Anti-Thatcher rally in London

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About 200 opponents of Margaret Thatcher filled London’s Trafalgar Square in the rain for a “party” to “celebrate” the former British prime minister’s death earlier this week.

Thatcher’s most strident critics had long vowed to hold a gathering in central London following her passing, and the festivities on Saturday were an indication of the depth of the hatred which some Britons still feel for their former leader.

There was a strong police presence for the demonstration, after trouble erupted at several impromptu street celebrations following Thatcher’s death from a stroke on Monday at the age of 87.

Among the crowd on Saturday were ex-miners from the north of England, who saw their communities devastated in a wave of pit closures during Thatcher’s 11 years in power from 1979 to 1990.

David Douglass, a former miner and member of the National Union of Mineworkers from Yorkshire, said: “We’re absolutely furious at this image that is being presented on television, that the whole country is in mourning.”

Don’t dare upset the mourners!

According to reports, the British police has warned the anti-Thatcher protesters to not ‘upset’ the mourners.

Commander Christine Jones, who oversaw the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, warned that officers had power under the controversial section 5 of the Public Order Act to step in if non-violent action was the cause of “harassment, alarm or distress” as Thatcher’s coffin makes its way through London to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Thatcher’s death has sparked fierce debate about her legacy in Britain.  Her admirers credit her with helping to end the Cold War and reinvigorating the British economy after decades of decline.

But left-wing opponents accuse her of pushing a ruthlessly individualistic agenda and putting millions out of work with her radical free-market reforms.