Last Sunday, 1st October, two major national demonstrations: #StopBrexit and #TakeBackMCR, plus the Conservative Party Conference #CPC17, came to Manchester.

We took the banner and placards and leaflets to the first two, and leaflets to the latter.

We had hundreds of conversations with good people across the political spectrum, who care about democracy. Like us, they believe that a local authority fixing the ward boundaries while removing residents/voters from the notification list, not only breaches the rules that protect our democracy, but doesn’t belong in UK democracy, and should be stopped.

Asset stripping placard on the march

The ‘Take Back Manchester’ march was against austerity – the Conservative policy by which poorer people across the UK have been made to bear the costs of the 2008 financial crash and the mistakes of the bankers. Our placard therefore fitted the theme of politicians taking away from poorer areas, but challenged the idea that just having Labour MPs or Councillors in power is the solution.

Take Back Manchester demonstration

Manchester City Council used the march as a photo opportunity, with Councillors taking turns to stand as if leading the march. Our banner and placard subverted this moment, so below Afzal Khan MP can be seen challenging us. We spoke to him at length afterwards. Of course he claimed that the Manchester ward boundaries were changed by the LGBCE, so we briefly told him how a Boundary Review works, what MCC did, and what should have happened.

Adding to the Manchester City Council photo opportunity

Afzal Khan MP speaking