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Protesters Join Funeral of Former British Prime Minister

Protesters Join Funeral of Former British Prime Ministeri
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April 17, 2013 5:32 PM
Tens of thousands of people lined London’s streets on Wednesday for the funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Along with the crowds mourning her passing, there were also hundreds of protestors celebrating the death of one of Britain’s most divisive politicians. Selah Hennessy has more for VOA.
Selah Hennessy
Tens of thousands of people lined London’s streets on Wednesday for the funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Along with the crowds mourning her passing, there were also hundreds of protestors celebrating the death of one of Britain’s most divisive politicians.
 
As the funeral procession made its way to the cathedral, opponents of Thatcher lined the route... 
 
Turning their backs on her coffin as it made its way through central London. 
 
They chanted “waste of money” in protest at the millions of dollars spent on Wednesday’s funeral and waved anti-Thatcher signs. 
 
While in power, Thatcher became an enemy of many on the left.  A Conservative prime minister, she pursued privatization and deregulation, cut taxes on the rich and attacked trade unions. 
 
On Wednesday, her opponents said they had not forgiven her. 
 
“It’s a mark of not wanting to be involved in the pageantry really and the celebration of her life - because I don’t think it was a life to celebrate," said one woman. 
 
“I’m here and I’m so happy today that she’s dead," said a man. 
 
Wednesday was not the first protest since Thatcher’s death.
 
On Saturday, her opponents poured into London’s Trafalgar Square to “celebrate.” 
 
They said they were protesting against her politics and the legacy they say she’s left behind - rising inequality and high costs of living in Britain. 
 
Many Britons have been critical of those “celebrating” - but  Thatcher’s opponents they say it’s a good chance to address divisions in British society.  
 
A man handing out pamphlets Wednesday for a talk on Thatcher’s legacy said,  “Britain is still a very divided society. She’s probably one of the most controversial prime ministers. So hopefully by having this protest and by raising the issue and showing there’s an alternative people will begin to tackle her legacy.” 
 
Thatcher’s death, he hopes, will ignite fresh debate about Britain’s future.

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