LONDON (Reuters) – Several hundred people turned up for a “party” in central London yesterday to celebrate the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a mass protest predicted by some, failed to materialise.
The British capital’s mayor had warned of potential rioting as organisers promised thousands of opponents of Thatcher, who died aged 87 on Monday, would descend on London’s Trafalgar Square to mark the passing of a leader who was loved and loathed in equal measure.
Current British politicians and world leaders past and present have paid tributes to the former premier, Britain’s longest serving prime minister in over a century, but she continues to divide Britons over policies which saw her crush trade unions and privatise swathes of industry.
The event, which had been planned by left-wing activists in the event of her death decades ago, had been billed as “the party of a lifetime”.
But in cold and rainy conditions, it attracted only several hundred jovial and noisy supporters, chanting “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, dead, dead, dead”. Some danced to drums and loud dance music, waving banners bearing messages such as “Rot in hell Thatcher”.
Others held up an effigy of Thatcher, complete with light blue suit and handbag, cracked open bottles of champagne which were passed around the small crowd and burnt a mannequin head, shouting “burn Maggie burn”.