Thousands of activists celebrated with music, dance and a Trojan horse while protesting against tax avoidance and government cuts to welfare and services.
By Linus Rees
An event organised by UK Uncut brought a party atmosphere to Oxford Street on Saturday afternoon as hundreds of thousands of people marched through central London to protest at the government’s policy of cutting welfare and public services.
Many protesters broke off from the main march which was headed for a rally in Hyde Park and instead marched down Oxford Street. A large group of protesters accompanied by a Trojan horse gathered outside Top Shop at Oxford Circus. People cheered, danced and played drums in a carnival atmosphere.
Top Shop was targeted by UK Uncut because its owner Sir Philip Green has used his wife’s Monaco residence to avoid paying tax. Green is also a government advisor. In a statement UK Uncut explained why they were targeting Top Shop
Whilst “Sir” Green advises Clegg and Cameron on cutting benefits, privatising and ‘streamlining’ the NHS and scraping public services Philip Green and his family saved themselves nearly £300m last year living partly in Monaco, where residents do not have to pay income tax.
While police ringed the building some demonstrators threw paint.
In Soho Square UK Uncut entertained hundreds of people with political satire and stand-up comedy while having a go at the government. Even the few police standing around on the grass seemed to be enjoying the afternoon of entertainment.
In the surrounding streets in Fitzrovia dozens of police vehicles and extra hire vehicles for a large police presence were parked while two helicopters flew overhead. A comedian at the Soho Square event complained that they were being heckled by the helicopter so loud was the noise from the rotor blades.