Protestors march on Tory conference

A demonstrator lights a flare during the march in Manchester.
Children hold placards during a previous 'March forthe Alternative' demonstration in London.

By Ian Dunt

Thousands of people marched on the Conservative party conference today in Manchester today demanding an end to spending cuts.

The TUC-organised 'March for an Alternative' coincided with events organised by a variety of campaigners, including animal rights and student groups.

Police estimates suggested over 35,000 people attended, although organisers usually cite considerably higher figures.


"We are now on the edge of the biggest strike in Britain in 80 years. If after the 30th of November they don't back down - carry on making cuts, carry on robbing pensions - then we have to strike again and again until we win," PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka told the crowds.

"If you never fight you lose every time. Now's the time to fight, now's the time to defeat the government."

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "People are now questioning this government's competence, and getting angry about the choices it is making.

"This protest is only the beginning. We will keep doing so until they stop this economic kamikaze mission."

During his conference speech, foreign secretary William Hague addressed the protestors directly.

"The money you were promised by the last Labour government never existed, it was never there, and we have been left with the task of telling you the truth," he said.

Demonstrators congregated in Liverpool road at midday, marched through the centre and then held a rally at Number One First Street.

Anti-cuts group Occupy conducted a sit-down protest in Albert Square.

There were no arrests.

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