We Asked Some Protesters What They Knew About Austerity and the New Tory Cabinet

Protesters marched through central London on Saturday, under the 'No to Austerity, No to Racism' banner, so we asked them about Theresa May's new crew.

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Jul 17 2016, 9:08am

Another weekend, another set of protests. In a summer that's seen people fill the streets around the UK, marching in relation to everything from the EU referendum result to the Black Lives Matter movement, thousands walked through central London on Saturday under a broad anti-austerity, anti-racism and anti-Tory mandate.

Called by Stand Up to Racism and The People's Assembly Against Austerity, the protest congregated outside BBC Broadcasting House, before weaving past Downing Street to Parliament, ending outside Westminster. "Hey, ho, Tories got to go," sang some of the assembled crowd, while a band on a mobile stage attached to a bicycle played their drums, guitars and led the chant.

After the speeches, photographer Sam Sargeant went round to speak to some of the people there, asking what they thought about Theresa May's new cabinet and the state of austerity in Britain, now that George Osborne's no longer in the hot seat as chancellor of the exchequer.

Chris Bird

"I think we've entered a dangerous time with the growth of right-wing groups; we oppose Theresa May and defend multiculturalism. The ruling class has destabilised the Middle East and we should accept the refugees."

Max Hammet-Millay

"I don't agree with the current levels of austerity. We need to pay our debt, but we need to draw the line somewhere."

Caragh Skipper

"I hate it. They are selling it to us as economic prosperity. Theresa May is putting her own people in power. We need balances."

Steven Phillip

"With Theresa May becoming Prime Minister I don't think we will see a massive change in austerity any time soon. But we need change now."

Maliha Sumar

"I think Theresa May wants to privatise the NHS, which would mean longer queues and fewer GPs. Also, we have the fifth-largest economy in the world and our students can't even afford food or rent. There are more people at the food banks; we are already seeing the impact of the austerity measures."

Max Smith

"Austerity has been going on for quite a few years now and I am at the end of my tether. This march is more about democracy than anything else. We didn't get a vote and this seems weird to me."

Gary and Asia Bottrill

"They refuse to give migrants rights. They should blame austerity, not migrants. These Tories have a human face, but it's just a mask."

Lilah Larson

"Austerity is what has put the people in a frightened, disenfranchised position. They scapegoat refugees and this is leading to political disaster. But it's great to see the people coming together against a government that they didn't elect."

Here are some more of Sam's photos from the march.

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