Al Jazeera

Protests, anger and ‘constitutional crisis’: UK facing ‘rocky ride’ as Tories claim power

London, United Kingdom – Democracy campaigners and victims and opponents of austerity policies are planning a wave of protest, occupations and direct action amid widespread anger at the return to power of the country’s right-wing Conservative Party and warnings the UK is on its “last legs”.

Occupy activists pose with a proposed republican English flag [Simon Hooper]

Occupy activists pose in front of the Houses of Parliament with a proposed republican English flag [Simon Hooper]

The Conservatives, led by David Cameron, the prime minister since 2010, claimed an unexpected victory in national elections earlier in the month by winning a small parliamentary majority despite gaining the support of less than a quarter of eligible voters, and just 37 percent of votes actually cast.

That result triggered immediate anger on the streets with police clashing with protesters who converged on Downing Street, the prime minister’s London residence, carrying signs reading “I pledge to resist!” and “Stop the cuts!”; a reference to the Conservatives’ unpopular neoliberal austerity policies.

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Al Jazeera

Campaigners call for ‘real democracy’ ahead of UK vote

London, United Kingdom – Activists in the UK are braving a draconian crackdown on public protest to stage a “festival of democracy” outside the Houses of Parliament in London, demanding “system change not regime change” amid predictions that Thursday’s general election could pitch the country into political chaos.

Occupy Democracy campaigners gather in Parliament Square [Simon Hooper]

Occupy Democracy campaigners gather in Parliament Square [Simon Hooper]

“Occupy Democracy” campaigners have been gathering since May 1 in Parliament Square, a grass-covered traffic island populated by tourists and statues, to call for political reforms including restrictions on corporate influence and a “citizen-led constitutional convention for real democracy”.

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