Anti-Austerity Protesters leave a trail of litter


PHOTO: Trafalgar Square

On 16th April, 2016,  anti-austerity protesters gathered together for a protest and left a massive trail of rubbish, some of it dangerous, in their wake along Trafalgar Square.  I saw protesters from groups  such as  the People’s Assembly, Unite and the Green Party. There were others, but I could not identify them.

The mess included beer cans and broken glass bottles. I saw several protesters’ dogs walking along their rubbish despite the shards of broken glass. It didn’t seem that  anyone who took part was bothered at this. Tourists who had come far to visit London, and help boost the economy, had to wade through all the rubbish.

Several young protesters were dropping litter as if it was the most normal thing to do. I handed them their litter back, which they probably thought very strange. They didn’t seem to care about the environment, let alone animals using the area.

I didn’t see any protesters help pick up their litter, leaving it up to the one or two low paid workers, struggling to cope with it all. The protesters seemed very happy for money to be wasted on people clearing up their rubbish. The tourist attraction looked like it had been visited by a load of flytippers.



If people want Cameron to resign, than trashing  tourist attractions isn’t exactly going to win support. Even as  Green Left, this was appalling and I question my own politics. Sometimes I don’t think any of the parties can run the country. Will I end up being a Non Voter?


2 thoughts on “Anti-Austerity Protesters leave a trail of litter

  1. I and others stayed behind to to clear up after the protest at Trafalgar Square yesterday. I don’t know how long you stayed, but alongside the city cleaners who immediately piled in to clean the roads and square, I think we did a good job. Many people do care about the rubbish left by protests and we try to leave as little trace as possible. I agree that people need to deal with their own mess and it is a fundamental dissonance that people don’t when they are protesting for a better world: I would much prefer people remembered that little social acts are a large part of activism, even if it is boring and mundane compared to the protest. Perhaps not everyone’s politics are that grounded, all-encompassing and developed. I’m not sure what it has directly to do with which party could run the country, nor about voting status, though I understand your general frustration; if anything it more highlights that if we want things done, we need to take responsibility rather than bemoaning the status quo, do what needs to be done ourselves, and self organise!

  2. Thanks for making London a better place. Litter is an expensive anti social issue and it harms animals too, we all need to take responsibility, act grown up and think of the bigger picture. Litter from demos distracts others from the message. When I talked to people, they all said ‘it can’t have been us’.. Must be a fairy then. The litter reminded some people of the mess left on fields by revellers at Glastonbury. We need to get people thinking that…. this isn’t a good image, and it give younger people a poor image, particularly those who do clear up after themselves. It takes a few bad apples to sabotage a great campaign. Once one person starts chucking beer cans and glass all over the place, they all do, it is about peer pressure, being filthy is somehow ‘cool’ to some people. Hello?

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