The week of resistance to the Tories in Manchester kicked off today, Saturday, with a host of protests and campaigning activities across the city.
The day began with a flashmob to greet Tory conference delegates as they arrived at Manchester’s Piccadilly rail station
Protesters dropped a banner inside and held up signs saying, “Tories not welcome–go home”.
Meanwhile, a group called Beats for the Streets held a rave in Piccadilly Gardens–despite harassment from the police.
One of the organisers, Wesley, told Socialist Worker, “The Tories have decided to have their conference here, but Manchester is an anti-Conservative city.
“Homelessness has gone up 115 percent here since Cameron came to power. We can’t wait another five years for Jeremy Corbyn to be elected–we need direct action now.”
Manchester trades council held a public rally later in the afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s TUC demo.
Bfawu bakers’ union president Ian Hodson told the meeting that Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader showed there is an opportunity to build resistance.
He said, “We’ve got to get out there, join together and build the movement.
“We need every town and city where they’ve got a main street–occupied. Every council building–occupied.”
FBU union general secretary Matt Wrack agreed. He said, “We need to build a mass movement in every workplace that organises–whether or not the union leaders or the TUC general council makes that call.”
Activists also had a mass campaign stall in the city centre during the day to make one final push for the TUC demo.
Sam Fairbrother was one of them. He said, “There was a great reception on the streets. We had lots of conversations about refugees and fighting racism. There was a real sense that we can do things.”
He added, “The demo tomorrow is going to be loud. There’s a lot of people going for very different reasons.
“I met someone in a night club the other night who joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament during the summer. And tomorrow is his first demo.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of people like that. A lot of young people too. That’s what’s so exciting about it.”
Assemble at 12pm on Oxford Road from All Saints Park southwards
March off at 1.30pm, ending at Deansgate / Whitworth St
Defend our unions – Kill the Trade Union Bill
Unite the Resistance public rally
straight after the TUC demo, 3.30pm at The Comedy Store, Arches 3 & 4, Deansgate locks, Whitworth St West, M1 5LH
Speakers include PCS union rep Candy Udwin fresh from victory at National Gallery,