With less than a month to go before the Tory Party conference, activists are preparing to turn Manchester into a rebel city.
The Tories will be jubilant at their first conference since their election victory in May.
They will use the occasion to launch even more vicious attacks on the working class, the poor, disabled people, Muslims and migrants.
That’s why it’s important to make sure they are met with huge opposition on the streets.
Campaigners have been working to make sure that’s exactly what happens.
The TUC has called a “No to austerity, yes to workers’ rights” march on Sunday 4 October. And the People’s Assembly has a “Take back Manchester” series of events from 3 to 7 October. It includes rallies, protests and cultural events.
Young activists have been congregating in Piccadilly Gardens in the centre of Manchester to organise protests—including a rooftop protest in July.
Emma is one of them. She told Socialist Worker, “I do ‘party protests’ with music. We’ve protested against the banking system and banning legal highs.
“And we’ve blasted out the Nazi EDL with house music.”
Now Emma has got involved with the People’s Assembly campaign group in Manchester to prepare for the Tories’ arrival next month.
The People’s Assembly plans to protest outside Manchester Piccadilly train station on Saturday 3 October to greet Tory delegates.
Emma wants to go further. She said, “We want to do a roadblock with music on the main roads coming into the city. We want it to be a bit like carnival.
“It’s going to be a protest against David Cameron coming into the city. We don’t see why this man who’s caused so much upset in our city should be let in.
“So when they’re coming in we’re going to block them.”
Activists have made sure to combine the fight against austerity with the fight against racism.
Ameen Hadi is one of them. He told Socialist Worker, “On 6 October, Theresa May will be speaking, attacking migrants and Muslims. So we’ve organised a protest outside, and a rally after that.
“The idea is to bring different strands of the anti-racist movement together. It’s not just about migrants, but also around Islamophobia and police racism.”
Disabled People Against Cuts (Dpac) will also be organising protests and flashmobs.
Manchester Dpac activist Matthew Felton told Socialist Worker, “We’re going to have a protest outside the conference while Iain Duncan Smith makes his speech—we want to say he’s a murderer.”
But the main focus has to be the TUC march in Manchester on 4 October.
Trade unionists and campaigners across Britain need to fight to fill up transport to make the demo a success.
Simon Hall, a Unison union member and activist from North Tyneside People’s Assembly, says people are signing up from across the north east of England.
He told Socialist Worker, “There’s a coach nearly full from Newcastle—and there’s transport from Hartlepool and Berwick. But we need to push for more.
“There’s a rally organised by the People’s Assembly, the Northern Region TUC and Public Service Alliance about the Trade Union Bill. We’re going to use this to raise the profile of 4 October.”
A successful TUC march will be an opportunity to show the strength of united opposition to the Tories—and put the working class at the centre of the fightback.
Manchester People’s Assembly activist Mark Krantz said, “The Tories are coming to Manchester to launch further attacks on the working class. A huge march will show we have the power not only to stop them, but to start to create a better world.”