Mikhil Karnik and Ian Allinson provide pictures, interviews and a report from today’s anti-austerity demonstration in Manchester.
During the afternoon around 1000 people took part in a static anti-austerity demonstration in Piccadilly Gardens. It brought together people from a wide variety of campaigns along with a significant number protesting for their first time. Speeches focussed on how bad the Tories were more than outlining a strategy to win beyond next Saturday’s “lock out privatisation from the NHS” protest and ensuring that as many people from Manchester go to the national demonstration on 20th June as possible.
Talking to demonstrators, a number of themes came out clearly. The election result had not only shocked people and scared them about what the Tories would do – it had made people angry and feel they had to do something. People were positive about the demonstration and felt more protests would be needed. None expressed a clear view about how we might win change, something that the movement will need to debate and resolve in coming months if the current energy and enthusiasm is going to be sustained and successful. Many saw defeating the Tories electorally as important, with a range of views about what government they hoped for, or seeing proportional representation as an important demand.
A number of demonstrators told us their views:
More interviews from the protest are on the rs21 YouTube channel.