As the Tories demonstrated their cluelessness, people from across the country demonstrated that another world is possible

It could have been the crowds demanding reform in St. Peter’s Field in 1819. It could have been Sylvia Pankhurst proclaiming the Women’s Movement for International Peace. Instead, it was the many radical voices of today’s Manchester as well as people from across the country. A united front of ‘We are many—they are few!’ 

The weekend of protesting the Tory Conference kicked off with a packed People’s Assembly Marquee hosting the Stop the War Coalition on Saturday. The passion and inspiration of the speakers filled the space with hope and confidence. The familiar, but none-the-less resolute stance, of ‘Not in Our Name’ emanated from the lips of many of those present, including Brian Eno, musician, artist and president of Stop the War. Activists were united with the message that they will fight the war project with stoicism. 


The omens were with the people. Sunday’s demonstration saw tens of thousands of people joining in strength to protest against the scapegoating of the working class, fake nationalism and a dilapidated ideology that demonises the poor. In true Northern and festive fashion, people took to the streets to remind those in power that together we can imagine a better way. The spirit of the North, infused with its humour and realism, was reflected in the jovial home-made placards: “Me, I love the Tories… just kidding!”

The united front of all those gathered included Anarchists, Black Lives Matter, Free Palestine, Global Justice Now and feminists, including an 11-year-old Wonder Women, all stood united, and in solidarity, to challenge the warmongering myths, racist lies and austerity of the establishment. 


You could hear, see and smell the end of the Tories and the beginning of a new kind of society, one of solidarity, humanity and social justice underpinned by the power of people’s movements. In the last weekend of September, we reclaimed the fields of Peterloo because these are ours, filled with our struggles, made and protected by our hands.

Shabbir Lakha

Shabbir Lakha is a Stop the War officer, a People's Assembly activist and a member of Counterfire.