Today, hundreds of people gathered at the old Fire Station on The Crescent to join thousands of fellow protestors in Manchester. The first stop on the Salford march was Bexley Square, where flowers were laid to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the famous Bexley Square riots.
Here, on October 1st 1931, unemployed people of Salford protested outside the old Town Hall against cuts to both unemployment benefits and pay cuts for public sector workers. Salford Council was implementing cuts imposed by a coalition government.
The demonstrators, who included Ewan MacColl and Eddie Frow, were met by savage attacks from police batons and arrests, and, later, imprisonments.
From Bexley Square it was straight to Manchester, to a massive march around the city centre and a rally afterwards. Spotted amongst the crowds were three Salford Labour councillors – Steve Coen, Jim King and John Warmisham, plus Salford-based actress Maxine Peake.
Also spotted on every corner were police video vans, plus horses, plus on the roof overlooking the Tory party conference, a police sniper. The police overkill* couldn't dampen the party atmosphere as 40,000 marchers made it absolutely clear that the Tories and their cuts and their millionaire friends are not welcome in Manchester – or Salford for that matter!
* and not one single arrest...