‘Day of Rage’ in London, as Protesters Plan to ‘Bring down Government’ Ahead of Queen’s Speech

By Kashfi Halford from London, United Kingdom (Small section of the crowd) [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Protesters are set to march on Downing Street today to disrupt the Queen’s Speech, in an effort for a ‘Day of Rage’.

Organised by ‘Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary’ (MFJ), the demonstrators have been advised to gather at 11.30 at Shepherd’s Bush Green and then to march at 1pm.

The aim of the protest is to coincide with the Queen’s Speech whereby Theresa May will set out her legislative plans, including those for Brexit following the hung parliament result after the General Election earlier this month.

In reference to the Grenfell Tower fire, austerity cuts, struggles against racism and poverty and more the MJF event reads, “Bring Down the Government – Shut Down London.”

They specify their intended reasoning and plans for the protest as the following:

* Full amnesty and permanent right to remain in the UK for all Grenfell Tower residents who don’t have immigration papers

* House Grenfell survivors locally NOW – Take over un-occupied houses, flats & mansions in Kensington & Chelsea

* Quality, safe, affordable homes for ALL – Stop driving the poor and racial minorities out of Kensington and out of London – Reverse the privatisation of council housing – Build council homes nationwide – Cap the rents not the benefits

* Expose the corporate greed and corruption that caused the Grenfell Tower fire – Seize and publish ALL records of the companies involved with Grenfell Tower and their dealings with Kensington & Chelsea Council

* Unite the struggles against racism and against poverty

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said in regards to today’s planned demo, “To everyone planning on demonstrating against Theresa May’s Government over the next few weeks, it is vital that these protests are peaceful.”

This is expected to the be largest protest being held in response to the Queen’s Speech over the next few days. However, ‘Stand Up To Racism’ have also organised a demonstration at 6pm titled ‘Protest the Queen’s Speech – no to May/DUP racism & bigotry’. And the ‘London Socialist Party’ is also hosting an even titled ‘May Must Go! Protest the Queen’s Speech’.

MFJ’s protest has been planned for a few weeks now with someone tweeting last week a leaflet for the demo:

Police numbers have significantly been increased today in preparation for the demo’s. However, the fact the protest is being referenced as ‘Day of Rage’ and hope to bring London to a standstill, there are fears anger towards the government and the Grenfell tower disaster could easily be hijacked for violent means.

The Clement James Centre who are helping with the Grenfell Tower residents have said, “We cannot emphasise enough how against this many of the affected residents we’ve spoken to are and they do not want their grief hijacked for any violent or destructive means.”

Protests take place regularly in major cities. However, London is going through an extremely turbulent period with the various terrorist-incidents, the Grenfell tower fire and the instability and political anger surrounding the General Election.

Much like in 2011, austerity measures were kicking in, amid of the recession. An aggressive protest was planned in anger against the shooting of a local man by the police: Mark Duggan. Several violent clashes with the police ensued and thus a several-day riot in London and around the country began. Whilst it’s unlikely such extreme chaos would ensue following today’s protests, the MFJ event specifically aims to ‘shut down London’.

More to follow.

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