Anti-cuts protest, Manchester 29th January 2011

Was at the Manchester protest today against austerity. A few notes:

Firstly, I think for once that the news estimates were generous. I reckon 2000 people only. But, I’m not the best at counting. One thing is certain: it felt small.

Two: who organised this? According to the literature, the TUC, UCU and NUS, with some help from other groups. This makes total sense: the protest was a shambles. It began at 10.30am (far too early), and promptly marched in the WRONG direction. In otherwords, away from everyone.

Three: having sleepwalked into suburbia, we ended up miles away from anyone who cared in Platt Fields park, so that our esteemed leaders could serenade us with their somnabulistic bs.

Taking these points together it is quite clear that the objective function of the TUC, UCU and NUS is to SABOTAGE protest.

A few things of note though:

a) Before the march took off on its ill-fated course, a group of about 150 organised students – perhaps from Socialist Students? – took off in the other direction,  from Manchester University toward the city centre. Our initial interpretation was that they were heading off the set route in protest at the stupidity of the hyper-managed spectacle that was the official protest. As such, I wished them luck, but stuck with the main body – though a friend set off with them. However! In fact they must have had some inside knowledge or just pure luck, for the next thing I know my friend is telling me that they have found the NUS President Aaron Porter, and have, en masse, chased the slime ball down the street till, utterly terrified, he found sanctuary in the Students’ Union, guarded by a wall of police. Genius!

b) Having terrified the living shit out of Aaron, he was forced to let his second-in-command speak at the rally for fear of lynching. Having booed certain particularly choice bits of bullshit from the TUC host, we then booed and jeered at Shane Chowen, NUS vice-president. He then had to quit under a volley of eggs and a few other items (I noticed a big orange flying toward him). For the second time in the day the crowd rejected the NUS and forced them to abdicate their minority attempts to hijack the protest.

c) Finally, it was sunny and there was a relaxed mood and I was with some good friends. I took some photos on my film camera: I will put them on here if they develop well.

In summary:

The protest was not a success; we did not overthrow the government or undo parliament. But, one thing became clear: there is a strong feeling that the NUS regime can and must be overthrown. This was the one positive conclusion. Let us depose Porter and his cronies and reclaim the means of protest!

A last point on Eygpt:

One friend contacted her friends in Eygpt. The situation is very volatile. Every police station in Cairo is burnt; the army has moved in; out of “nowhere” the poorest people have come into the city, and there is a lot of looting: supermarkets, banks, shops, etc. The real danger is, thus: 1) violence from the army; 2) counter-revolution as middle-classes and up demand protection of property against looting.

More to come… Solidarity with the people of Egypt and Yemen and all who struggle for freedom!



A few links:

A good write up from the Manchester Mule, with extra juicy details inc. reports of Aaron Porter sobbing.

A good write up from NCAFC including details than Porter is now being shunned by other unions – specifically NUT.

An article exposing the Telegraph’s story as utter slander, with vid of  Porter being escorted to safety in the arms of his best buddies.

Another story about Aaron Porter being chased away – and what an asshole he is.


~ by Wit on January 29, 2011.

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