The Tories do not work for ordinary people, they work for the profits of the wealthy 1%. We’re a rich country and so we can have affordable housing, jobs, fully funded public services, schools and NHS.
Our strength is in our numbers and our organisation. So let’s unite against the Tories when they’re in Manchester for their annual conference. Let’s protest their corruption, cronyism and exploitation and come together to fight for social, economic, environmental, and international justice.
Schedule for National week of action 2 - 5 Oct
Saturday 2nd October
12.00 – Opening Ceremony
With Soph Galustian, Gerry Potter & Chris Bainbridge aka The Bard of Bury
13.00 – 14.00 Drive to Survive
The Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts bill (PCSC) represents a clamp down on all of our rights, but disproportionately attacks minority groups. The PCSC bill threatens to effectively criminalise the ancestral nomadic lifestyle of the Gypsy, Roma & Traveller (GRT) community, already one of the country’s most discriminated-against groups. In this session, Baroness Chakrabarti will discuss with members of the GRT community why we must fight back against this bill and stand in solidarity with the GRT community in their fight for the necessary sites for people to live.
16:00 – 17:00 – Failed! 20 years of the war on terror
The western cut and run from Afghanistan is proof positive that the whole “war on terror” has been a disaster. This meeting will survey the wreckage of the last two decades of war, challenge the Tories continued commitment to foreign war and outline a saner foriegn policy. It will also mark and assess twenty years of the anti-war movement, one of the biggest social movements Britain and the world has ever seen.
18:00 – 19:00 – Code Red for the Climate Emergency
A landmark UN climate report has recently warned that global heating is irreversible and issued its starkest warning that, unless meaningful action is taken to reduce emissions, the world is on course for catastrophic warming. In this important panel, climate justice activists and campaigners discuss what urgent action we can and must take to prevent climate breakdown.
19:30 – 22:00 – Take Back The Power: Tories Out Cabaret
An evening of music and spoken word by Manchester’s Take Back Theatre Collective. Take Back Theatre Collective was set up by actor Julie Hesmondhalgh, writer Rebekah Harrison and visual artist Grant Archer in October 2015, as an artistic response to the politics of austerity. Expect bold, exciting, innovative music and spoken word which comments on pressing social and political issues, inspiring you into action and leaving you full of hope.
Monday 4th October
13:00 – 14:00 NHS & Social Care in Crisis: where next?
The pandemic has exposed the underlying injustices in our society and none more so than the crisis within NHS & Social care. After more than a decade of punishing austerity measures, stealth privatisation and falling pay for staff, it is no surprise that the NHS was totally unfit to deal with the Coronavirus crisis. In social care, we saw some of the worst death rates and the unjust system was revealed for what it is. And the Tories’ recent announcement of a national insurance rise to “fund” social care only adds insult to injury. In this panel, NHS speakers and campaigners will discuss why our fight for a fully funded, free at the point of use NHS and social care must be central to our demands as socialists.
15:00 – 16:00 “Serious annoyance?” Public nuisance?” You ain’t seen nothing yet!
Wall of sound.
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) bill is looking to criminalise protest. In one clause, the bill describes protests causing “serious annoyance” or “public nuisance” as being subject to arrest. We will not be silenced. The point of protest is to cause a commotion, to agitate. Join us for a defiant cacophony of sound: bring drums, instruments and anything else to make a racket in the name of defending the sacred right to protest.
16:00 – 17:00 Building the resistance: Trade unions & Grassroots
Workers’ rights are under attack more now than ever before. The pandemic has exposed the insecurity and volatility that workers face under capitalism: cuts, privatisation, low wages, precarious contracts and poor working conditions. In this panel, trade unionists and grass roots activists will come together to discuss how to build the trade union and labour movement to defend workers’ rights and liberties.
17:00 – 18:00 End Fire & Rehire – with Barry Gardiner MP
Everyday workers across Britain are being threatened with being fired and rehired under worse terms and conditions for essentially the same job. Corrupt employers have seized the opportunity of the pandemic to ramp up this unreasonable tactic in order to force staff to accept lower wages, different hours or other exploitative changes to their contracts. In many countries this practice has been banned altogether. Join Barry Gardiner MP in this session as he discusses the Private Member’s Bill he introduced on 16th June 2021 to outlaw Fire & Rehire in the UK and how you can support his campaign.
