It might not have been of French proportions but yesterday Manchester and Salford took to the streets to protest against cuts that will affect every bit of life in the North West, from job losses to benefits reductions to the slashing of public services.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) is already stating that the real pain from George Osborne's `spending review' will be felt most in the North, leading to an even bigger divide with the South, while Pricewaterhouse-Coopers estimate that 3.8% of the region's workforce is under threat.
Speakers at yesterday's rallies were keen to underline how dire the consequences of this government's actions are likely to be…
"Last Wednesday the ministers decided on a series of cuts. But it will not be ministers who will suffer" said Labour MP Gerald Kaufman "Ministers don't need help in pregnancy, Ministers don't need free school meals for their children, Ministers don't need Surestart. They went to Eton and the Bullingden Club and now are cutting 10,000 university places.
"Terrible as she was, Thatcher cut by 10%, this lot want to cut by 29%" he added "This is a cabinet of the rich victimising poor families. We need to win on the streets, win on the demonstrations and win at the ballot box."
And Steve North from Salford Unison and representing the National Shop Stewards Network added "There is a growing anger against these cuts. New people are getting involved all the time. As a public service worker I am not here just to fight for our jobs, it's about protecting services too. This is not the public versus the private sector. We are all together on this. We need to reach out to communities…"
The huge street protests in France were never far from people's thoughts and David Vincent of the Public and Commercial Services Union called for similar action in our cities…"There was a debate on TV this week about 'Will our protest be like the French'…The Tories said British people were too sensible to fight like they do in France. It is the French who are the sensible ones. That is what we need here."
His strong words were echoed by Karen Reissman, of the Socialist Workers Party...
"This Government does not have a mandate for these cuts" she said "The Tories did not win a majority. The Lib Dems promised they would oppose cuts. They are all taking advantage of the crisis to get rid of what they never wanted us to have in the first place.
"They are choosing to do all this" she added "They could have taxed the rich. They could have cut Trident. They could have brought in a Robin Hood Tax. They chose instead to attack the poor. With 23 millionaires in the cabinet, what do they know about the real world? They have never faced the choice of eating or heating.
"We do not want to fight the cuts corner by corner. We all need to be out together. Look at France, they are more serious about the fight back, and we should be serious too. We must launch a fight on a scale never seen before. We will have to push for a general strike…"
As everyone has been saying this week, this is just the start of a major battle over the coming months and years…
Photos by Albert Spiby