Campaigners are facing a bill of more than £2,000 for staging a march against NHS cuts through Huddersfield town centre.
Huddersfield Trades Union Congress (TUC) says it has been organising demos for 40 years in the town and were annoyed to discover it would have to pay a private company to manage traffic.
The final bill is expected to be more than £2,000.
Bob Stoker, of Huddersfield TUC, said after discussions with police and council officials it was clear that budget cuts to both organisations was to blame.
“We had a meeting with police and they said we would have to have a traffic management company to shut the roads. We haven’t had the final bill but the quote was for £2,000. It’s unfair and against democracy.”
He added: “We are only a small voluntary organisation. We have had donations from other bodies to help us out.”
Mr Stoker said previous demos had been managed by police, although in recent times private companies had to be drafted in.
Nick Rough, of Kirklees Unison, said it was a “disgrace” that a local organisation had been charged to “fight to save the NHS.”
“I would be interested to know how much the EDL (English Defence League) were charged to march through Dewsbury.”
Several hundred people took part in the march following a rally in St George’s Square on Saturday morning.
Marchers, led by noisy drummers from Honley Samba Band, included campaigners from Chorley and a group of around 30 climate change campaigners.
Speakers included Labour MP Barry Sheerman, the leader of Kirklees Council, David Sheard, and lead members of the splinter group 'Official Hands Off HRI'.
The original Hands Off HRI group did not endorse or take part in the march.
Mr Sheerman said: “Our NHS is being destroyed, quietly, behind the scenes.”
He labelled local health bosses “incompetent”.
Mike Foster, chairman of 'Official Hands Off HRI', said: “We have had seven years of austerity - cuts to our pay, services and declining living standards. But it’s only one-sided as the rich are getting richer. We are the most unequal nation in Europe.”
There were cheers from the crowd as he called for the Private Finance Initiative to be scrapped and for the NHS to be “renationalised”.
Tim Padmore, of Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change, said 30 people had added their protest before it joined with the NHS gathering.
He said the protest in Huddersfield coincided with one in Washington DC to mark 100 days of Donald Trump as President.
“We are standing in solidarity with Americans and also protesting against Trump’s racism, sexism and denial of climate change and attack on the health care system.”