hyde Park, to listen to the speeches by the trade union leaders.
Not until we were walking back to the coach did we hear about what the scum had done to the shops. They hijacked the demonstration and tried to discredit the trade union movement.
The demonstration was extremely peaceful and good-humoured, with plenty of playful banter. The various types of bands, from samba bands to jazz, and even a tank playing martial music, kept us entertained all the way. ■