Well over 60,000 people flowed through the streets in Manchester on Sunday 4 October, to protest not only against austerity and ‘Tory rule’, but to tell David Cameron and co that they are not welcome in Manchester on the opening day of the Tory conference.
Organised by the TUC and The People’s Assembly, the rally that saw people from all over the country including notable celebrities, was hailed by Greater Manchester Police as a demo held with “dignity and grace”.
Contrary to media reports that are saying the protests were marred by ‘yobs’, GMP Chief Superintendent O’Hare said that, “I’d like to thanks organisers for taking responsibility and ensuring the demo was planned and delivered appropriately”
Chief Supt O’Hare added that “The overwhelming majority of people have exercised their democratic right to protest with dignity and good grace. I would like to thank them [the people] for their cooperation”.
With activists holding up placards, flags and woven banners, the rally began in Oxford Road next to All Saints Park. There was a stage with musicians and speakers coming on at intervals to entertain and rally the crowd gathering crowd.
Moving like a flowing lake with people acting like waves – breaking and coming together again – the procession made its way into the city centre whilst people chanted against Tory policies. At one stage it was, “They say ‘Cut Back’, we say ‘Fight Back’. They say ‘Tory’ we say ‘Scum’”.
Whilst the protest was largely peaceful as the sun lusciously spilled over Manchester, a small number of people pelted a young Tory with eggs, and spat at journalists and called them “scum”. The egging incident took place on Oxford Road as young delegates wearing Tory party conference lanyards were surrounded by a group of protesters chanting “Tory scum”.
The marchers represented a mix of specialist interest groups including steel workers from the mothballed SSI plant in Redcar, pro-cannabis activists from Greater Manchester; Jews for Palestine, anarchists, the hacktivist group Anonymous and a number of trade unions, as well as families with buggies and wheelchairs.
David Cameron, it seems, will not shake off the pig saga – well not in Manchester at least. There were a number of references to pigs among the marchers. “I did not have sexual relations with that pig” one banner read; “The Tories f*** everything they touch” said another.
The annual Tory conference is at the Manchester Central building until Wednesday 7 October, The Conservatives will be coming together to hear about the Prime Minister’s ideas, policies and plans for the year ahead.
TNT News Yasin Chinembiri