Field Report: Pirate Bloc - Tory Party Conference demo 4/10/2015

Over the last week, the Tory party had their conference in Manchester. On Sunday 4th October, 60,000 people took to the streets to protest, organised by the People's Assembly Against Austerity. We joined them as the Pirate Bloc, with some help from our friends over at the Manchester branch of Open Rights Group. We broadcast a lot of the march live on Periscope, and there are a number of videos saved on Bambuser, but we also have a few pictures to share with you.

The march was peaceful, and extremely noisy! It took us around 80 minutes to even get to the start point where we could officially set off; the streets were so congested. The march was aopproximately 1 mile long and had 60,000 people - 10,000 people up on 2013's protest. There are only a few people pictured at the start, but in the end, once everyone had found us, we had about 20 Pirates marching with us, which is a pretty good turnout.

Our Pirate placards read:

  • Cut Surveillance, Not Social Care
  • Where's The Data That Supports Austerity?
  • Santion Patents, Not Patients
  • Reduce Student's Deficits
  • Block TTIP, Not HTTP
  • Open Source Politics

The demo was not allowed to go anywhere near the conference, and the "wall of steel" surrounding the Tories kept Hoi Polloi well and truly out of sight, out of mind. This really goes to show the kind of obnoxious attitude we're dealing with. 

Towards the end, I was also accosted for a radio interview by a chap from Liverppol radio station Juice FM, who had lots of questions about the Pirate Party, which was nice. He seemed to be really interested in the party and what we had to say. I was on air for around 10 minutes, and answered questions on a whole array of topics.

And we had 2 of our giant Pirate flags with us, the black and white PPUK flag, and an orange PP.CZ flag waving high - they're always the star of the show!

In the end, we walked for around 4 hours, and we were well and truly ready for a beer, so we headed for the nearest beer garden to rest our legs. 

Photos courtesy of Rebecca Rae, Hacker Fantastic and RataxesUK, used with thanks.