The interest in politics has transferred from Scotland to the North and a political awakening is happening in the Manchester area, home of radical movements such as The Chartists
If you consider yourself up to date with politics then you must be aware of the 100,000 people NHS March in Manchester in September 2013, the massive Barton Moss Solidarity Sunday anti-fracking events during early 2014, the huge Pro-Palestine events during summer 2014, Reclaim The Power events, the Manchester Climate Change carnival 2014 and both Natalie Bennett of the Green Party and Bez of the Reality Party calling for a peaceful revolution
After yet another winter of discontent – ConDem government, sanctions, Bedroom Tax, evictions, unilateral decisions, “DevoManc”, child abuse, Russia, TTIP, fracking, homelessness, people struggling to survive and peoples’ patience being tested, a new realisation is happening that things can change
The people of Manchester have never voted Tory yet their level of influence is completely dis-proportionate to the voting statistics!! Manchester has watched with withering disdain as the Conservative Party (2013) and Labour Party (2014) have slimed into town for their highly fortified and stage-managed conferences, with the only local people to do ok out of these charades, the sellers of identikit Neo-liberal cheap suits!
28th February 2015 marked a very important day in the history of Manchester, a series of fairly low-key events, for those in the know, but very significant events that show organisation and communication, a city getting its’ act together with people jumping aboard the Good Ship Mancunian Freedom
The 2,000 people at the events was a complete contrast to the Councils’ recent #ManvCam astro-turf event where NuLabour politicians melted down onstage in front of a crowd of protesters and a small crowd of Council staff !
The 28th February 2015 marks the beginning of a new era, a very important stage in our political evolution, giving people a platform (new ways of communicating and outlets for expression and getting true news) and hope
If the “political elite” had forgotten, this is what democracy looks like – street democracy, media democracy, collective democracy, people gathering and speaking to each other, proving that it’s not about the money, it’s about the passion, the motivation, the message, and genuine, good people
With spring in the air and spring in the step of activists, the day began with Wake Up Manchester, the wakey, wakey, rise and shine street event that has hosted the likes of Max Keiser and Stacey Herbert to soapbox in front of some seriously cool people and slightly bemused shoppers!
Any good revolution/evolution needs it’s switched on media and lucky for us, the Real Media National Gathering just happened to be in Manchester
Initial open-mindedness about the BBC move to Salford Quays a few years ago has turned into mis-trust and looking to Corporate Watch for balance, and dodgy journalists are about as popular as bankers and estate agents!
Real Media are looking to fill the vacant spots for honest journalism, and Manchester was deemed the perfect place to host a National Gathering for alternatives to the “right-wing, extremist, billionaire media”
This event coincided with the launch of the Peoples Assembly (PA) manifesto and two PA Manchester events – Question Time and Music Beats Austerity
Question Time featured speeches from local activists, a panel that included Shappi Khorsandi, Mark Serwotka, Lindsey German and Shahrar Ali, and lots of questions from local people
Music Beats Austerity at the Academy saw singer/songwriter Grace Petri, local band Honeyfeet, and veterans The Farm and Billy Bragg take to the stage
The Farm acoustic set saw “Love Sees No Colour” and “All Together Now” unify the crowd, and Billy Bragg brought the nous, “I Keep Faith” struck a chord with a city that is au fait with keeping the faith, the classic “There Is Power In A Union” and lyrics of constitutional politics had particular relevance……………. “It’s time to stand up and make history”