“We are not talking about being united—we are united! We are fighting back! There is only one thing that will divide and fall—and that is this government.”
That’s what Colette Williams from Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (Barac) told an inspiring meeting in Manchester yesterday, ten days ahead of the march against the Tories in the city.
“On 2 October we say come to Manchester,” local teacher and NUT union executive member Nick Wigmore told the 100-strong Unite the Resistance meeting. “Bring the children along! It’ll be fun!
“We will all be marching together. We are not just campaigning over pensions in the public sector. We are aligning ourselves with young people. It’s about their future.
“And we are not doing it for them—we are doing it with them. We will show the Tories what democracy really looks like.”
Yasmin Qureshi, Labour MP for Bolton, opened the meeting. “They should not be cutting people's pensions,” she said. She called for everyone to join the protest.
The Tories “want to make our youth into the living dead—a generation without a future,” added Emma Martin, a community artist. “So a delegation of youth will be on the demo dressed as zombies.”
And a delegation from Manchester Sure Start Campaign will march in their pajamas. “After being told that mums just dump their kids in Sure Start centers, and then sit around all day in their PJs, we decided to show up in them,' said Danielle Leadbetter, who has worked for seven years as a volunteer receptionist at her local Sure Start center. She will speak on the TUC platform at the 2 October rally.
“This demo can be the whistle for the bigger fight on the 30th November, when millions are set to strike”, said Michael Bradley, of the Right to Work campaign. “This is not a protest movement—I am sick of protesting. We need to win.”
Ian Hobson, president of BFAWU, the bakers’ union, said it was “young people who showed us that if you do something people take notice”.
“When the students fought they woke up the working class,” he said. “Now we are all fighting back. If we succeed it will not just be like this government never happened—it will be like Thatcher never happened.”
March on the Tory conference, Sunday 2 October. Assemble 12noon, Liverpool Road (off Deansgate), Manchester M3 4JR. Organised by the TUC, initiated by the Right to Work campaign. For full details see www.righttowork.org.uk