Hundreds of young people took part in a students’ feeder march to the Albert Square assembly point. Beginning with a couple of hundred, it grew to over 600 by the time it arrived. There were very large numbers from both Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University.
Protesters stopped for around five minutes outside the hotel where Tony Blair was staying – and made absolutely clear their hatred of his policies
Hundreds of demonstrators joined the Stop the War “Peace Train” form London.
In one carriage Bianca Jagger sat exchanging reminiscences with Tony Benn, in another folk singer Peggy Seeger played anti-war songs, further down broadcaster Yvonne Ridley was hosting an open mic session on the war.
Elsewhere Unison union members were collecting for their strike against privatisation at NHS Logistics.
They were all united by their opposition to the war and their anger at Tony Blair.
Lisa Donoghue, a PCS civil service workers’ union member, said, “We have had enough of being ignored. There is no exit strategy in Iraq or Afghanistan, simply escalating violence.
“What can we do other than make our views known? But the days when politicians listened to ordinary people seem to be over. My heart sinks at the prospect of a Gordon Brown government. He’s a sinister character. He’s already shown he will cut services and jobs, anything to cut costs and help business.”
Clare Fisher from south London, who is soon to become a student at Oxford, said, “I’m disgusted at everything this government has done, particularly the wars. I’m here today because I agree with the main demands – no to a Trident replacement, troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, Blair must go.
“There are no parties I would vote for. There needs to be a new party that is inspiring and different to the main ones. I can see no difference between the three main parties.
“So many things need to be changed, such as privatisation and the use of Asbos. That’s why it’s good we’re protesting at this conference.”
Ten coaches from Birmingham, four from the Black Country, two from Coventry.
315 people on six buses. Delegations from three mosques. Trade union delegations from T&G, UCU, Unison city branch. Members of FBU, NUJ. Sixty refugees and asylum seekers whose transport has been paid by union donations. Students from five colleges. Delegations from Solidarity on each bus. “Mood very high”.
Three coaches from Newcastle/ Sunderland/ Durham including 25 people from Berwick. Other protesters going by Unison train and car. Eight people from entirely new Stop the War group in Whitley Bay.
51 people on packed coach. Veteran CNDers to school students and everything in between.
Two coaches, 85 people.
One full bus including delegations from Unison Tayside health and Unison city branch. Also members of Dundee trades council, T&G and UCU. Students from three universities and colleges including a Lebanese student and a student whose father is currently on his third tour of duty in Iraq.
Delegation from Nipsa union among 46 people travelling from Belfast.
Four coaches, incuding one from the Yemeni community. Many other people making their own way by train and bus and car.
Four coaches—two from Swansea, one from Cardiff and one from Newport/Caerphilly/Blackwood.
Coach with delegations from Unison, Amicus, T&G unions and the trades council.
Double decker bus including delegations from Amicus and Unison trade union branches.
Twenty five students on coach. ‘Great atmosphere’.
Over 120 people on three buses. Trade unionists from CWU, T&G, Lothians Unison, Amicus, UCU unions. Large delegation of School Students Against the War. Students from three universities and colleges.
For full coverage of the demonstration go to Reports and video of Manchester Time to Go demonstration
Every working class person will feel the pressure
Two inspiring strikes show the way forward