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Thousands gather to protest Tory conference in Manchester.

Thousands gather to protest Tory conference in Manchester. Photo: Shabbir Lakha / Counterfire

As the Tories usher in more austerity, thousands march through Manchester in united opposition, reports Sam Colclough

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WAPSI women at the protest. Photo: Chris Nineham / Cropped from original / Published with Permission

Up to 10,000 gathered in Manchester today, to join the People’s Assembly National Demo in response to the Conservative Party Conference taking place in the city. There was an excellent industrial presence, with participation from Unite, Unison, GMB, CWU, RMT and PCS, amongst others, while a variety of left-wing and progressive political and campaigning organisations including Kill the Bill and Disabled People Against the Cuts were in attendance.

The anger was palpable just days before the Universal Credit cut was due to come in, with a backdrop of the petrol and energy crises and rising food prices. But the protesters were also buoyed by the fiery show of opposition that had come together to take the fight straight to the Tories.

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People in Manchester came out in strenght and were joined by many from across the country. Photo: Shabbir Lakha / Counterfire / Cropped from original / Published with Permission

The crowds marched down Oxford Road towards Manchester Central – the venue for the Tory Party Conference – before reaching Castlefield Bowl to hear speakers ranging from the People’s Assembly National Secretary Laura Pidcock, Labour MPs Richard Burgon and Barry Gardiner, Marvina Newton from Kill the Bill, Larissa Kennedy from the NUS and many more.

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Labour MPs Richard Burgon and Barry Gardiner at the march. Photo: Chris Nineham / Cropped from original / Published with Permission
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Stop the War also had a presence in the march. Photo: Chris Nineham / Cropped from original / Published with Permission

The sun was shining for much of the march and although a few showers were experienced, the crowd remained in good spirits, despite their obvious disgust at the deaths and misery caused by this callous Government. The strength of feeling was reflected in the turnout, with thousands travelling from all around the UK to make their voices heard, despite the reluctance many still feel about gathering in large numbers while the Covid pandemic persists.

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Kill the Bill protesters also joined in. Photo: Chris Nineham / Cropped from original / Published with Permission

The demonstration was one part of a week of resistance against the Tories in Manchester organised by the People's Assembly. The Tories Out marquee in Piccadilly Gardens hosted a range of speakers and meetings and attracted activists and residents alike throughout the time the Tories were in town. Manchester will never provide a friendly welcome to the Tories.

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