Socialist Worker

Protest at the Tories and their chums

Issue No. 2261

As the coalition and its cronies gather to plot the destruction of the welfare state later this year, they will face resistance on the streets.

Activists are preparing for mass demonstrations at the Tories’ and Lib Dems’ party conferences.

Wide sections of the labour movement are now coming behind the calls for protests, which were initiated by the Right to Work campaign.

Union activists are organising to back the demonstrations at a regional level.

Manchester TUC secretary Geoff Brown said they were planning to give the Tories “a proper northern welcome” on 2 October.

“This is a city that hasn’t had a Tory councillor for 25 years,” he said. “One of our slogans is ‘Keep Manchester Tory-free’.”

He added that Unison, the biggest union branch in the city with 10,000 members, passed a motion at its conference saying the TUC should mobilise against the Tory conference.

“This is an opportunity to unite the whole city in opposition to the Tories,” said Geoff.

It’s a similar story in Birmingham, where union activists are determined not to give David Cameron’s Lib Dem lapdogs an easy ride on 18 September.

Lee Baron from the postal workers’ CWU union is helping coordinate the protest. He told Socialist Worker that a “spirit of unity” is bringing campaigners and unions together.


“The Right to Work campaign put out the initial call for a demonstration,” he said. “It has since been taken up by the Midlands TUC.

“The protest is going to bring together anti-cuts campaigners, students and trade unionists. Together we are the last line of defence against the government.

“And we know we have a common enemy in the Liberal Democrats—they want to privatise our services and slash our jobs.”

Right to Work national secretary Paul Brandon said the protests could be part of a “rolling programme of pressure on the government”.

“It’s great to see so many different trade unions and campaign groups now joining together in the fightback,” he said.

“Clearly Cameron is on the run over his relationship with Murdoch.


“Now it’s important that trade unionists, anti-cuts campaigners, NHS activists, unemployed people, pensioners and students come together and drive home the advantage.”

The Right to Work campaign has already organised coaches to the protests from across Britain, from Glasgow to Brighton.

Last year, 7,000 protesters joined the Right to Work demonstration at the Tory conference and 2,000 protested against the Lib Dems’ conference.

This year every activist has to throw themselves into building huge protests that show the scale of anger at Cameron and his sock-puppet Nick Clegg.

March against the Tories: Sunday 2 October, Manchester

March against the Lib Dems: Sunday 18 September, Birmingham

For more details and transport go to

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Tue 19 Jul 2011, 17:25 BST
Issue No. 2261
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