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In a huge show of solidarity - rich and poor, celebrities and families, students and MPs joined together today - to march through London in the biggest anti-government demonstration for years.
Organisers say 250,000 were in attendance, but no official figures were available.
ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner reports:
Red flares were let off shortly after the march began, filling the street with thick, scarlet smoke.
A party atmosphere swept through the protest, with the demonstrators led by three brass musicians playing a medley of tunes, the march snaking through London as a helicopter hovered overhead.
Charlotte Church has said austerity is "unethical, unfair and unnecessary" as she joined crowds at the front of tpday's march in London.
Brandishing an End Austerity Now placard, she said she was proud to join demonstrators - posing for photos with some.
She said: "I'm here today in a show of solidarity with everyone here - it is a massive turnout - everybody who thinks that austerity isn't the only way and thinks it is essentially unethical, unfair and unnecessary.
"I'm immensely proud to be here. I think this is a brilliant movement and it is for the common good. We are here to make a stand."
Anti-nuclear activists are among those taking part in a major demonstration in central London today. Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said mass mobilisation was key to persuading the new Government not to renew the Trident nuclear weapons.
Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop The War Coalition, meanwhile said: "I will be marching because I am fed up with all the main parties saying they are going to promote austerity. They have made the rich richer and the poor poorer and they're going to continue."
Protesters have begun to gather at the Bank of England in London this morning, ahead of a major political demonstration.
Organisers are expecting thousands more to join a march which will move from the city's financial district to Westminster, to make a case against government cuts.
Thousands are expected to march through the streets of London later to protest against austerity.
The Government faces its first big public protest since the election with politicians, union leaders and celebrities expected to join the demonstration.
Organisers say the protest will be the biggest event of its kind for years, with people travelling across the UK to march from the City of London to Westminster, where a rally will be held.
Latest ITV News reports
The chancellor and the work and pensions secretary have repeated their intention to slash billions as thousands protest against austerity.
Families, students and campaigners from all over the country descended on London for the march, which snaked its way to Parliament.