Thousands march against austerity in Birmingham as Tory conference starts

9 October 2012

By a Birmingham trade unionist

Several thousand people joined a West Midlands TUC demonstration on Sunday 7 October in Birmingham – timed to coincide with the opening of the Tory party conference in the city.

The march was a reminder of the mood of bitterness against the ConDem government.

At short notice the TUC changed the assembly point and route of the march. While this brought the final rally into the city centre it also led to the march weaving through the back streets, away from the public. Several hundred gathered at the original assembly point and marched noisily through the city centre to join the demonstration.

The speakers who received the most enthusiastic response were those who called for an escalation of the struggle against the Tories, with RMT general secretary Bob Crow and FBU leader Matt Wrack inspiring the crowd.

Unite the Resistance meeting

After the TUC rally, a Unite the Resistance meeting saw 150 people packed into the Birmingham Council Chamber.

Matt Wrack, Ian Hodson from BFAWU and Karen Reissmann, a member of the UNISON executive speaking in a personal capacity, all spoke about the need to escalate the resistance.

Speakers from the floor talked about the damage the Tories are doing to our society and how local trade unionists are building the TUC demo on 20 October. Some speakers discussed how to increase the pressure on the TUC to call a general strike.

At the end of meeting, a show of hands overwhelmingly agreed to continue to organise together to unite the resistance against austerity in Birmingham.

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