Conservative conference: Thousands protest in Manchester

As the Conservative Party's annual conference gets underway in Manchester, tens of thousands of people demonstrate against the party.

More than 20,000 protesters came to the streets of Manchester today to protest the Tory Party’s annual conference, which officially began in the city.

  • Thousands of protesters marched through Manchester to protest the Conservative Party’s spring conference. They represent a “genuine rebellion against extinction” due to climate change. Demonstrators went as close as they could to the Manchester Central Convention Complex, which police had shut off.
  • Inside, Traditionalists like International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan lauded “business, commerce, free and fair trade.” Outside, however, marchers from every anti-Tory group in the UK today demonstrated their determination to oppose the Tories’ deadly plan.
  • The march was led by an advance guard of Traveler’s seated in pony-drawn traps, with a focus on escalating attacks against Gypsy, Roma, and Traveler communities across Britain.
  • They claimed the proposed legislation, which would give police the ability to remove “unauthorized encampments.” It criminalized the nomadic lifestyle of Traveler’s and put an end to more than 500 years of history.
  • Drive2Survive organizer Sherri Smith said. “We walk down the street and people shout: ‘Pikey — clean your teeth!’, “Now we are getting solidarity we did not know we had.”
  • According to her, the Bill is an example of ethnic cleansing, with Home Secretary Priti Patel as the driving force behind it. She also mentioned that the Bill passes done with Parliament will be the foundation of a new campaign.
  • Thousands of protesters marched through Manchester as part of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity. A large banner behind the ponies and traps declared that the marchers were “United Against the Tories.”
  •  The marchers took one and a half hours to wind their way through Manchester’s streets to the Castlefield Bowl. As marchers arrived at the event, the Amphitheatre quickly filled, and speakers were called onto the stage.

To take part in the demonstration, social workers walked over 40 km. They professed to be fatigued, but their brief words of solidarity cheered up the audience. Laura Pidcock, national secretary of the People’s Assembly, said she had spoken to two young women who had not planned to attend the march but decided to do so regardless.