18.30 – 19:00 Jeremy Corbyn MP in conversation with Gary Younge
In this unmissable event, Jeremy Corbyn MP will chat to journalist and academic Gary Younge about the state of UK politics, focusing on the media in particular, with reference to their own personal experiences. They will also reflect on what gives them hope for a better, brighter future and how we fight for a society which works for the many, not the few.
19:00 – 20.00 Bin The Billionaires: Save the media
The state of the media is pivotal to the functioning of a democracy. It affects every part of our public life and sets the boundaries of our discussions and possibilities for change. Yet it presently only represents and functions for a tiny part of the elite. Despite the media being a huge issue, we have failed to adequately address and tackle it effectively…until now! Join us to discuss what’s wrong with the media and what we can do about it, with our excellent panel including actress Maxine Peake, Jeremy Corbyn MP and Gully Bujak, Extinction Rebellion activist.
20:15 – 22:00 Candlelit Vigil
We will be holding a quiet candle lit walk from the marquee in Piccadilly Gardens to the Tory party Conference centre/Midlands Hotel to mark the lives that have been sadly lost to the mishandling of the Covid crisis and the cruel Austerity programme rolled out by successive Tory Governments
Tuesday 5th October
11.30 – 13.00 Fair Rents Now! Organising Tenants for the Collective Struggle for Rent Control
After the end of the Eviction Ban, Furlough, and the Universal Credit Uplift, the Tories are seeking to punish the poorest after looting the state with dodgy PPE contracts and a useless outsourced Test and Trace system. How can we use Community Organising to build Collective Power to overturn 40 years of neoliberal attacks on tenants and rebuild a system of Rent Controls, following the lead of Living Rent in Scotland? Join Chair Ben Clay from Greater Manchester Tenants Union in conversation with Ekua Bayunu – Greater Manchester Tenants Union , Joe Beswick – Housing Activist and Researcher, Rosa Luxembourg Foundation, Andrea Gilbert – Housing Organiser and Black Homelessness Campaign.
13:00 – 14:00 – A new vision for education
Schools, colleges and universities have been devastated by the last decade+ of Tory rule, with the impacts unsurprisingly affecting the poorest the hardest. It was recently revealed that school spending per pupil in England will still be lower in 2022 than it was in 2009. Teachers’ wages have been frozen for several years. And university fees tripled. In this session, join National Education Union president Daniel Kebede in conversation with National Union of Students president Larissa Kennedy as they discuss a new vision for education: one where students’ and staff’s needs are placed ahead of profit generation.
14.30-15.30 Nurses not Nukes – Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
A common tactic by the right wing to discredit and distract from conversations around international justice and global human rights is to derail the conversation with “we need to look after our own” first rhetoric. This discourse is not only disingenuous because of its deliberate attempt to distract from our role in human rights abuses, but also because it feigns care for people in the UK. In this session, activists from Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament will debunk this approach; showing how the UK’s grotesque 40% investment increase in nuclear weapons is precisely at the expense of investment into critical domestic policies such as in the NHS.
15.45-16.45 Women will not be silenced – Rebel Women and The Importance of Protest
The WWNBS event ‘Rebel Women and The Importance of Protest’ will bring key women activists together across the campaign groups, the trade unions and the arts to celebrate women, our achievements and advance our struggles
18.30-19.30 Priti Patel vs The People
Priti Patel is responsible for some of the most brutal and discriminatory punitive policies of recent years, weaponisng her identity as a woman of colour as a shield behind which to instigate harm to the very groups she is supposed to “represent”. Patel has repeatedly denied the UK is institutionally racist and failed to condemn racist football fans who booed players taking the knee. She has whipped up fear about a fictitious “migrant crisis” as a distraction from the mishandling of the pandemic and devastating death toll and pushed through immigration policies. And even turned up to immigration raids as PR opportunities to reinforce xenophobic narratives. In this session, People’s Assembly National Secretary Laura Pidcock speaks to Black Lives Matter activists Chantelle Lunt, Delia Mattis and Alex Ruddock about why we must reject Patel’s carceral and hate-fuelled politics and fight for a better society, based on justice and liberation for all.
20:00 – 22.30 Knock Out Blow – play
‘Knockout Blow!’ is a community led play, exploring the life of Manchester Boxing Legend Len Johnson, as a tool for challenging racial discrimination & celebrating our collective history. The play is part of a broader campaign, which aims to address systemic racial inequalities by providing more realistic and positive Black history and role models for Manchester.