On 26 March 2011, 500,000 people marched through London in protest against government spending cuts. The March For The Alternative was one of the largest demonstrations ever seen in the UK.

To mark the day, the SAVE OUR PLACARDS team asked people to leave their protest material at a tree in Hyde Park.

Hundreds left us their placards, banners, and costumes. And we've worked hard to find new audiences for the material since.

Below, people share the politics behind their slogans, their experiences of the demonstration, and thoughts on what has happened since in Con-Dem austerity Britain.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Placard Parade

"We should do this every Saturday," said Mike Smith.

Thanks to Mike and everyone else who joined 'Placard Parade' on Saturday. Thought we'd share some photos. Images courtesy of James Burton and Katja Medic.

100 of the best anti-austerity placards given to us were walked round central London on Saturday 24 March, a year on from the March For The Alternative. In small groups, spread out across the day, we paraded the protest ephemera down the South Bank and then along the Embankment where the march started last year. 

Many of the placards were carried by their creators, reunited with their masterpieces a year after leaving them at the SAVE OUR PLACARDS tree in Hyde Park.

It was a really inspiring day. Perhaps, Fiona summed it up best: "It was great watching people's reactions... The whole experience reminded me, and hopefully others, that a protest shouldn't just end when the march stops. These issues are big, ongoing and need to be constantly brought up and talked about, even a year down the line."

And here's a film of the day made by Cornish artist Paul Farmer. Thanks Paul.

Five Hundred Thousand Stories from Paul Farmer on Vimeo.