Trade unionists, campaigners, Green Party and Labour Party members, and basically anyone with a distaste for the current Tory Government descended on Manchester City Centre today for a huge demonstration which organisers, The People's Assembly, estimated was 50,000 strong.
A feeder march of anti-fracking campaigners and trade unionists began from outside Salford Museum and Art Gallery on the Crescent and met up with thousands of people in Castlefield, Manchester, for a rally in which speakers took turns to slam the Tories on all sorts of issues, ranging from cuts to the NHS to benefit sanctions and zero hours contracts.
As the good natured march weaved its way to Piccadilly Gardens, complete with sound systems, choirs and drumming bands, anger rose as it got nearest to Central Manchester Conference Centre, where the Tories are holding their conference, with red flares being let off.
From Piccadilly Gardens, some protesters made their way to St Peter's Square and into the officially 'designated protest area' to chant against the Tories as they were entering the ring of steel around the conference centre.
Despite it being a 'designated protest area', police kettled the demonstrators and wouldn't allow them to leave. As more people gathered around the scene, members of Disabled People Against The Cuts (DPAC) took their wheelchairs onto the tram lines in protest at the police behaviour.
After a stand-off, the disabled people were arrested, while, the Salford Star understands, police would only allow those in the kettle to leave if they gave their personal details. This was refused and, instead, all were handed exclusion notices that ban them from the town centre during the duration of the Tory Conference.
The Take Back Manchester Festival continues for the duration of the Conservative Party Conference with an anti-fracking protest tomorrow from 1pm (see here).
At 2pm tomorrow, the Salford Star editor is also speaking at a public meeting in Piccadilly Gardens on 'A Media For The Many Not The Few' with Julie Hesmondhalgh and others (see here). The Salford Star will be unveiling its brand new - hoodies and sweatshirts - merchandise at the event.
See also: Thousands march against Brexit in Manchester - click here