Report: Peoples Assembly March for Health, Homes, Jobs & Education

On Saturday 16 April 2016, the Revolutionary Communist Group joined the the Peoples Assembly demonstration demanding both Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation and an end to austerity in this country. 

Thousands gathered in Gower Street, to protest against the government’s increasing attacks on the working class, before marching to Trafalgar Square. The RCG contingent was strong, and very motivated despite the grey weather.

Side by side with anarchist and antifascist comrades, the RCG led chants, blasted music and provided an open mic for discussion, debate, and speech. Inspiring and thought-provoking contributions were made by RCG members, supporters, and the general public alike.

Interwoven with political rallying was rap and spoken word, raising the spirits of those marching. Housing petitions were passed around, and badges and copies of FRFI were sold throughout the day.

Comrades were openly criticising the Labour party, whose local councillors have been implementing savage cuts across the country. For example, we asked will the Labour Party refuse to evict those affected by the housing bill if it goes through parliament? So far they’ve refused to comment on the issue, so why were so many on this march calling for a Labour vote? Our invitations to the Labour supporters to engage in debate on the open mic over the nature of their party were met with uncomfortable looks, and silence.

Directly after the march, RCG comrades supported a demonstration, called by Architects for Social Housing,  outside the London headquarters of Savills estate agent. Savills has written extensive housing policy and has held meetings attended by both the main main mayoral candidates - Zac Goldsmith (Tory) and Sadiq Kahn(Labour). The policy includes a map marking every single piece of  council estate land in London, including parks and playgrounds, and identifies it as ripe for 'brownfield' development for private developers. Suffice to say that any housing that comes out of such a scheme will not be genuinely affordable and will definitely not be council housing. The demonstration made the point loud and clear at Savills head office - we know that the real purpose of their lobbying and policy writing is to make huge profits out of the social cleansing of London. 

As one comrade put it, the main Peoples Assembly march was 'essentially a rally to get Labour re-elected'. The burning question remains - what will those who support Labour under Jeremy Corbyn do to ensure that Labour MPs and councillors do not implement further attacks on the working class?