Tens of thousands of activists have marched in Manchester in protest at Government policies as the Conservative Party began its annual conference in the city.
Though huge numbers of protesters had travelled from other cities in the United Kingdom, many attendees were local people wishing to express their anger at the presence of the Conservatives in Manchester.
A crowd consistently shouted “Tory scum” as he and other young Conservatives stood outside the venue.
James Penfold, 44, a nuclear waste scientist, said: “I think they’re taking the cuts way too far”.
Police arrested one person for spitting at a journalist while activists wearing pig masks mocked David Cameron over lurid allegations about his student days.
A huge rally in the Castlefield area was held with speakers including organisers the People’s Assembly, Morning Star campaigns manager Steve Sweeney, journalist Owen Jones, singer Charlotte Church and anti-arms group CND general secretary Kate Hudson.
OVER 100,000 people representing the “real northern powerhouse” descended onto Manchester yesterday to drive the Tories “out of town”.
A variety of slogans featured on mass-produced and home-made placards, including Cut War Not Welfare, Don’t Bomb Syria, No Cuts and Divine Discontent, Divine Disobedience.
The problem for Prime Minister David Cameron is that while most of these events are likely to feature loud applause for those who want to take Britain out of the European Union, he’s proposing to argue for staying in.
Among those was Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, who told the rally the protest was “sending a very clear message to this Tory Government” that they faced a fightback.
Up to 85,000 people are claimed to have joined the demonstrations against austerity, and while they have been largely good-natured, two arrests were made – one of whom allegedly spat at a journalist.
“If they think they are going to have a smooth ride over the next five years, they’ve got another thing coming”.
The violence comes after Jeremy Corbyn, the new hardline Labour Party leader, called for a “kinder politics” in his conference speech last week.
Mr Corbyn has already been accused of gatecrashing the Conservative conference in Manchester by breaking with convention to speak at a rally which is one of a series of anti-austerity protests in the city during the conference.
Ms O’Grady said restrictions in the Trade Union Bill were “the biggest attack on the democratic organisation of working people for 30 years”.
The TUC is also holding a march in response to the planned government policy to reduce the rights of Trade Unions to strike. He explained “we are showing the numbers of people who are here to say that we are not accepting any more cuts, and that refugees are welcome here”.
The chairman of the Conservative party, Andrew Feldman, advised those attending the conference not to wear their access passes outside the barriers around the large Manchester Central complex where the event is held.