On Saturday, a coalition of national and local campaigns convened in Manchester to tell the Tory party and the UK Government that BREXIT ISN’T WORKING and that popular demand is rising for action to tackle our growing national crisis and set a new direction. The rally was organised by Manchester for Europe, supported by Grassroots for Europe. Only the Progressive Media gave the Tory party conference any coverage.
Key demands were:
- A better deal with the EU: Return to the Single Market and Customs Union. Free movement of workers reinstated.
- A better deal for EU citizens in the UK: End the hostile environment. Physical proof of residency for EU citizens living in the UK. Legal guarantees on residency rights for all EU citizens resident in the UK and fix problems with the Settled Status system.
- Scrap the Policing Bill: The 307 page PCSB bill introduces sweeping and unnecessary powers which even the police don’t want. It threatens rights to peaceful protest and the way of life for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people. The right to protest is not a gift from the state, it’s our right, and no government should remove it.
Speakers at the Tory party conference included:
- Raul Kohli – host – comedian from Newcastle
- Mike Galsworthy – Scientists for EU/ Bylines Network
- Louise Brown – North East for Europe
- Alex Haida – Make Votes Matter Manchester
- Simon Spurrell – MD Cheshire Cheese Co/ iTG Group
- Alex Gunter – Grassroots for EU
- Cosi Doerfel Hill – In Limbo Project/ the3million
- Louise Harrison – Ski Racing Guide for Visually Impaired
- Femi Oluwole – campaigner/ writer
- Richard Bentall – Professor of Psychology
- Richard Wilson – Leeds for Europe
- Steve Bray – SODEM Action – Stop Brexit
This event was hardly reported in the mainstream media (MSM) but many progressive outlets in UK as well as the European press covered this extensively. Here are some examples:
- Firstly our sister publication, North East Bylines, reported on it since several North East figures were present.
- The London Economic covered it well, saying “Peace in Northern Ireland is threatened, there are shortages in the shops and crops rotting in the fields. It’s time to say loud and clear, Brexit is not working”.
- ItsAmazonPrime gave the event some coverage.
- Of course Sputnik news reported with glee on the embarrassment to the UK government.
- Der Spiegel in Germany reporting on the fuel crisis said of the demo:
“Bereits am Samstag versammelten sich Demonstranten in der Nähe des Konferenzortes in Manchester. »Korrupte Tory-Regierung. Lügner, Betrüger, Scharlatane. Raus mit ihnen«, hieß es auf einem Transparent“.
Which translates into:
“Already on Saturday, demonstrators gathered near the Conference site in Manchester. “Corrupt Tory government. Liars, frauds, charlatans. Get them out”, said one banner”.
ITV News were no better, focusing solely on the Sunday demo.
MSN covered the whole weekend as a single event but did mention the Brexit isn’t Working demo.
A full audio recording of the speeches at the Tory party conference is available in the latest episode of Sixteen Million Rising.
Videos of the speeches, plus commissioned videos for the event from Mike Cashman, are on YouTube.
How can the message get through when so little coverage is given to such protests by the Mainstream Media and so little support from the main political parties?