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Anti-austerity protest rally – 60,000 march through Manchester city centre

DSCF4001Around 60,000 demonstrators descended on the city to protest outside the Conservative party conference’s base at Manchester Central as part of the #TakeBackMCR rally.

Trade union chiefs and activists took part in a mass demonstration at the start of Tories conference on Sunday afternoon (Oct 4th 2015).

The main stage area at All Saints Park on Oxford Road.was the meeting point to kickstart the march which moved off at 1.30pm, finishing at the Liverpool Road end of Deansgate

There were lots of dancing and music on Oxford Road with great carnival atmosphere before the march got underway with banners and balloons been waved in protest.

Billy Bragg – who praised Jeremy Corbyn’s ’new kind of politics’ – was given a huge cheer as he sang There Is Power In A Union. He told the crowd: “We’re here to bring a message of hope to the people of Britain” He added: “They don’t have a monopoly on visions for people for the future.”

TUC president Liz Snape said: “We will never stop fighting for a fairer Britain. Everyone is under attack. We defend people.
“We are the last line of defence. Friends, it’s no surprise they’re now coming for us. This is just the start. “Let’s tell the Tories that their time is up.
“Get organising, get campaigning, and get fighting.”

Many speakers at the rally echoed there message to the Tories saying “We are here to send a very clear message to the Tory government.”

“If they thought on May 7 that we were going to disappear then think again. Because we are here to fight for everything that belongs to us”

Unite leader Len McCluskey implores David Cameron to step in personally to save the Redcar steel plant and prevent the loss of 1,700 jobs.

TUC chief Frances O’Grady told the crowd to send a message to the Tories that this protest is the ‘real Northern Powerhouse’. She added: “We got here, in Manchester, first. And we’ll be here long after the Tories have gone.

“Let’s give the Tories an almighty roar. No to cuts, Yes to workers rights.”

Tory delegates watched the protest march for a distance as the protesters shouted as they pasted on their way to the Castlefield arena as a host of speakers took part in the rally, including Charlotte Church and Corrie star Julie Hesmondhalgh and Green Party leader Natalie Bennett.

 

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Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader, spoke at the Castlefield Arena saying: “We are the many, you are the few. You don’t have a mandate to destroy our democracy and human rights.” “We want democracy”, she shouted.
“We need real change…change is coming our way. The election of Jeremy Corbyn is just one sign. This is the politics of the people.”We want a decent housing policy, for refugees to be welcome. We want decent benefits for people who need them. End benefit sanctions.
“We want trade unions to be able to act freely and properly. Free trade unions!,” Bennett added.
She ended with: “We are the many, they are the few. PEOPLE POWER!”

Owen Jones got a huge round of applause as he took to the stage. He talked about the Peterloo Massacre. Our rights were won by our ancestors. “We stand on the shoulders of giants,”
He says: “This is about hope, optimism and not letting us believe injustice is like the weather and there’s nothing we can do.”
“This isn’t about grinning and taking it, it’s about grinning and fighting it.
“After today, we need to stick together and build the biggest progressive movement this country has ever seen. Have courage.
“This is about beginning to fight back in every single community in our country.”

The march seems to of sent a clear message to the Tory Government one that can’t be ignored. Organisers praised the thousands of people who turned out in support.

 

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Statement from GMP

“Today around 60,000 people took part in a demonstration within our city in the spirit of their causes and I would like to thank them for their co-operation.
“The overwhelming majority of people have exercised their democratic right to protest with dignity and good grace.
“In those rare instances where individuals have sought to cause trouble, our officers have acted in a calm and professional manner to ensure that the actions of the few did not compromise the safety, enjoyment and reputation of the majority.”
“The fact that only four arrests were made is particularly pleasing.
“I would like to thank the organisers for taking responsibility and ensuring the demonstration was planned and delivered appropriately.
“However, there is still a major operation in place to ensure the rest of the day continues in the same manner.”

Councillor Pat Karney Congratulated the TUC for a magnificent march A proud day for Manchester Thanks to the 100,000 who joined in Stop the cuts

Greater Manchester’s Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner has praised the tens of thousands of protesters who marched on the streets of Manchester today, Sunday 4 October 2015.

Tony Lloyd said: “Today’s protest was well-organised and sent a clear message out in a peaceful and effective way.

“I’d like to thank the TUC and all of those involved in delivering what was one of the largest demonstrations that Manchester has ever seen. The organisers worked closely with police, the local authority and other bodies. Everyone involved – not least the tens of thousands of people who participated – deserve credit for making it such a success.

“The Tories have every right to come to Manchester for their conference, as do those who protested today against the programme of austerity that is causing such damage to communities up and down the land.”

 

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The People’s Assembly’s National Week of Action against austerity, public spending cuts – plus the TUC campaign against the Trade Union Bill, which will make it harder for workers to strike, will continue throughout the conference week.

Events will include comedy gigs, theatre, music, political meetings, rallies and protests.

Another protest, organised by Disabled People Against the Cuts, will take place on the Monday, outside Central Library.

The Student Assembly Against Austerity will hold a ‘static’ protest outside the Tory conference at Manchester Central later on Monday afternoon against the scrapping of university maintenance grants.

Mr Corbyn will speak at an event at Manchester Cathedral later that evening. He will joined by Stockport-born columnist and author Owen Jones; Daily Mirror associate editor Kevin Maguire; TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady; Unite general secretary Len McCluskey; and street artist and public protester Mark
McGowan.

Super Furry Animals and Charlotte Church will perform at Manchester Academy the same night.

A ‘noise protest’ will be held outside the conference at Manchester Central the following day.

And a cross-faith panel, followed by a candlelit vigil with the Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, will take place at Manchester Cathedral on the Tuesday evening.

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