Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of London on Saturday to express their anger at the human cost of the financial crisis.
Demonstrators also marched in other European capitals as politicians appealed for calm during Thursday’s G20 gathering in London.
Police estimated the London crowd at up to 35,000 but there were no reports of any violence as the placard-waving crowd snaked along the 6km route to Hyde Park.
An alliance of more than 150 organizations including unions, charities and environment groups joined the march to demand action to save jobs, create a low-carbon economy and impose stricter controls on the finance sector.
US Vice President Joe Biden, meanwhile, called for protesters to give governments a chance to tackle the economic crisis at a conference in Chile.
“I would hope that the protesters give us a chance, listen to what we have to say and hopefully we can make it clear to them that we’re going to walk away from this G20 meeting with some concrete proposals,” he said.
Also in Chile, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who will host the G20 summit, said: “The action that is happening in London today I understand, and we will respond to it at the G20.”
Organizers of the Put People First march for “jobs, justice and climate” in London had rejected as “smears” claims in police briefings that marches could be hijacked by anarchists bent on violence.
Brendan Barber, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said the demonstration had a clear message for the presidents and prime ministers heading to London.
“Never before has such a wide coalition come together with such a clear message for world leaders,” he said.
“The old ideas of unregulated free markets do not work, and have brought the world’s economy to near-collapse, failed to fight poverty and have done far too little to move to a low-carbon economy,” Barber said.
One protester, Chris Pounds, 45, a health worker from Northampton, said the groups in the march were united in their belief that global leaders had “made a real mess” of the economy.
“We have got to start again to find a new way of living because over the last year we’ve seen that our so-called leaders don’t know what they are doing,” he said. “I don’t care what happens at the G20 summit — we don’t need their help.”
The protesters waved banners with slogans such as “We won’t pay for the crisis,” “Plan it with the planet in mind” and “Capitalism always leads to death.”
More protests are planned in London in the days leading up to the summit.
In Rome, protesters threw red paint, egg and smoke bombs at banks, insurance companies and estate agencies in their protest.
Students and left-wing activists were among those who took part in the march, which organizers said had drawn around 6,000 people.
Thousands of people also marched through Berlin and Frankfurt on Saturday. In Vienna, police said at least 6,500 people marched to protest about the effects of globalization.
Several hundred demonstrators turned out in Paris, where they erected and demolished a model of an island symbolizing a tax haven.
Also See: China calls for financial reform
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
PLAYING THE VICTIM? A Chinese spokesman sent a statement to Australian media saying that Beijing had ‘irrefutable’ evidence of Canberra’s widescale espionage Australia yesterday unveiled the “largest-ever” boost in cybersecurity spending, days after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out about a wave of state-sponsored attacks suspected to have been carried out by China. Morrison and government officials said the country would spend an additional A$1.35 billion (US$928 million) on cybersecurity, about a 10 percent hike, taking the budget for the next decade to A$15 billion. The largest chunk of the new money would help create 500 jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate, the government’s communications intelligence agency. Morrison on June 19 said that a “state-based actor” was targeting a host of
The Philippine army chief yesterday expressed outrage over the fatal police shooting of four soldiers, including two officers, and demanded justice, as both sides provided contrasting accounts of the killings. Philippine Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Ano, a retired military chief of staff who now oversees the national police, ordered that the police involved in Monday’s violence in Jolo in Sulu Province be disarmed and restricted for investigation. Police said the soldiers were killed in a “misencounter” with a group of police officers. The army said that the two officers and two enlisted men were on a mission against