Thousands of Greens join national anti-austerity demo
This Saturday saw the Green Surge made flesh as thousands of Greens joined the estimated 250,000-strong national anti-austerity demo in London.
This demonstration, organised by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, occurred as people took to the streets of Glasgow in another anti-austerity demo that drew thousands.
The march began at the Bank of England and ended in Parliament Square, where the crowd was addressed by a range of speakers including Green MP Caroline Lucas, as well as Labour leader candidate Jeremy Corbyn, Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey, NUS Vice President Shakira Martin, singer Charlotte Church, and comedian Russell Brand.
Greens from groups across the country took part in the Green bloc, joined on the streets by Green Party leader Natalie Bennett as well as deputy leaders Amelia Womack and Shahrar Ali. Unconfirmed reports claim that the Green bloc was the largest bloc on the entire demonstration.
Amelia Womack, commenting on the size of the Green bloc at the demo, said, ‘The Green Party is a political movement both in and outside parliament. The thousands of Green demonstrators proved that our members will use all of their democratic powers and not sit idly by while our communities are torn apart by austerity.’
The Green presence at this demo shows that the Greens can take a major role within the movement against austerity. The Greens are the largest party to take a position entirely opposed to austerity, but the Green Party should take a greater role in turning itself into the party of social movements, not only contesting elections, but also taking a leading role in supporting trade unions, grassroots movements, and marginalised groups across the country in fighting for their causes. The march on Saturday, represented a new beginning for the anti-austerity movement following the re-election of the Tories, but the massive Green presence shows that it could also be a beginning for the Greens as a genuine party of social movements.