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Thousands of people marched through London’s streets as part of the UK’s “biggest strike in a generation” on November 30th. Trade Union members, supporters and students made up the huge crowds that flooded through central London, protesting the Conservative government’s plan to cut pensions and increase retirement ages for public sector workers. The largely peaceful demonstrations garnered public support across the country, despite David Cameron’s quip that the strike was a “damp squib”.
Dazed joined the march, starting out at the Occupy London St Paul’s camp, where protesters unfurled a massive banner across the steps of St Paul’s cathedral, before joining the major demonstration through London. Goldsmiths students set up picket lines in New Cross and a large group of SOAS students surged into the protest in central London at midday with a huge percussion band. In a dramatic finale to the day, Occupy London protesters organised a secret action at Piccadilly Circus, lighting flares and rushing into Panton House, the office of mining company Xstrata, followed closely by police who arrested a number people. Occupy protesters pointed out that the CEO of Xstrata, a leading FTSE 100 company, was paid over 18 million pounds in the last year, while Cameron is simultaneously cutting government services and public sector pensions.
Dazed’s photographer Finn Andrés was on hand to document the strike throughout the day.