Carnival of Hope: Report from Manchester by Talat Ahmed

Manc1This is a carnival full of hope. It shows you people are prepared to fight austerity.

So said Michael Byrne, a Unite rep at Coventry City council as he joined up to 100, 000 people on the TUC march against austerity in Manchester last Sunday. He was joined by sacked steel workers from Redcar who marched at the front; junior doctors and medical students from the Manchester Royal Infirmary; thousands of school teachers, college and university lecturers; disability rights groups; Stand up to Racism activists defending refugees and activists calling for the scrapping of Trident.

manc5The demonstration was a sea of trade union banners, home made banners, flags and placards and a huge number of pig masks alluding to Cameron’s penchant for the four legged animal! Speaker after speaker denounced Tory proposals for the anti-Trade Union bill, which will further restrict our capacity to challenge their policies of cuts and job losses. The mood was one of defiance with chants for “strike, strike, strike”.

manc3Singer Charlotte Church said, “This is not a radical fringe. This is a growing social movement.” Let’s hope in the days, weeks and months ahead that we build on this great protest.