By Nick Clark
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Momentum is building for a mass anti-Tory demo on 4 October in Manchester

This article is over 6 years, 5 months old
Issue 2467
The People’s Assembly anti-austerity demo in June showed there is huge potential for a mass march
The People’s Assembly anti-austerity demo in June showed there is huge potential for a mass march (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Activists across Britain are gearing up for a week of protest outside the Tory Party conference in Manchester in October.

The main event is the TUC national demo on Sunday 4 October.

And anti-austerity campaign group the People’s Assembly plans protests and activities throughout the week, from Saturday 3 to Wednesday 7 October.

The mood of resistance is already growing in Manchester. Protesters at a homeless camp in the city centre have defied court rulings and forced evictions to stay put.

Meanwhile, activists have been gathering every day at Piccadilly Gardens to debate and organise.

Katrina Lawrie, who has also been involved with the homeless camp, is one of them. She told Socialist Worker, “There’s stuff happening in Piccadilly Gardens nearly every day.

“We chalk different anti-establishment slogans on the ground, then just leave the chalk out. 

“People come along and use the chalk and start discussing different things.

“Everybody agrees the best way to go about things is to organise through the People’s Assembly. The main focus is 4 October.”

The activists have been gathering in Piccadilly Gardens since a group of young unemployed people staged a rooftop protest and banner drop there last month.

Now some of those protesters have got involved with planning the People’s Assembly protests in October.


Katrina said, “One of the people who was on the rooftop protest has got really involved with the People’s Assembly meetings. She’s really keen on organising stuff like roadblocks. I think we need to do stuff like that.”

She added, “At a big planning meeting about a month ago there were about five or six different active groups working. So there’s different things happening at the same time.

“There’s lots of different groups that are trying to work with each other. There seems to be a real sense of working class solidarity.”

Activists outside Manchester have started planning too. People’s Assembly campaigners in Bristol recently held nine stalls across the city to fill their transport to the protest.

And Bristol-based mental health worker Dave Weltman is making sure that a delegation of people from his workplace join the TUC demo.

Dave told Socialist Worker, “It was incredible so many people were up for going to the demo. Someone came up and offered to go round to help book up the coach.

“People were really excited about all going together.”

Coaches have been booked in towns and cities across Britain. Every trade unionist can call on their union to book transport and publicise the demo.

Activists everywhere need to work to make sure the coaches fill up—and then book more.

The reaction to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership election campaign shows there are huge numbers of people who want to see an end to austerity. And the People’s Assembly protest in June showed what is possible.

We need to work to make Manchester even bigger.

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