Drive 2 Survive, the community led campaign for the cultural survival of Gypsies and Travellers have teamed up with the People’s Assembly to give the Conservative a powerful unwelcome to the city of Manchester ahead of their annual conference.
On Friday 29th of September as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his right-wing crew gathered behind a wall of steel in Manchester, Drive 2 Survive and People’s Assembly campaigners created a horse drawn funeral parade to remind people how many people have died as a result of Conservative Party cruelty. The horse drawn flat bed cart pulled by Ernie the Gypsy cob then made its way into central Manchester.
On the cart were six coffins emblazoned with the identities of all those who have suffered after 13 years of Conservative government, Grenfell victims, the disabled, migrants and refugees, Workers rights and NHS. In solidarity with all those communities who have suffered, the cortege made its way to the Conservative Party conference centre protected by a ring of steel, police officers and snipers on nearby roofs.
“We are here to ensure that these are the last miserable days of a Conservative government. In solidarity with all other groups in society who have also suffered we have come to give this lot their marching orders,” said Drive 2 Survive co-chair Jake Bowers.
But as they approached the conference compound their way was blocked by officers from Greater Manchester Police who refused the Gypsy horse and cart entry. "But horses were using these roads long before cars were," said Connor Hamer who had brought Ernie and a flat-bed dray from his site in Bradford. The police however would not let the campaigners through.
A National People’s Assembly statement said: “On the eve of the Tory Party Conference in Manchester we remember Grenfell, we remember the 300,000 killed by austerity, the refugees drowned in our seas as a result of hostile immigration policies, the patients dying because our NHS is underfunded and undervalued, the preventable Covid deaths while the Tories danced on their graves, the disabled people abandoned and impoverished by a hostile government.
“We mourn the destruction of our public services and the infrastructure we rely on and the attacks on our right to strike and our right to protest.”
The action came as the Peoples Assembly has called a nationwide protest against the Tory government tomorrow in Manchester which is supported by Drive 2 Survive. Details of how to join it are below.