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A banner from the demonstration. Photo: Bristol People's Assembly

A banner from the demonstration. Photo: Bristol People's Assembly

A hundred thousand people took to the streets on Saturday to oppose the Tories and put them on notice, Jonathan Maunders reports.

On Saturday afternoon, thousands gathered at Portland Place to march to Parliament to demand an end to the Tory government. Chants of 'Tories out' and 'Not one day more' echoed through the streets of central London as the demonstration roared towards Parliament Square.

As Theresa May seeks to cling on to power with the help of the DUP, Saturday’s demonstration was hugely significant in building the pressure against her government. The march once again displayed the passionate anti-austerity sentiment ripe throughout the country as Tories like Boris Johnson flail to adapt their message.

The demonstration, organised by the People's Assembly Against Austerity, featured a range of different campaigns and groups, all united as the procession paced towards parliament. The breadth of those who took part shows that across society people don't want Theresa May to continue in office.

As the march concluded, demonstrators packed Parliament Square to be addressed by an array of speakers, including John McDonnell, Lindsey German and Mona Kamal. The speeches stressed the effects Tory austerity have had on people up and down the country, and there was a particular focus on Grenfell.

The biggest roar of the afternoon was for Jeremy Corbyn as he addressed the crowd. Chants of 'Oh Jeremy Corbyn' met him as he grabbed the microphone.It was clear that this was yet another significant step on the road to a Corbyn government. The more raucous his audiences become, the closer to Downing Street he appears to be.

Speaking to a number of demonstrators throughout the afternoon, a sense of optimism was palpable. While many had been despondent in previous anti-austerity demonstrations,  the majority of Saturday's crowd seemed certain that an end to austerity, and the Tories, is imminent. This was particularly evident with young people I spoke to. Many, while frustrated by Tory austerity, told me that Corbyn would be in government soon and such policies would be over.

This demonstration must be used as a springboard to make sure the week of protesting at the Tory conference in Manchester in October end Tory rule. Further, such power on the streets must be built and maintained to defend Corbyn from the attacks he would surely face upon reaching Downing Street.

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