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A familiar sight: The Boys in … Fluorescent Yellow were a prominent part of the anti-Conservative demonstration – whether they wanted to protest against the Tories or not.

It has been dubbed an anti-austerity march, but that would be doing the variety of protests and depth of feeling a disservice.

The anti-Conservative event in Manchester city centre today (Sunday, October 4) attracted at least 80,000 people (don’t believe the estimates of 60,000 – police always round down by thousands) from all walks of life and for many reasons.

It was an overwhelmingly good-natured event, as the following photos demonstrate – but, as usual, there were still a few people who had to try to spoil it for everyone else.

So one conference delegate was hit by an egg, and several journalists were left shaken after a handful of idiots spat on them, calling them Tories.

Maybe they felt justified attacking the Torygraph‘s Kate McCann (they weren’t) but what they thought they were achieving by attacking the Huffington Post‘s Owen Bennett or Channel 4 News reporter Michael Crick is anybody’s guess – both the HuffPost and C4News have supported critics of the Conservative Government with fair reports.

Meanwhile, the venue for the Conservative Party conference, and the nearby Midland Hotel, have been surrounded by a so-called “ring of steel”. This indicates that the 12,000 Tories who have gathered in Manchester for their annual party conference may be thinking that holding it in an anti-Tory stronghold might not have been such a good statement of power and indifference to protest after all.

Inside, Tories are dedicated to pushing through their new Trade Union Bill, which will restrict industrial action and make it possible for employers to hire agency staff during strikes; and David Cameron announced on TV earlier in the day that the Tories will go ahead with cuts to in-work tax credits. He said they were part of a package that will make people better-off, but you’d be a fool to believe him.

 

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sent a message of support to the tens of thousands of demonstrators.

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Junior doctors marching in Manchester.

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Campaigners against NHS privatisation. Notice the ‘pig’ poster in the background – that’s a story David Cameron won’t be living down any time soon.

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The Student Assembly Against Austerity was marching against racist scapegoating.

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Iain Duncan Smith might deny the accusations, but the people of the UK can make up their own minds.

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The Tories would have you believe this is the ugly face of popular protest in the UK today. What do you think?

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The marchers lined the streets of Manchester.

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Surrounded by yellow flags, teachers were speaking out for education and saying no to austerity in the Manchester sun with ATL Union.

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Get the message?

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Protesters confront Conservative Party delegates.

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Reinstated PCS rep Candy Udwin with colleagues from the National Gallery in Manchester.

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This Conservative ended up with egg on his face after brandishing a picture of Margaret Thatcher at the crowd…

 

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… and this is how at least one of his colleagues saw fit to respond.

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