A spirited protest against austerity reportedly led by teenagers swept Bristol, England on Wednesday, drawing thousands to the streets and garnering widespread media attention just days after the country's electoral lurch to the right.
The group Bristol Against Austerity put a call-out for the mobilization, declaring:
This is a protest against the government who propose to make £12bn in welfare cuts over the next 3 years, who introduced the bedroom tax and the privatization of the NHS, that has targeted the poorest people and will continue to do so with devastating consequence. A protest against the party who has the backing of the right-wing press, manipulating and scaremongering voters. The party who secures it’s donations from it’s wealthy friends, who dodge their taxes as we foot the bill.
We want an end to austerity. An end to the right wing media who are allowed to run amok. An end to the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer. An end to an unfair voting system. This protest is about standing up for all that is so frightening about this tory government. It is a clear message from our city to Westminster that we will not surrender our voices.
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Once the action was announced, support swelled dramatically, and the day of the protest, thousands of people showed up, flooding the southwest England city. Media outlets described the march as angry, enthusiastic, and overwhelmingly young.
One of the organizers, 17-year-old Hannah Patterson, told The Bristol Post, "We are just a group of seven young women. It was an amazing turnout, we didn't really expect anything like it. We were talking on Twitter about how hopeless we feel, and we came up with this idea."
A video documentary of the march can be viewed below.