Manchester Anti-Austerity Demonstrations: 60,000 Protesters March
While the ruling Conservatives are gearing up to conduct their party conference, protesters took to the streets in Manchester, demonstrating about Prime Minister David Cameron’s austerity measures and bombing of Syria. As many as 60,000 people participated in the demonstrations close to Manchester Central, where the conference is being conducted.
The austerity measures, which were introduced by the Tory Party, have resulted in cuts in public services and lowering of public standards. The long term economic plans, the government said, was “turning the country around” after “difficult decisions.” By 2020, almost 12 million pounds will be reduced in welfare spending – this will include cuts on housing aid, tax credits and money paid to disabled people and the unemployed, as reported by the International Business Times.
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Four people were arrested in the protests; including one man who spat at a journalist. An egg was thrown at a conference delegate. RT reports that the demonstrators said they were “revitalized” after the election of Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the opposition Labour Party.
On Sunday, the police had closed down an anti-austerity protest in the Piccadily Gardens area of the city.
According to BBC, Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, said the protesters were “sending a very clear message” to the government. Paul Novak, assistant general secretary of the TUC, said, “The government is driving through tens of billions of pounds worth of cuts to public services right across the country and at the same time trying to gag the ability of unions to protest and try to defend services.” He further added, “There are 6.5m working people in this country who are voluntarily members of unions. The government is trying to force through an anti-democratic bill that puts real limitations on the right to strike and people’s right to protest. We think that’s absolutely unfair.”