Not everyone in Britain is thrilled beyond words about Queen Elizabeth's big diamond jubilee on Saturday: Somewhere between 22% and 50% of Britons are estimated to be anti-monarchist, and with a tough austerity program rocking Britain's economy, many anti-austerity protesters are teaming up with republicans to demonstrate against the flashy (and costly) celebrations of Britain's second-longest serving monarch ever, reports the Guardian. Yesterday, 400 people gathered for an "alternative jubilee street party" outside the deputy prime minister's home, one of 11 protests held around the country to demonstrate against the government's austerity program.
"The government is trying to use the jubilee next weekend to distract people from the cuts and the tough times they are facing," says one protester. Sales of anti-monarchy goods are said to be up, and the Sex Pistols' 1977 anthem, "God Save the Queen," was recently re-released. But the big anti-monarchy protest is expected next Sunday, to be held on the banks of the Thames. "From the messages of support we are getting, I expect this to be the biggest republican protest in my lifetime," says one organizer.