Thousands gather in London demanding general election over ‘deep crisis’ in government

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Just Stop Oil and People’s Assembly groups gather on Saturday in cost of living protest and to demand a general election.

Taking to the streets on Saturday, 5 November are groups including the Million Mask March, trade unions, community groups and Just Stop Oil.

Campaign group Enough is Enough are holding a rally in London on November 2Campaign group Enough is Enough are holding a rally in London on November 2
Campaign group Enough is Enough are holding a rally in London on November 2

They will march around parliament, said the People’s Assembly campaign group. “The government is in a deep crisis and the third prime minister in a matter of months has been decided by a tiny elite. We want to make this the biggest demonstration possible to force them to a general election and in solidarity with every striking worker,” said Ramona McCartney, the national organiser for the People’s Assembly.

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“We want working class people to join us on this day to demonstrate how angry and determined we are, and fight the new wave of austerity the government is forcing on us.”

The People’s Assembly are calling for an immediate general election, action on low pay and the repeal of “anti-union” employment laws.

Laura Pidcock, national secretary of the People’s Assembly, said: “This Tory government is now totally unaccountable, but outrage is not enough.

“We have to come together as a movement to organise on the streets and in our communities, and show that our voices will not be silenced and that we want fundamental changes to the way our country is run.

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“We will not get that from the politicians. We will only get that from the strength of a united, vibrant movement of working class people coming together, building together and making change together.”

The Conservative party is under no obligation to call a general election until 2024.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will speak at a rally.

Anti-racism groups are also joining the march, seeking the removal of home secretary Suella Braverman as home secretary. She is under attack for her comments on migrants. The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants criticised her for describing asylum seekers as an “invasion on our southern coast”.

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“We cannot allow Braverman’s dehumanising language + decision-making to continue. She’s putting lives at risk,” the organisation tweeted.

The Metropolitan Police has said it will respond effectively and quickly to any emerging public order incidents.

Commander Jon Savell said: “The Met has a long history of dealing with spontaneous protests in London. We have a very experienced policing team in place as well as robust policing measures; we can respond effectively and quickly to any emerging public order incidents.

“We fully support peaceful protest and will always try to work with organisers so that protests can go ahead safely. However, unlike many groups who carry out protests, Million Mask March and Just Stop Oil do not engage with us in advance of their action. This means we are unable to take the necessary steps to minimise disruption. In addition, the actions of some protesters frequently cross the line into criminality; we will not tolerate criminal behaviour, anti-social behaviour, disorder or criminal damage from anyone.

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“Since 2 October, we have arrested 677 Just Stop Oil protesters, 111 of whom have been charged. All but two of those charged have had their first appearance at court.

“We have also used a total of 9,438 officer shifts to police Just Stop Oil protests. These are officers who would otherwise be dealing with issues that matter to local communities, such as knife crime, safeguarding and responding to burglaries. However, despite this increased pressure on our officers, the Met is a large and resilient organisation and remains fully capable of also dealing with its core business in communities.

“When considering how to respond to activists, officers and command teams have to balance the rights of everyone involved, both those wishing to protest as well as local communities and businesses seeking to go about their lawful business unimpeded and without serious disruption.

“Key to our operational response is arriving quickly on scene where there are reports of activists causing disruption and disorder. We know how frustrated members of the public can become with activists, however, I would urge them to have confidence that the police will be on their way and will arrive and deal with situations quickly. Do not try to take matters into your own hands.

“We are determined to bring to justice all of those who cause significant and unreasonable disruption to London, or cause damage to buildings, property or valuables.”

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