Socialist Worker

Anger against austerity inspires mood of protest

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2455

The atmosphere at the Manchester protest mixed carnival with anger

The atmosphere at the Manchester protest mixed carnival with anger (Pic: Martin Empson)


People across Britain have already started to resist the Tories before they launched their latest attacks in this week’s queen’s speech. 

The Tories are out to restrict the right to strike, force schools to become academies and scapegoat migrants and Muslims. 

They also want to slash £12 billion more from welfare spending and scrap the Human Rights Act. Even some Tories are wondering where they will find such massive cuts.

But as many as 2,000 people marched through Manchester last Saturday on an anti-Tory protest called on Facebook and supported by the People’s Assembly.

The protest brought together anti-austerity groups, anti bedroom tax campaigners and homelessness activists who have been camping in Manchester city centre.

There were also NHS campaigners, students and hundreds of others who are fed up with austerity.

The organisers had wanted a festival atmosphere. But the level of anger was unavoidable.

Lindsay from Bolton Against the Bedroom Tax told the protest, “We are fighting against this disgusting government.

“We’ve had two evictions in Bolton and we don’t want any more. We don’t want to make people homeless, we want to help the homeless”.

College student Chloe was on the protest. She told Socialist Worker, “This is my first demo. I’ll be 22 before I can vote the Tories out—I’m 17 now.

Threatening

“I want a chance for a future. We’ve had teachers at college being made redundant.  There was an online petition supporting the teachers but the college made us take it down, threatening to expel students”.

She added, “It’s nice to be here, to have something to relate to and see others who are fighting back”.

People are organising resistance elsewhere too. Some 500 people attended a public meeting held by the People’s Assembly in Nottingham on Tuesday of last week.

A number of protests were set to take place on the day of the queen’s speech.

And anti-austerity protests are set to take place in towns and cities across Britain as part of the People’s Assembly national day of action on Saturday of this week. 

They are building up to the national People’s Assembly demo in London and the Scottish TUC protest on 20 June.

So far four coaches have been booked from Sheffield, with more tickets selling fast. Another four coaches are set to come from Doncaster.

At least three coaches were booked to take activists from South Shields, Sunderland, Newcastle, Durham and Middlesbrough in the North East.

And people on the march in Manchester were queuing up to book tickets on one of at least four coaches already booked.

Ali Mohamed was another first-time protester in Manchester. He said, “I’m here for the people who are suffering so much from the cuts.

“I will be on the demonstration on 20 June. I’m concerned about tuition fees, the bedroom tax and zero hours contracts. People need a better chance”. 

Thanks to Caroline Ridgeway


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