In an event dubbed the march for the alternative, hundreds of thousands gathered in London - protesting against the ruling coalition's planned spending cuts - the largest cut-backs since the Great Depression.
Organised by the Trade Union Congress, the protests remained largely peaceful. However events were overshadowed by violence that later erupted.
But as Europe is still struggling to avoid another financial crisis, would such measures have any impact? And what are the social and political implications?
Inside Story, with presenter Ghida Fakhry, discusses with: Jeremy Batstone-Carr, the head of research at Charles Stanley stockbrokers; Max Keiser, a financial analyst and renowned banking critic; and Tom Clougherty, the executive director of the Adam Smith Institute, a UK-based think tank dedicated to free market policies.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Monday, March 28, 2011.