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‘One blue less welcome than Tevez in Manchester – David Cameron’: 35,000 turn up in protest to Conservative Party Conference

By Jessica Elliott & Marya Yasin

Demonstrators marching against the Conservative Party conference in Manchester yesterday were told “there is another blue here even less welcome than Carlos Tevez, and that is David Cameron”.

Tony Lloyd, Labour MP for Manchester Central, opened his speech to the crowd with the controversial comment.

Police estimated approximately 35,000 people protested through the streets from Liverpool Road to outside Manchester Central, the location of the conference, finally ending at First Street.

Groups such as UNISON, Right to Work and Socialist Worker Party were well represented throughout the afternoon.


PROTEST: The march reaches Manchester Central Convention Complex

Representatives of unions and organisations from around the region spoke in front of the crowd to show their support, and this was where Mr Lloyd made his speech.

Police confirmed there were no arrests made due to behaviour during the demonstration however a small group broke off as the main body of protestors halted outside Manchester Central and attempted to break into the Bridgewater Hall.

With chants of “Tory scum” the group attempted to gain access to the building but police moved in quickly and the mob quickly dispersed. CCTV is now being reviewed in an attempt to identify suspects from the incident.

Inventive costumes drew attention to the many issues being fought at today’s protest such as youths dressed as zombies holding up a banner saying: “The Tories are killing our future”, a Wookie holding up a ‘Class Wars’ sign and people dressed as badgers highlighting prime minister David Cameron’s support of badger culling.


CLASS WARS: A ‘wookie’ joins in the march

As the protest moved through the streets shopkeepers were evidently being watchful of their doors with The Alibi pub on Oxford Road locking its doors as demonstrators marched past. 

The protest stopped outside to boo outside the Midland Hotel where many Conservative Party members are reportedly staying.

 

The Head of Organisation of the TUC Paul Nowak delivered a passionate speech.

 

 

He described how Nick Clegg and David Cameron had promised fairness at the start of the coalition but that they had made a mockery of the trust that was given to them by people.

 

Mr Nowak also went on to say that 1 million young people were claiming Job Seekers Allowance and that cuts to public services were on the increase.

 

 

He said: “We need to build a movement that is strong enough to campaign for and give us that fairer alternative.”

 

Mr Nowak ended his speech with the announcement of a future protest on 30 November.

 

“We will organise that mobilisation. Together we’ll fight for public and private sector workers. Together we’ll fight tooth and nail for our public services that bind our communities together and on which we rely on and together we will fight for an economy that puts people and not profit first”, he said.

 

At 4pm, people had begun to congregate in Albert Square where electro music was played and young people were seen dancing along.

 

 

Various people took to the microphone that was set up in the square, and were reciting poetry and throwing speeches.

 

An Occupy Manchester representative said that the day had been motivating.

 

She said: “The people are coming together and they are saying, you know what, there more of us than there are of them.”

 

In terms of answering whether the day had been impactful, she stated:” I think you’ve got to start somewhere.”

 

The protest was stewarded by Trade Union Congress. One steward said: “The protest was a bit slow moving but overall I am pleased that it remained largely peaceful.”

Greater Manchester police later arrested a man in connection with the Miss Selfridge fire during the August’s rioting after he was identified at the protest. However he has since been released without charge.

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