The People’s Assembly is gearing up for its national demonstration and Festival of Resistance in Manchester. The group is holding the events during this year’s Conservative Party conference – and People’s Assembly is determined to make its supporters’ presence known to the Tories. The message will be clear: Tories out – now.
People’s Assembly: back at the Tory Party conference
It’s been over ten years since the People’s Assembly first launched with a letter in the Guardian. Its initial mandate was clear: an end to the then-coalition government’s austerity programme, and a reversal of its cuts. Its remit has since broadened.
From protests on the rise in foodbank use to demanding a different kind of post-pandemic ‘new normal’, People’s Assembly has often been at the front of the UK’s political protest movement. Now, it’s once more got the Tory Party conference in its sights.
The People’s Assembly has organised a national demonstration against the Tories on Sunday 1 October in Manchester. The protest will start at All Saints Park, Oxford Road, at 12pm. It will go directly past the Tory conference (where its likely the protest will be the nosiest), and end at the Castlefield Arena:
Speakers at the demo will include:
- National Union of Rail, Transport, and Maritime Workers (RMT) general secretary Mick Lynch.
- National Education Union (NEU) general secretary Daniel Kebede.
- Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) general secretary Kate Hudson.
- Ellen Clifford from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).
- Fran Heathcote, president of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union.
- Lindsey German from the Stop the War Coalition.
Festival of Resistance
The demo is part of a wider programme of events which the People’s Assembly is calling a ‘Festival of Resistance’. The four-day programme will see a wide range of talks, events, debates, and entertainment. Many of these will be held in a marquee at Piccadilly Gardens.
One of the events is the ‘Stick it to the Tories Big Night Out’ on Saturday 30 September. Starting at 7:30pm at the Mechanics Institute, the evening will bring together comedy, music, and politics. It will feature:
- Barbara Nice (comedian).
- Laura Pidcock (People’s Assembly national secretary).
- Barbarella (musician).
- Gerry Potter (rebel poet).
- Paul O’Connor (PCS senior national officer).
- Steph Pike (rebel poet).
- Jonathan Mayor (comedian).
You can find more details on some of the events here.
Turning ‘anger into action’
Paula Peters is a disability rights activist with DPAC. She said in a press release:
The Tories are planning to cut the welfare state even further and ramp up poverty as a result. Join the People’s Assembly on Sunday 1st October in Manchester. Turn the anger into action. See you on the streets.
Ben Sellers from the group Campaign for Trade Union Freedom added:
The Government’s anti-strike legislation concerns us all. It’s part of a network of authoritarian measures to prevent us from fighting back. We must never allow that. Join the People’s Assembly demo at the Tory Party conference in Manchester on October 1st.
Groups have been organising transport to the national demonstration. You can find out more here. People’s Assembly still needs volunteers to help steward the demonstration and to help with the Festival of Resistance. If you can support with this, get in touch via office(at)thepeoplesassembly.org.uk.
Working-class people paying the price
The People’s Assembly summed up by saying:
From austerity to the cost of living crisis, it is all too clear that the only people paying for the Tories deliberate destruction of public services, welfare and communities are ordinary, working class people. This year alone we have seen food price inflation at 19.1% – it’s fastest pace in over 40 years. Coupled with falling wages, a massive rise in rents and energy bills at an all time high, people are struggling ahead of an already predicted harsh winter.
In the meantime the Tories, and their financial backers, are enjoying one bonanza after another. Profits for energy companies are at an all time high, supermarkets have cashed in on the increase in food prices and the PM himself cannot go one week without benefitting from the decisions coming from Westminster. Despite their claims to be world beating, the only thing this party seems able to beat is the corruption, cronyism and callousness of their previous leaders.
Within [the last week] Sunak has U-turned on climate pledges, forcing the public to once again shoulder the brunt of future damage arising from climate change.
So, if you free from Saturday 30 September and want to stick it to the Tories – while also having some fun along the way – then People’s Assembly needs you.
Featured image and additional images via the People’s Assembly
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.