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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